February, Phew glad it’s over! It’s a hard month on the garden. My garden was in fairly decent form early in the month and went downhill from there. While the shade cloth frames protected the plants from the scorching heat these domes became aphid breading grounds. It didn’t take long either, 3 days of being covered and the jalapeno leaves were covered. A strong jet of water blasted them off and I was pleasantly surprised how well they came back and are still producing.
I didn’t do a lot of gardening this month there were no new plantings, a little weeding, lots of covering/shading and plenty of harvesting and preserving.
start of the month
rhubarb going well
flowes & oregano
end of the month
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
The recipe I am sharing is one I got from my mum, a family heirloom, enjoy!
For every kilogram of jalapeño’s you will need the following, adjust the recipe according to the quantity of chillies you have.
- 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
- 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.
- Wash your chillies and with gloves on start slicing them into 5mm thick pieces – don’t worry about being too precise.
- Once they are all sliced I put the vinegar, water and salt into a large saucepan and bring it to a slow boil.
- Start filing your sterilised jars with the jalapeños leaving a centimetre or so at the top.
- Drop in a few peppercorns and mustard seeds.
- Carefully pour the hot liquid into your filled jars to cover the jalapeños.
- Immediately put the lids on as tight as you can and leave to cool.
- 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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.