Garden Share Collective – January 2014

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The weather’s been hot, like REAL summer scorching hot these last few weeks. I haven’t tended to the garden at all except to go out at sunset and give the poor buggers a drenching.
No liquid fertiliser, no food, no added nutrients. Just water.

And you know what? The patch has been very forgiving.

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Remember my cucumber/zucchini/leek patch last month?

cucumber, zucchini and leek patch, Dec 2013

cucumber, zucchini and leek patch, Dec 2013

That is what it looked like in December. Now, 4 short weeks later here is the same patch, gone a bit mental!

Cucumber, zucchini and leek patch, Jan 2014

Cucumber, zucchini and leek patch, Jan 2014

We have lots and lots of beans. Dwarf beans, French beans and Purple King beans. I can’t remember the last time I actually bought any vegetables!

purple king beans

Our fairy tale eggplant is going a bit berserk too. There are over 25 eggplants on a plant about 30 cm tall!

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We have tomatoes coming out of our ears.

I’m also trying my luck with potatoes again after our kipfler and Pontiac experiment last year. This time there are Gabriella potatoes I bought from my local farmers markets. They started sprouting after a week. This time, I plan to bank up the soil and mulch as the plant grows and hope for a better harvest in 3 months’ time.

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So the garden continues to thrive, through the humidity and heat wave! The Garden Share Collective is thanks to Lizzy at Strayed from the Table, a collection of vegetable patches across the globe.
To see my vegetable patch’s growth before your very eyes, please take a moment to view my previous posts here.
Happy Gardening!
xx

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Garden Share Collective – December 2013

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Last month I mentioned Sydney decided to chuck a tanty and forgo spring because the weather was hot hot hot. Then like 30 seconds later, it chucked another tanty and the weather became cold cold cold! I sit here, it my robe and uggies writing this up on the first day of summer.

Welcome to the last Garden Share Collective post for 2013, a collection of vegetable patches across the globe all thanks to Lizzie from Strayed from the Table
Please take the time to take a sticky beak at my previous Garden Share collective posts to catch up or take a refresher on my progress.

3 of our 4 pallet beds are finally planted up. We’ll get to the 4th when I catch my breath!

A lot of prep work went into getting the patches ready. First weed mat was lined along the sides to stop the grass from growing through the pallet boards.

Gourmet Wog

Then 3 layers of thick cardboard was laid down to stop the weeds from sprouting through. Then the fun and smelly part of preparing the soil. My husband spent many weeknights sifting soil to make sure there were no onion weed seeds and to that he added compost, cow manure, mushroom manure, 5 in 1 mix, dynamic lifter and finally chicken shit. Noice.

Next it was time to plant!  We planted up the first bed with tomatoes and basil. It looked like this when first planted up (first week of November):

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And 3 weeks later (the power of a shit load of rain and a shit load of shit) it looked like this:

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The 2nd bed turned out to be a ‘bits and pieces’ bed and contains tomatoes, eggplant, basil, parsley, chilli, leeks and poppy flowers

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The 3rd Bed (my favourite) is neatly lined with our new crop of leaks, more tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers. We planted these up 2 days ago, just in time for this post

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I love the way the leaks border the patch. We made sure to plant the leaks at about 20cms below the rest of the veggie patch to bank up the soil as they grow throughout the next few months.

growing leek plants

The other veggie patches are coming along nicely. I won’t show you the kale because you’re probably sick of hearing me talk about it, but just know that they’re still there, they’re thriving and they’re still going berserk.

The purple climbing king beans are doing just that, climbing. We’re yet to see any beans yet.

climbing purple king beans

Our dwarf French beans though are producing masses and masses. I pick a generous handful every single day. Most of the time it doesn’t make it back to the kitchen as they get devoured straight from the plant.

dwarf green beans

Our Hungarian yellow chillies are rewarding us well. They are surprisingly incredibly chilli!

hungarian yellow chillies

Finally, as hoped, we had much more success with our Pontiac Potatoes. I wanted to leave them to grow a bit longer but we had some really crazy storms in Sydney throughout November, and lots of rain so it was time to harvest them before they rot or go mouldy. These red gems were uncovered after planting only 4 potatoes in the hessian sacks.

pontiac potato plants undercovered

And there it is, my last Garden Share Collective for the year. Happy Gardening everyone 

Garden Share Collective – November 2013

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How is it November already? Unfortunately Sydney has decided to chuck a little tanty and forgo spring, prematurely offering us summer instead. I wish I could be happy about this but given that our street backs onto a National Park and that we are in the midst of a bush fire crisis, a cooler spring would be most welcome. Surely our wildlife and plants must be confused too.

