June saw the cooler weather arrive. I enjoy this time of the year. The cooler weather crops like mizuna and coriander make their appearance in the patch. Because I let these crops flower and go to seed in the patch, the wind scatters their seed round and I’m delighted when they pop up in all sorts of places!
Coriander – you either love it or hate it
Ask anyone if they like coriander and you usually get a strong reaction. It is interesting because I did not like the taste of coriander until a few years ago. My taste buds changed and I started using coriander in my cooking. I like growing herbs that I enjoying eating in the garden. It means I don’t have to buy a bunch and have half of it go to the compost (I cook for three kids but I’m the only one who likes coriander.)
Coriander is a cooler weather crop especially in our sub-tropical area. Trying to grow it in summer or even spring sees this herb flower and go to seed rather quickly. I don’t do much to look after the coriander that has randomly popped up in my patch. I just make sure that it doesn’t get too dry, like most of the edibles in the patch.
Adding a kick to my salads
Mizuna is a brassica. Even though mizuna is a brassica, it doesn’t seem to get attacked by bugs like other brassicas (cabbage, broccoli). The mizuna I have growing in the patch is purple – quite pretty. Its purple colour and delicate leaf shape makes it so. Mizuna can be eaten raw or cooked (I throw it in a stir fry at the end) It has a spicy flavour. As it gets older, this spiciness intensifies. A little goes a long way when it gets like this. You don’t want a salad or stir fry overpowered by mizunas flavour – it will be all you can taste!
Mizuna is another low maintenance edible. I have found that most plants that have grown randomly are strong and don’t need much attention.
When I got back home from a weekend trip away, the snowpea plants had grown tall. I was able to pick a handful of snowpeas when I returned – always a welcome gift.
Kale and dill continue to be happy. I harvest my kale as single leaves from the plant (not as a bunch) so it keeps on growing throughout the winter.
Dill has liked the cooler weather as well. These dill plants are the best ones I have had in the patch – they are bushy and growing strong. They light colour and delicate feathery leaves make a pretty contrast next to the dark green, crinkly kale leaves.
That is what I have noticed this month in the patch. The different shades of green. I’m not an artist so I’m not sure of the different names for green but I sure have appreciated the light shades – silvery curry plant all the way to the deep green comfrey leaves. Because these plants grow close to each other, their unique shades of green are more noticeable.
Cheeky Guinea Pigs
And a quick update on my guinea pig situation. They are still roaming freely but do seem to go back to their side of the fence at night. The sorrel did start to grow back but was re-discovered by the guinea pigs. I found them in my patch a few times, nibbling on the mizuna which I found interesting. But I did shoo them away when they were in the patch because I also noticed some silverbeet plants nibbled at. They can have as much mizuna as they like but not those small silverbeet plants!
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WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR JUNE HAPPENINGS IN YOUR VEGGIE PATCH? WE WOULD LOVE TO KNOW! PLEASE LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.