Veggie Patch Ramblings
Sometimes I compare my veggie patch to others. When I’m flicking through a gardening magazine or online, I see an awesome looking veggie patch and think to myself, I want my veggie patch to look like that, NOW. Today! And if I could magically have that awesome looking veggie patch in that instant of time, would I be any more content with it than I am with my current veggie patch when I’m not comparing it with others….probably not.
You see that’s when I realise how much I enjoy the process of creating, nurturing and loving MY little veggie patch. The early mornings when I potter around checking how the progress of some bean seeds I’ve sown and getting excited when I can see a sprout popping out of the soil, the feeling of Wow, look the first cucumber, looking at a zucchini flower and thinking how pretty it is, the list goes on….
So this month has seen my patch develop and as the SE Qld weather starts to warm up, I’m amazed at how quick the growth can be. Rocket popping up within three days of sowing, Ceylon spinach starting to take off, climbing beans sprouting in less than a week and the kids’ sunflowers growing at a rapid rate.
Here are some snapshots of what has been happening in my little veggie patch.
My zucchinis are flowering and a couple of days ago, I could see my first little zucchini. Now I have never done anything to my zucchinis apart from water them and have usually had success with a bumper crop of zucchinis but last time they did not do this in fact I hardly got any zucchinis at all and the ones that would start would not even develop.
Then I started hearing people talk about hand pollinating their zucchinis, this sounded interesting so I used trusty Google and learnt more about it and now I know what to do if this happens again. Check out the link at the bottom of this post for more info.
It has been exciting to watch my first cucumbers grow. They are the Lebanese ones which I prefer to the marketmore or burpless ones which we have grown before. Why? Well, because they don’t seem to grow as quick as the others ones, often there would be this rapid growth in the marketmore or burpless and the skin would be tough (I don’t peel my cucumbers) and they’d be too seedy. So it’s a personal preference thing.
My excitement in watching my cucumber plants develop has been a bit tainted by noticing a patch of mildew on one of the plants. I did some research on it and found that it was powdery mildew…not good, have cut off the infected leaves but will be making up a remedy to spray on the leaves as it seems to be spreading 🙁
I had to find a new home for the thyme and oregano. When I popped them in, I thought it was a great spot until a random tomato plant started growing over the top of them and taking over their space. I was hoping the transplanting didn’t disturb them too much, anyway at this stage they seem to be ok.
I love having herbs in the garden. They really can jazz a meal up. My favourite at the moment is good old parsley, it’s high in iron as well which I’m needing at the moment.
I am lucky to have a friend down the road who always has bales of hay. One of my garden beds needed mulching so was able to do this one Saturday afternoon. The bed was a bit weedy and because the zucchini plants were quite big, I was able to get my 20mth old to help me weed it before mulching. If you have read my post kids in the garden, you will know what I mean.
This month I picked up some interesting looking seedlings called Mountain spinach from the markets. I was attracted by their colour and when I was told that it could be eaten like spinach, I thought I will give it a go but I was forgetting that the Ceylon spinach runs rampant in our patch over summer, we will be up to our ears in spinach 🙂 There will be loads of cheese and spinach pastries on the menu!
Lesson learnt this month – I will no longer leave any seedling trays in the reach of the 20mth old. It is too much of a temptation for her curious hands and below is the result. Outcome – no capsicum seedlings for the moment.
Wow, just writing about my veggie patch makes me appreciative and grateful that I’m able to grow some of my own food as well as enjoying the processes that go along with it. I would love to hear what has been going on in your veggie patch this month. Feel free to comment below.
Hand pollinating zucchini flowers by Green Change – If you’d like to read more about this, check out this post http://green-change.com/2009/05/20/hand-pollinating-zucchini-flowers/