For a quick recap on this series, or if you’re new here (Welcome!), please take a moment to read through these 6 short posts.

I’ve mentioned our bandicoot and possum family before, the bastards who trawl our backyard at night time and eat our plants. Last month I heard a bit of rustling in one of the Camellia bushes we have and there it was. One very cute little possum, munching down a white Camellia flower bud, guilty as charged.

Now, when i saw this little guy, first instinct was to go ‘Awww how cute’ then the reality hit. This was the critter who had not only been eating my flowers, but also the vegetables that were meant for us. My next reaction was to clap my hands really loudly, like if you were trying to shoo away a seagull, but it didn’t scare the little guy. I screamed and clapped loudly again. Nope, nothing. The possum kept eating away on its Camellia bud, completely ignorant to my tactics. I started waving my hands around like a maniac, nothing. I thought maybe the flash on my camera might shy him away. Yeah right.

This little dude was one brave possum. I, however, must have looked like a fruit loop to my neighbours, screaming, clapping and acting like a retard on my front porch.

possum in camelia tree

Here’s that same tree during the day. You can see how close it is to our front door.

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Fortunately though, the bird netting we installed last month has been working at keeping the critters away from our patch. I suppose I can sacrifice a few Camellia flower buds in order for them to stay away from our vegetables!

Our silverbeet:

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and kale…

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We planted some ‘King Purple’ climbing bean seeds and within a few days they were already chasing the sun. They remind me of graceful flamingos

purple king beans

Our String Beans we planted last month have started flowering, however we are yet to see them fruit

french beans

After a long 6 months growing period, we are finally harvesting leeks! We have around 50 still in the ground!

leek plants

We didn’t get much luck again with out carrots, they just seem to grow in the most absurd and deformed shapes. Never mind, my daughter loves pulling them out and having a giggle at the funny shapes.

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It’s taking longer than we originally thought to give our raised pallet garden beds a permanent spot in our garden. Because of our unlevel land and slope, we’re going to have to make a retaining wall to one side and at the back, the raised garden bed is no longer ‘raised’. In order for them to be at the same level and be straight so when we water, the soil doesn’t puddle or slide out, we had to cut into the grass. Hubby is still working of the beds in the front however the back two have are good and ready to go! The plan is to have tomatoes and eggplant’s in the back, and cucumbers and zucchini’s in the front.

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I hope I can have a picture of the finished and final product for you by next month. Our seedlings are crying out to be planted already!

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The leaves on our kipfler potato sack hessian bags started to yellow and die. I thought it was the extreme heat we’ve been experiencing in Sydney (we’ve skipped spring and gone straight for summer!) that killed our plants, but my husband assured me that wasn’t the case and it just meant that the potatoes were trying to tell me they want out! It’s harvest time! I got the scissors out to rip open the bag but it wasn’t necessary, as soon as we tried to lift it onto a wheelbarrow, the hessian sack had completely disintegrated and turned to mush.

potato hessian bags

We managed to lift it somehow and sift through the soil to find these gorgeous little potatoes.

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I was disappointed at our harvest. For some reason I had grand dreams of kilo’s and kilo’s of potatoes and from the 200 grams we planted, we harvested about 1.5kgs worth. This won’t deter me, I might wait for a few of them to sprout, so some more research and try again next month. My Pontiac Potatoes leaves have started to yellow but they’re very much alive still so hopefully in a couple of weeks when I rip open their sacks, we’ll have better luck with them.

kipfler potatoes

Thank you for joining me on another Garden Share Collective post, brought to you by Lizzy at Strayed from the Table.

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Happy Gardening!

