Pick of the week

A fun idea started by fellow gardener muddy boots and fingernails on her blog this season, I have joined in a couple of times but haven’t felt like I have had ‘the best picks’ lately.  I think I have been taking my produce for granted!

Seasonal growing is about harvesting and eating what is in season and eating the same vegetables for most of that season.  Purple sprouting broccoli a couple of times a week, silver-beet and spinach most nights, delicious sweet green home grown peas a couple of times, coriander on call as it doesn’t go to seed in winter, ruby red sticks of rhubarb and lots of home grown lettuce. I momentarily forgot the magic of eating seasonally and that every pick from my garden is pick of the week!

Thanks for the reminder, and here is a basket of picks of the week.

photos 536

Advertisements

My Inaugural Greenhouse review – August

Welcome to my first greenhouse review, I have been inspired by Julie from Peonies & Posies who each month updates us on the happenings in her greenhouse.  Julie and some of the other bloggers who share their greenhouses are from the Northern hemisphere where they would experience similar challenges with the cold as I do with the heat in my greenhouse.

photos 532

I remember when we moved to our home a greenhouse was one of the first things I wanted for my garden. I started off with a plastic greenhouse that got broken into by thieves looking for some ‘medicinal weeds’ another time there was a rat in there and the dog who was trying to get in had the plastic in her mouth and was tugging on it so violently made the shelves fall over with all of my newly sprouted seedlings.  I can remember Mr.GH showing me the destruction when I got home and the efforts he had made to try and get the tiny seedlings back into the punnets knowing I would be upset.

First greenhouse

First greenhouse

A new greenhouse was designed and built for me by Mr GH for me in 2009.  He built it using salvaged steel for the frame and we clad it in clear polycarb sheets, this product reduces the heat transmission and provides protection from UV rays.  We placed the greenhouse in the right hand corner of the yard and the size is 2600 x 1900 x 2200.  

We have since moved the greenhouse to its new position which is on the left hand side of the yard, it is in the corner of the orchard now and gets more shade in summer from the peach and apricot tree’s.  Heat is the biggest challenge for me with the greenhouse.  We have just recently installed an automatic vent opener which has made a huge difference already in reducing the inside temperature, we will also install a louvre  window in the bottom section of one of the walls for increased airflow for when the door is not open.

The first thing I did was give it a good clean out as it had become a store area and get rid of most of the red back spiders, I salvaged a new white shelf that some-one kindly left out the front of their house, potted up some pretty polyanthus for colour for inside and outside some winter flowering annuals.  I have moved the mint to the greenhouse we all know mint does not like the cold and it has bounced back beautifully and I have the first of my spring/summer seedlings in the greenhouse.  I have 2 trays currently in the germination tray and will move them in once they have sprouted.

Seeing and reading about other bloggers greenhouses has been a great inspiration for me, It has given me the motivation and determination to make my greenhouse more useful and find solutions to the challenges with the heat, thanks everyone!

A special “seed” delivery

In the chilly southern hemisphere we are starting to think about our summer gardens, all the produce I have been reading about and seeing on other gardeners blogs in the north we are anticipating here in the south.

photos 539

With this anticipation I have been “browsing” the web for seed suppliers in Australia and found a new one!  www.australianseed.com  I found they have a comprehensive range of fruit, vegetables,flowers and natives.  I was able to order 2 beautiful looking chillies that I haven’t seen before a Mexican chilli Passilla Bajio they describe this as having a smokey flavour and  Chilli cayenne long purple.  Also 2 capsicums I haven’t grown before Jimmy Nardello and Bull’s horn.

They send the seed in small plastic envelopes with comprehensive germination information, they list the depth for sowing and the days to germination, which I love. They also list any additional germination requirements for example, I purchased some Brachyscome seeds and I need to sow them on the surface cover lightly and they require light and heat to germinate, I would not have known that and would of most likely been unsuccessful unless I fluked it!  I have found Diggers no longer list the days to germination they list the % of probable germination. I’m not really that interested in how many will germinate I want to know how long so I can try and group the same time together and not have to guess if they are viable or not if they haven’t come up.

