Six on Saturday – W31/2020 – July in the veggie patch

We have had some gorgeous weather this week, with mainly sunny days which has allowed the garden to dry out after all the rain we had. I have pruned back the Dombeya, Rose of Sharon, and Iresine herbstii (blood leaf), and used some of the cuttings to propagate more plants. On Friday we went to buy a 1/4 scoop of sand for laying another brick pathway, and noticed that the local tip had free mulch available, so we offloaded the sand and went back for a load of mulch. We collected another load this morning too. I placed most of it around the plants in the front garden.

I usually focus on the vegetable garden at the end of every month, and that is what this week’s Six on Saturday is all about. Let’s get started …….

The vegetable garden is quite productive in winter, and it is the best time of the year to grow salad greens, brassicas and legumes. We have a lovely supply of greens – spinach, lettuce, tatsoi, celery, kale and chard. The wombok has been chomped by bugs, but we always leave it in the garden as the bugs prefer it to the other vegetables.

Overall view of the vegetable garden. The tatsoi that is growing outside the fenced area is self-seeded, and it is enormous! We will let it flower as it is a magnet for pollinators.
Wombok, mint, tatsoi, celery broccoli and a central rainbow chard.

Towards the back of the vegetable garden is a black A-frame which is supporting the telephone peas. Mr S has added some very tall sticks to the structure to provide additional support for these peas as they continue to grow in height. They are over 6′ tall. We picked our first pea pod this week, and the peas were sweet and delicious.

This year we sowed carrot seed into large plastic pots as a trial to see if they would grow in our garden. They did, and the carrots are now ready to harvest. The extra depth of soil provided by the pot, and the additional sand added to the potting soil both ensured good carrot development. We will continue growing carrots in pots from now on rather than to sow directly into the garden beds.

Carrots growing well in a pot. The wombok is on the left.

Another potted plant ready for harvesting is the ginger. The leaves had died back, so we dug the up the tubers. This clump was harvested from one pot. Mr S cleaned the tubers and thinly sliced the ginger and dried the slices in the food drier. Once dried the slices were powered using a small food processor. There should be enough powered ginger for our cooking needs to tide us over until the next season’s harvest. We still have another plant to harvest.

Towards the bottom of the garden are the New Guinea banana plants, which grow are in slightly damper conditions than the rest of the garden. This variety of banana has shorter plants with very tasty fruit. This is the second banana plant to shoot out a spike of fruit.

Also at the bottom of the garden is a Bishops cap pepper plant which has thrived in the garden since we moved here just under three years ago. Although the plant fruits prolifically, we are not usually luckily enough to harvest any, as the birds and possums get to them first. I was surprised as there is a little heat in these fruit, especially if the seeds are consumed. This poor plant needs some TLC in the form of nutrients, by the look of those leaves.

That is my Six on Saturday for this week. I’ll be doing an armchair tour of the Six on Saturday gardens world wide! If you pop over to the mastermind of this pastime, The Propagator, you too can enjoy seeing what is happening in their gardens. Have a wonderful gardening week!

15 comments

  1. Until recently I would have had very little interest in vegetable greens, and Lees interest in reading about others’ greens.
    But I am changed. You’ve got such a great selection and particularly so for winter.
    You say winter is best for growing greens. Is it that winter is mild and summers are too hot? Confused…

    • Glad you changed your mind about vegetable greens! You are correct! Winters are mild, with day temperatures in the 20’s or slightly lower. No frost at all where we are. Our summers are hot – normally in the 30’s and usually accompanied by high humidity, and greens such as lettuce and the Asian greens tend to bolt even before they are mature. They prefer cooler conditions. It has taken us a while to adapt to this climate, and to learning what can and can not grow here.

      • Yes it’s all about timing and adapting. We get about 10 frost nights here, but I’m going to sow plenty winter lettuces, some outside and some in glasshouse. Happy days!

    • Thank you. Our soil is clay, and I think the ginger would probably rot in that, so we just use large pots to grow it in. We do the same with turmeric (which we still need to harvest). It works well! Galangal also grows well here, but we prefer the ginger. Our neighbours galangal has spread into a huge area in her garden. That would be better off growing in a pot too.

    • Thank you. Our winters are not too cold here in the sub-tropics. I think our lowest temperature was 6 degrees C. Summers are just too hot and humid for lots of veggies.

  2. You introduced me to things I had never heard of before! Wombok and tatsoi, and I looked up telephone pea as well. Wombok sounds like an animal, part wombat maybe! Beautiful ginger.

    • Ha, ha! I like the wombat link! The Wombok and the Tatsoi are both Asian greens, which I have only recently tried. I’d never heard of telephone peas before this winter, but Mr S had grown them before. I just can’t believe how tall they are – 2.5m in height! The peas are very tasty indeed! We are very pleased with the Ginger, and must harvest the turmeric soon too.

  3. That ginger is amazing. Actually all your veggies, even those I’ve had to google (like wombok) are impressive. Great to see a banana plant that actually produces fruit, the only ones I’ve seen are grown for decorative purposes.

    • The wombok and tatsoi are Asian greens, which I not heard about either until I moved to Australia. They are very easy to grow. Growing bananas is a first for me and I’m thrilled to see the fruit developing. Unfortunately the veggie garden won’t look as impressive in summer.

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