Pallet Vegetable Gardens by the handy husband…

making pallet vegetable veggie patch

Bless my husband. He’s a real mans man. The type that’s too proud to call for help, the ‘I’ll do it myself’ type of guy.

He’s a horticulturist and landscaper by trade and when required can be a plumber, electrician, a carpenter, a real jack of all trades.

When I told my husband that I sowed too many tomato seeds (36 popped up!) he said that it was ok, and he’d build me more garden beds. Isn’t he just the best?!

I reminded him about our savings, or lack of and he said it’d be ok he’ll build it for free. Bless him! We didn’t have any bricks left like the second garden bed he made. This one would be made from pallets.

pallets

pallets

Pallets are a fabulous way of recycling wood, are commonly free (just ask your local landscaping supply shop, nursery or even greengrocer)

All pallets, by law, are required to have stamps. Most are heat treated however some are chemically treated making them unsuitable for growing fruit and vegetables. Be sure to look for the HT stamp, confirming the pallets are indeed Heat Treated.

pallet stamps indicating the wood is heat or chemically treated

The husband made one, and I ooh’d and aahh’d at how crafty he was.

This motivated him to make a second.

Don’t you just love the ‘socks and thongs’ look? Bloody Wog!!

Don’t you just love the ‘socks and thongs’ look? Bloody Wog!!

Then a third.

making pallet vegetable veggie patch

And next thing we know, there are four planter boxes!

All in a few hours work, and free!

making pallet vegetable veggie patch

To ensure they last throughout the years, a couple of coats of pure Linseed Oil were applied, both sealing them and bring out the beautiful natural colours of the wood.

My husband’s motto is ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ and sure enough it thrills me to see these complete. I’ve been marvelling his handiness every time I go to the backyard.

I better sow some more tomato seeds!

Garden Share Collective – October 2013

veggie patch

Spring is in full swing in Sydney. The birds are chirping, butterflies flying and pollen flowing. My veggie patch is in overdrive, feeding us daily with its delights.

Onion weeds are also relishing the warmth. They’ll be the bane of me. I spent a whole Saturday morning uprooting onion weeds from my veggie patch, as carefully as I could to ensure I removed the bulb whole. The veggie patch looked wonderfully clean but my back bore the brunt of it.

weeded, and ready to replant

weeded, and ready to replant

Gone too were the coral lettuce and rocket plants that both went to seed. Compost was added to the soil as I aerated it, ready for its new crop.

We planted eggplant, both the large variety and Lebanese eggplants. 6 of each variety from seedlings. I hope they take off, eggplant is one of our favourite vegetables and always present at the dinner table.

The eggplant plant we planted in March somehow survived the winter and kept flowering. The weather was too cold for it to form fruit until now. This little one finally made an appearance after 6 months and I feel like a proud Mumma eager to watch her baby grow.

baby eggplant plant

Our Grosse Lisse tomato plants have been transplanted into larger containers, but really are ready to go into the ground. Space was an issue however a solution has been found, more on that later 😉

Along with the Grosse Lisse seeds, we’ve gone a little tomato crazy and planted the following seeds: Roma’s, Black Russian, Oxheart, tomato Apollo and low acid yellow and red cherries.

grosse lisse tomato seedlings

Hoot’s hair really isn’t growing at all!! She’s had this style now for 2 months and while it suits her, I’d like to give girlfriend a haircut every now and again.

hoot owl planter pot with parsley hair

As I do every Sunday, I took my daughter to our farmers markets for a morning out. I couldn’t believe the price of lettuce. $3 for a small iceberg or $24 per kg for the mixed leaf variety. I haven’t had to buy any for months now, all from a small $2.50 seedlings punnet. And nothing beats home grown. We eat so much lettuce, daily in sandwiches, a leaf ever now and then in a green smoothie and of course our daily salad side with dinner. Best of all, you don’t have to cut the whole plant, just remove however many leaves you require from the plants outer leaves and watch the plant regrow for your next meal.  No space? That’s ok, lettuce is very forgiving and will grow almost anywhere. I grow mine in a terracotta herb pot on my deck.

lettuce seedlings

We have peas!! I had grand plans of serving minted peas with our meals but then never quite make it to the kitchen. The temptation to eat them straight off the plant is too strong.

fresh peas plant

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We have broadbeans!! Ditto peas!! The best snack is walking outside, pinching a few broadbean pods off the plant, ripping them open and enjoying the beans as is. Bliss.

broadbean plant

Kale, kale, kale, never ending kale..

kale plants

Our Silverbeet plants are recovering well from the possum attack. Now that they’re well protected under the net, they’ve quickly rejuvenated and we’ve even been able to harvest some as a spinach substitute in gozleme.

