Autumn…. a welcome relief in the vegetable garden

carrot in seed

Carrot and lettuce in seed for saving.

Autumn is my favourite time in the garden, I can stay outside all day on the weekends digging,weeding, planning and planting, still with a hat on but I don’t have to worry about getting sun-burnt even with sunscreen on!

What I am harvesting from the garden in March:

  • still getting a few roma tomatoes
  • cucumbers, my favourite is the mini muncher
  • bush beans
  • capsicums
  • eggplant – it has just started producing
  • rhubarb
  • beetroot
  • herbs – basil sweet & thai, oregano,thyme,rosemary,mint
  • chillies

Seeds I have planted:

  • Broccoli –  red spouting, De Cicco
  • Mini cabbage
  • Lettuce – freckles & heirloom mix & cos
  • Peas – purple podded dutch pea
  • spinach – bloomsdale
  • carrots
  • Pak choy
  • Poppies
  • Primula
  • beans – sun baby, sex without strings – description from an old seed catalogue reads

“sensuous and tender, the golden curves of this dwarf butter bean are available to all –  with no strings attached.”

To do this month:

  • Remove some Kikuyu from 2 beds for autumn planting
  • Add compost to the beds
  • Add some lime to the beds for the brassicas
  • Do a summer/autumn prune of the fruit trees
carrot in seed

Beds for de-grassing

Perfect time for carrots!

Carrots sown now make good growth and slow down in winter so they can be harvested a few at a time.  Two things to remember about carrots:

  • They love light sandy soils
  • Spread Complete ‘D’ in shallow holes 5cm away from where you have planted them about four weeks after seedlings appear, not at sowing time as high nutrients at germination causes the roots to fork.

Thanks to Malcolm Campbell from 891 talk back gardening Sunday morning for that tip!

I hope that you have had an amazing Summer in the garden and are ready to welcome Autumn. How is your garden going this month?

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Pickled Jalapenos

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The weekend just gone temps were 39 and 41 degrees here in Adelaide, way too hot for me to be out in the garden so instead I pickled the jalapenos I picked earlier in the week.

I mentioned in my last post that we LOVE jalapenos, I had a pretty small harvest last year and we didn’t have enough to last us through the year, it was tragic.  That was not going to happen again!

I planted 7 plants this year and covered the bed they are in with the white bird exclusion netting for the first time, it has been a great success and will use it on more beds.  It has stopped the blackbirds from digging up the bed which has allowed the mulch to stay in place and do it’s job over summer, the soil has been protected and the plants have been healthy.

Ready to go

Ready to go

starting weight

starting weight

The recipe I am sharing is one I got from my mum, a family heirloom, enjoy!

Pickled Jalapenos

For every kilogram of jalapeño’s you will need the following, adjust the recipe according to the quantity of chillies you have.


INGREDIENTS

  •  625ml vinegar of your choice I use white vinegar.
  • 625ml water
  • 50g sea salt or pickling salt, non-iodized salt
  • 20 peppercorns
  • 20 mustard seeds

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Sterilise your jars and lids immediately before adding chillies.  I boil then in a pot on the stove and take them only when I am ready to fill them.
  2. Wash your chillies and with gloves on start slicing them into 5mm thick pieces – don’t worry about being too precise.
  3. Once they are all sliced I put the vinegar, water and salt into a large saucepan and bring it to a slow boil.
  4. Start filing your sterilised jars with the jalapeños leaving a centimetre or so at the top.
  5. Drop in a few peppercorns and mustard seeds.
  6. Carefully pour the hot liquid into your filled jars to cover the jalapeños.
  7. Immediately put the lids on as tight as you can and leave to cool.
  8. Once cool the middle of the lids should of popped in, if not it means they are not air tight and I would put the jar in the fridge and use immediately or do that jar again.

NOTES

Leave your delicious pickles for at least 2wks before opening.  I think they reach their peak about 1mth after pickling.  They gradually become softer over time and best eaten within 12mths.

Chillies, chillies and more chillies

Chilli harvest, the lone chille is firecracker.

Chilli harvest, the lone chilli is the fire cracker.

The weather forecast for Saturday is 39 degrees, a real stinker….. as we refer to them in South Australia.  I am always busy the night before a hot day, watering, getting the shade cloth ready to go over my garden beds, and I like to do a big harvest of what ever is ready to remove some stress from the plants

Kitchen garden

Kitchen garden

My tomatoes and capsicums aren’t ready have been waiting for some heat, but I had lots of chillies and 1 eggplant.  I have a kitchen garden close to the house just outside the back doors where I grow food that I pick daily, herbs, chillies, lettuces, spinach and flowers, In there are:

  • 1 thai chiili birdseye 7/10
  • 2 red chillies which are 5/10 for heat
  • 1 firecracker chilli 8/10 heat

photos_092-3(rev 0)

Down the back in my main vege garden I have planted 7 jalapenos plants, our favourites!  I pickle them and we eat them throughout the year, I am in for a bumper harvest this year as you can see from this photo, this is my second big harvest for the season.  The red chillies I freeze and use them throughout the year as well, I will have enough to last me the year which is great.

Jalapenos in garden bed.

Jalapenos in garden bed.

The last chilli is my dog!  Yes her name really is Chilli  she is is a 9 year old mini dachshund and my gardening companion.  A lazy gardener, any opportunity and she will find the comfiest spot and have a rest.

Chilli

Chilli