In the middle of a stinking hot Summer day, in the midst of a heatwave in Australia, you are either in water or inside. Today I opt for inside and take the chance to share with you some nicer pictures of my garden taken in the last few days, as opposed to the wilting garden trying to make it through the day on the water I gave it early this morning.
I grow food and have done for about 20 years off and on. I’ve been using heirloom variety seeds for a lot of that time, as well as buying seedlings from markets or nurseries when I needed a catch up or head start. This has been done while renting, and it continues in this home which we moved to in June this year.
This time round I aim to grow all or mostly heirloom varieties, and all from seed. I have always grown organically and nothing changes there.
We have an apricot (pictured), plum and two lemon trees. Both the stonefruit are fruiting now; apricots are being eaten by large black ants and the plum by the local parrots before they are ripe… sharing is caring!
I’ve planted sweetcorn, tomatoes, cucumbers and climbing beans together in one bed. I’m using the corn like stakes for the other plants; the beans (pictured left – purple king climbing bean) haven’t needed much encouragement. The cucumbers (right) I’ve gently wrapped around and onto the corn stems and leaves, as well as leaning tomatoes towards them and hooking some of the lateral growth over the leaves of the corn. I did originally plan to tie the tomatoes to the corn stems as you would to a stake, but later decided to see if I could train them well enough to be supported by the corn. A plant was planted next to every corn plant. Next time I’ll plant closer together with the expectation that this will make it easier to keep plants upright and supported, particularly tomatoes.
The zucchinis with dead flowers on the end need harvesting. You can pick them as early as you like, usually the earlier the sweeter. If they are left they become a darker colour and take on a ‘woody’ texture – the outer skin becomes tougher. That said, I have had large woody zucchinis before which were perfectly tasty on the inside. I love baking them.
Since taking this photo, these butternuts have grown even wilder, out onto the path – I’m constantly pushing them back so I can get to the clothesline! They are starting to reach towards the top of the neighbours fence (maybe they’ll get free butternuts).
French purple globe artichoke. I’m letting one go just so I can see the flower. The only other time I’ve grown these was at the last place we were renting, I planted them at the wrong time of year and the frost knocked their socks off, so I didn’t get to the flowering stage.