Silverbeet plants

I planted some string bean seeds and talk about Jack and the Bean Stalk, these little suckers made an appearance in just 4 days, and full seedlings in 10 days!

string bean plants

day 4 and day 10

I harvested our baby beetroots last week, nothing quite like home grown. A new batch of seeds were planted directly into the veggie patch as oppose to seedling trays like we did in the past. I may have to thin them out as my hand slipped and too many seeds were thrown in, too close together.

baby beetroot plants

Our Kipfler and Pontiac potatoes continue to just do their thing, happy in their hessian bags.

Kipfler and Pontiac potatoes in hessian bags

We planted up our Blueberry shrub in a blue glazed pot, I hope we’re able to harvest many blueberries in the warmer months to come.

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In the past, I’ve always bought seedlings, reliable and easy to transplant however I have to admit I’m thoroughly enjoying sowing seeds from scratch and watching them grow. Nothing quite like doing a grand tour every morning, chai in hand and seeing the growth first hand.

Buying seed packets has become somewhat of an obsession. Forget shoes and bags, this girl just wants seeds!

The Spring weather has been perfect for cucumbers and a batch of Lebanese cucumbers as well as its close cousin, green zucchini and Lebanese zucchinis were sown last week.

Lebanese cucmber seedling plants

veggie patch

Thank you for joining me on another Garden Share Collective post, special thanks to Lizzy at Strayed from the Table  for hosting this brilliant series.

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My veggie patch’s progress can be found here. We’ve come a long way in the short 4 Garden Share Collective posts. I hope this series has inspired you to don some gardening gloves and embrace the greenie in you.

Garden Share Collective – September 2013

veggie patch

Another month, another In My Kitchen (to follow) and Garden Share Collective post. Doing these monthly, only reminds me how fast time is flying by. It’s spring!

The Garden Share Collection is just that, a collection of vegetable patches across Australia, New Zealand, England and the US, hosted by Lizzie at Strayed from the Table.

I encourage you to view my previous posts HERE to follow my garden progress throughout the last couple of months.

Regular readers would know, my husband is a horticulturist and works at a busy garden nursery. The first weekend of spring is the busiest of the year. Garden enthusiasts come out in their masses, stocking up on seeds, seedlings, punnets and pots. Compost and fertiliser are sold by the tonnes.

He comes home exhausted, often forgoing his lunch break to serve customers and water plants. I know while the days are getting longer, more hours of sunshine and warmth, I can’t rely on him much to help around our own backyard. This baby’s all mine to manage.

Working from home on my new job means I’m tied to the computer and phone indoors so during my lunch break and once 5pm hits, I’m itching to pop on my gum boots and head outdoors.

I do however have a little apprentice. She too likes to don her gumboots and grab her shovel to help Mummy

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potatoes growing in hesham bags

Our Kipfler and Pontiac potatoes are quietly multiplying in their hessian home, it’ll be another month or so before we unearth them and marvel at our crop

Purple Kale plant

Purple Kale plant

Our purple kale plants are in overdrive, producing so much kale we can’t keep up! Kale is on the menu daily and no one’s complaining.

Brussel Sprouts plant

Our brussel sprout plants we sowed from seeds don’t seem to be doing anything! I don’t know if they’re not happy or they’re just taking their sweet time. They’ve been in the ground for 3 months now and were in punnets another 2 months earlier.

peas on lattice

Our sweet peas and broad beans continue to chase the sun.  They’re started producing flowers, peas and beans to follow!

Broccoli plants

broccoli plant

Our broccoli continues to produce broccolini, never quite forming one large head, instead producing masses and masses of broccolini stems. They seem to multiply overnight and like our kale plant, we can’t keep up.  Fortunately the white cabbage moth seen circling the neighbourhood is yet to discover the plants and my crop is completely organic, spray free. Hoots cousin Hooty watches guard.