I received my special delivery today and look forward to getting them into some seed blocks in the next few days.

Are you planning on growing any new varieties this summer?

Garden share collective – August

TheGardenShareCollective300pix1I am very happy to be linking up with a group of fellow gardeners from around the world who share what has been happening in their gardens in the last month.  This initiative was started by Lizzie from strayed from the table, to share and encourage  us to grow more of the food we eat.

July has been cold and wet here in Adelaide, we are in the middle of winter and I enjoy the seasons in the garden.  I have given my  small greenhouse a  renovation, a good clean out, put another shelf in, and got a new vent opener which is automatic and temperature controlled so I can use my greenhouse a lot more.

Harvesting

I have been harvesting peas which have shot up in the last month, green and purple broccoli, I thought I had a purple cauliflower which I purchased at a gardener’s market turns out it is broccoli.  Lots of silver beet, beetroot, lemons, red and green lettuce and some chillies.

Planting

Last month I cleared out my strawberry bed and picked up my bare rooted runners from Diggers and planted them a couple of weeks ago. I chose a new variety – Kamu  Diggers describe them as:

Kamu takes its name from the Aboriginal word for ‘blood red’ which describes the colour of this fragrant strawberry.  An Australian bred variety that produces lots of large sweet berries in summer and autumn

photos 521

I have also been making lots of seedling blocks with my new blocker and have 70 seeds underway in the green house.

Jobs to do

I need to feed the lemon tree, still have some perennials to prune, spray the orchard again with kocide, make more soil blocks for seedlings and want to build a couple more garden beds, I should say supervise a couple of new beds being built by Mr Gardeninghands… lol

Thanks for having a look around, hope you have been able to get out into your garden.

In a vase….

Last weeks stir fry in a vase only lasted 1 day we had it for dinner last Wednesday, it was a bit of fun and what I had in the garden.

photos 506

This meme has me looking at my garden in a different way, I’m looking to cut greenery and bring it inside.  I love having flowers inside and in the past would buy them and not cut what’s in the garden, I have read on other gardeners blogs that I am not alone in this ‘phenomenon’.

In the middle of winter, what is flowering very well are the  Osteopernum’s, I have never thought to use them as a cut flower until today!  In my vase today are:

  • Osteopernum 3D
  • Gaura dark pink
  • Dianthus sweet william

I have used a small round vase and with the left overs used a very small milk bottle like what we used to get in primary school when they delivered milk (that was along time ago…)

photos 509

Thanks to Cathy for developing this thought provoking and enjoyable group where we all post what we have found for our vases.

Seed storage – the vault

I love seeds!  The ritual I spoke about in an earlier post of studying the new catalog every season, making a trip to the Diggers shop and purchasing a few, OK lots, of little paper envelopes, you all know the ones I mean……

Once the precious cargo is home, how do you store your seeds?  I started with a couple of glass jars in the early days then an old ice cream container and most recently 2 cardboard boxes, I have divided vegetables and  flower seeds now that I have so many.

From what I have read some seed will keep for a maximum of 10 years in optimum conditions. I certainly don’t have these conditions and should compost old seed earlier but I find it super hard.  I have started sowing old seed and if none germinate I compost them packet and all. With all of that I still have lots of seeds.

I have been asking Mr. Gardeninghands to make me a wooden seed box for  a little while now and with my most recent purchases asked again and he whipped one up over the weekend.  It is fantastic!  Its light, I have been carrying it over to the green house, I can bring it inside when the temperatures are extreme and there is room for more seeds just in case…..

Would love to know how you are storing your seed?

Mondays vase – a stir-fry in a vase

photos 481

Keeping with the theme of my last vase, I went out into the garden had a look around and decided it was another edible vase.

photos 477

I  gathered some green and purple sprouting broccoli, kale and beetroot leaves and finished it off with a branch of chillies from the kitchen garden.  That’s when I thought “It’s a stir-fry vase”.

We will be enjoying the contents of this vase for dinner tomorrow night!  I am linking up with Cathy and other gardeners who share their vases on Monday & Tuesday, thanks for having a look.