Silverbeat plant

The pesky possums and bandicoots discovered the silverbeet like I knew they would, munching my crop right down to the stems. Another net was purchased and now protects my patch.

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I had a tray of carrot seeds going in my laundry, basking in the suns warmth by the window. All 200 of them survived the cut, turning into seedlings. I planned on planting them out stage by stage over a week but my crazy girl had other plans, tipping the tray upside down. I was on my knees scavenging and saving as many seedlings as possible. They all had to go in the ground, pronto.

It took 4 hours but they were saved! I planted a carrot in pretty much any spare bit of soil I could find.  In the beginning, I ensured they were planted correctly, spacing them out and lowering the plants roots down into the earth as straight as I could to ensure we get correctly shaped carrots. By the 30th or 40th carrot, I was just shoving them in. My back was breaking and I had another 150+ to go. I just hope it was worth the effort and we get a great crop in 12 weeks time!

Grosse Lisse tomato plant

Along with the carrot seeds, we planted some Grosse Lisse tomatoes seeds. We never expected all 32 plants to take off. I couldn’t help but laugh and think of Glenda at Passion Fruit Gardens and her glut from 17 tomato plants. What are we going to do with 32 plants? I think we’ll give some plants away to family and only plant 10 or so plants in the yard. The seedlings are still too young to be transplanted into the ground so we’re still babysitting the tray for now.

Stevia plant

Another throw out from my husband’s nursery was this Stevia plant. The main branch had broken and there was no way this baby was going to sell.  Mr Wog brought it home, fed it and within a couple of days, new leaves had emerged! I will be planting it in my original garden bed over the weekend. I have no idea what to do with the leaves or how to use it. Any suggestions welcome!

baby spinach and rocket plant

lettuce plant gone to seed

Our rocket and baby spinach plants continue to reward us daily with their leaves. We enjoy a rocket, spinach and lettuce salad daily with our dinner. Our coral lettuce plant however has started to go to seed, no matter how many times I snip away the flower stalk, it produces another one overnight. Time to replace the plant with another. They lived for 3 months and provided us lettuce leaves daily so a well-earned retirement is in order.

dolma leaf grape vineOur grape vine has started to leaf up well, I reckon another month and I’ll have enough leaves to make some dolma 🙂

Romanesco Broccoli Diggers Club

I bought a Diggers Club punnet of 6 heirloom Romanesco broccoli plants for $1 at Bunnings recently! I couldn’t believe they were marked down. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the plant, they were only wilting from lack of watering. Surely it would’ve taken the staff less time to just water the plant then write up a sticker with a new price tag and flog it off? My gain! Even more surprising was that Bunnings is selling Diggers Club seedlings. I was under the assumption that this was an exclusive members only club and only available for sale directly though subscription.

Thanks for joining me in another Garden Share Collective series, see you in the garden next month

xx

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The Garden Share Collection – August 2013

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Welcome to round two of the garden share collection, a lovely series of vegetable patches from all over the world, championed by Lizzie from Strayed from the table.

You’ll find a bit of a background to my vegetable patch, and round one here

So what’s new in this Wogs backyard?

Well, we’ve been attacked. By the crazy little nocturnal Possum family who love to forage around our back yard, and eat what WE should be eating.

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Damn you beetroot-parsley-basil-chilli-capsicum-loving possums.

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Our street comes to life after hours, with bandicoots eagerly digging holes in our lawns every night, rabbits breading and running amok and possums, who up until now were yet to discover our raised patches.  Thats what you get when you live on a street that backs onto a huge reserve.

bandicoot digging holes in lawn grass

Mr Wog brought home some bird netting that we have now covered our veggie patch with, however that was only good for 5 days. The bastards decided to chew through the plastic and still managed to make way for our parsley! Sly, sly, sly.

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So out came the trusty yarn and I’ve managed to band aid the hole. I’m not sure how long it will last, but we’ll make do until we figure something out.

They are yet to discover our newly created vegetable patch with our winter veggies thank goodness.

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So what’s new in the 2nd patch? Our edible purple kale has certainly taken off, and our peas have discovered the lattice, climbing north and chasing the sun. Broadbeans have also been added into the patch.

purple kale

climbing peas

Mr Wog came home one day from work with 4 punnets of throw out Rainbow Chard. Each punnet had 6-8 seedlings. They were throw outs because in the retail garden nursery world, if a plant has signs of damage, yellow leaves, sun spots etc they are not deemed shelve quality and get thrown out. Much like the demand for supermarket ‘perfect’ fruits and vegetables. This annoys me greatly and I could write up a whole post on this subject, but for now I’ll just say I’m grateful to have a husband who works in a nursery and has a great head on his shoulders. We have put them in the bed next to the regular silverbeat and kale. I have no doubt these little beauties will survive and It infuriates me that they would have been doomed for the green bin otherwise.

Rainbow Chard throw outs

Rainbow Chard throw outs

Our grape vine leaf who up until now has been dormant has come back to life with a beautiful new leaf growth. This grape vine has sentimental value to my husband, the tree belonged to his dear Grandma who had passed it onto her daughter, and now my husband. The grape vine has been uprooted from house to house through the generations and continues to live, producing masses of beautiful leaves, used to make dolmas, a hearty Armenian stuffed vine leave with rice and lamb mince.

dolma grape vine leaf

Our chillis remain black for now, except for one ‘lady in red’. We haven’t had enough sun in Sydney over the last month for them to colour up properly, so we continue to enjoy black chillies.

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Our ‘Pixie’ Lemon Tree shows little sign of disturbance since we transplanted her last month. There are a few yellow leaves, however she is producing new flowers and hopefully fruit soon.

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We are experimenting with potatoes this month. I’ve planted up Kipflers and Pontiacs in sacks. Mr Wog bought the potato seeds from work as he said while potatoes you find at the shops sprout, they have more than likely been sprayed to to be safe we’ve bought special ‘seed’ potatoes.

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I spent a good Saturday morning separating one old flat leaf parley pot and as a result was able to pull out almost 40 separate plants!! It’s amazing how one pot can multiply and produce so many pups! I hope these thrive and don’t immediately go to seed. Time will tell 🙂

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The Compost Bin I received for Mothers Day is almost half full. We continue to throw in all our kitchen scraps and it has broken down nicely. I think the mixture is too moist though and lately I’ve noticed a trillion little flies, buzzing around inside. I’m not sure if they’re fruit or vinegar flies or how to get rid of them. Is this suppose to happen? I’ve been googling some information and it ranges from ‘spraying’ the heap which I don’t want to do, to adding more newspaper to dry them out.

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Meet Hoot. Hoot had long straight shallot hair growing on top, but the black aphids destroyed the plant before we were able to reap the benefits of her hair cut. We decided to give Hoot a perm this month with curly parsley. A girl needs a new style every now and again 😉

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See you in the garden again in September!

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The Garden Share Collection – July 2013

Gourmet Wog raised garden bed

I am so excited to do this post, the first of many I hope! I am joining in on the fun of showcasing my Sydney veggie patch as part of Lizzies Garden Share Collection initiative, a collection of veggie patches across Australia and the World.

It’s a great way for us to collect ideas on what to plant, at the season of the city/climate you’re in and contribute in all the fun.

I always wanted a veggie patch of my own, and when my husband (finally) started to clean out our garden he uncovered a whole stack of buried used bricks, in all shapes and sizes and all useable. What a fantastic discovery!! I could already envision the gorgeous veggie patch we were going to have and plans got underway to build up a raised bed using the old bricks, and bags of cement that were left over from our bathroom renovation 3 years ago.

The first patch was built in March 2013 and we planted many different varieties of chilies, capsicum, beets, tomatoes, eggplant, garlic, leeks carrots, celery, rocket, baby spinach, lettuce, thyme, parsley, basil and oregano. Along the back wall is a small passion-fruit tree which will hopefully take over the back fence as they like to climb.

It has become a daily ritual to start the day with a garden inspection or ‘grand tour’ as I like to call it. I take my cup of chai tea, go outside and study any new growth that may have appeared overnight. It’s so relaxing and rewarding to see the plants, fruit and vegetable grow right in front of your eyes!

Gourmet Wog Veggie Patch

March 2013

I did along the way, take monthly photos to follow the progress of the garden.

Gourmet Wog Vegetable Veggie Patch

April 2013

Gourmet Wog Vegetable Veggie Patch

May 2013

Gourmet Wog Vegetable Veggie Patch

June 2013

June 2013

June 2013

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We pulled up our carrots earlier last month after 12 weeks in ground.

Gourmet Wog carrots

What a cracker!! I couldn’t help but laugh at the stumpy funny little carrots that were being uncovered. Regardless of shape, these beauties were the crunchiest and most delicious carrots I’ve ever eaten and unlike any other store bought carrot ever.

Gourmet Wog carrots

It’s certainly not economical to grow your own carrots when you take into consideration the amount of time, soil, fertilizer, seaweed food extract and patience that went into growing these beauties, especially when carrots at the supermarket are $1.50 a kilo, BUT in all honesty they are such fun to grow and the anticipation in what weird shape we would uncover was certainly worth the wait and time and I’ve already got a crop of carrot seeds planted in seedling trays to have another go.

Gourmet Wog Vegetable Veggie Patch

We have a small strawberry plant in a pot that stands over our outdoor setting. It produces the smallest little berries that pack a punch in flavour. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted strawberries so sweet from the shops or markets, ever. Up until early June, they were still strangely producing masses of fruit, however now that the cold and rains have set in, the plant is covered in fruit that will most probably never ripen.

Gourmet Wog green tomatoes

Our Roma tomato tree has gone gangbusters; however now in retrospect I can see why people don’t plant tomatoes in autumn for winter. The plant is flowering and producing masses of fruit, but they’ll never ripen or reach their full potential. Never mind, I, now in June, have a bumper crop of green tomatoes waiting to be pickled and used up.

Gourmet Wog Black Chillies

Our chilli plant (I forget what variety this one is! tsk tsk) goes from green to black and finally to red. It’s always a novelty eating bright black chillies with my meals. Strangely the chillies on the same plant vary in heat. I had my lovely girlfriends over for lunch and we all took a black chilli straight from the plant and into our mouths. Now, I always thought I had a wax coated tongue as my heat threshold is quite high so I confidently took a huge bite. I was crying eating my chilli while my girlfriend was so bravely munching through hers! I didn’t get it! We swapped chillies as we still had a bit left and lo and behold, hers was sweet and mine seemed to have stolen all the heat and packed it into its little body.

Our autumn patch has proved such a delight that I persuaded Mr. Wog into building a second patch, again using the left over bricks and a discovery of yet even more cement in our shed! The raised bed took my husband a weekend to build up, one Ute trailer full of ‘veggie patch soil mix’ from our local landscaping supplier at $55 for the cubic meter and lots of trips up and down our driveway with the wheelbarrow to transfer the soil from Ute to patch.

Building raised garden bed recycled bricks

Building raised garden bed recycled bricks

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We’ve planted the following winter crop vegetables; purple kale, Brussels sprouts, silverbeet, peas, broccoli and some more basil. My carrot seeds began sprouting last week so they will be transplanted into this bed once they’re a little bigger and stronger.

I scored a lattice that was being chucked out – it’ll make for a great support once the peas take off and need something to climb.

We planted a Eureka lemon tree in the ground, at ground level before we completed the first vegetable patch. When we decided to create the second raised garden plant adjacent to the first raised bed, the lemon tree had to be dug up and transplanted back in the same spot, but at the raised soil level. Mr Wog said we couldn’t just fill the soil up and leave the lemon tree as is due to the fact the tree could get trunk rot. I was very upset at the thought of losing my lemon tree (it’s also where my very loved fur baby Pixie kitty cat is buried)  but fortunately the lemon tree, 2 weeks in, is doing just fine. No leaf discolouring or distress.

planting Kale and Silverbeat

The two garden beds, side by side

The two garden beds, side by side

I look forward to updating you next month with the progress and growth of our two wonderful veggie patches!

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Please take a moment to check out my blogging friends veggie patches by clicking on the above logo or clicking here