Remember my vegie patch? It has well and truly taken off. In fact, it has gone mad. I have done what every newbie does: planted too much of everything. I tried not to, but when a little pot of seedlings has about 15 silverbeet plants in it, one is doomed to fail. I explicitly did not buy a punnet of silverbeet because, in my humble opinion, a little of it goes a long way. As I have told you time and time again, we have been getting mountains of it. So much, in fact, the other day I pulled most of it out. I couldn’t stand it any more. The freezer has not much else in it and it is bursting at the seams.
And then there are the cucumbers …
They look harmless enough. I only put in one little punnet of them (I swear) and look what has happened! Maus and I were in Perth for 5 days and when we came back this is how many cucumbers greeted us. Maus picked everything over 4 inches before she left!! We are too scared to go out and look at the plants just in case we see another cucumber!
I have already made cucumber relish (recipe coming) but I don’t know how much relish two people can eat. We had a cucumber salad with our dinner this evening. Maus complained. “What about some tomatoes?”, she asked. To which I replied, “I thought you would be sick of tomato and cucumber salad by now so I decided to give you something different.”:)
Oh, the tomatoes. Look how much they have grown!! OK, I will admit I put in 2 punnets of tomatoes – Cherry tomatoes and Roma tomatoes. I, obviously, planted them too closely. There are lots and lots of cherry tomatoes on the plants but we can’t get to them to pick! The bushes are so thick. At the moment, we are just coping with the amount of tomatoes but pretty soon, we will be inundated.
If you get down close, you see plenty of green tomatoes.
We have already picked lots of cherry tomatoes. This is about a day’s worth.
… And we are picking the Roma tomatoes. We had slow-roasted tomatoes with our dinner the other night and we will need to again, soon.
The parsley is doing well. Again, I only bought one little seedling tub but there were about 5 plants in it. I pulled one out the other day because it was getting smothered by the tomatoes.
This is the thyme, flourishing as is everything else.
Bloody hell! How can there possibly be any silverbeet left? I thought I pulled it all out.
This is the basil. It is everywhere, and I don’t even like basil.:( In the foreground is the oregano and, on the left, just sneaking into the photo, is a chilli plant. I have three jalapeno chilli plants and a capsicum plant (there was only one in the tub). One of the chilli plants has 4 chillies on it. We didn’t get a shot of it. If you look carefully, you can see about 5 tomatoes behind the basil.
The sage is doing well. I haven’t used any. If it gets close to the end of the season and I have plenty, I will dry it.
Oh, my god, the mint!! Everyone warned me, and I knew they were telling the truth, but I didn’t realise how much of a problem the mint would be. Once a fortnight, I rip it back to a small plant. Within a fortnight, it is rampant again.
In the front of the photo are some rocket flowers. We planted rocket rather than lettuce as it is just too hot here for lettuce in summer. The rocket is doing extremely well (as you would expect) and we are having it with our tomato and cucumber salads.:)
Here is a close-up of the oregano. It is everywhere. I will just have to dry it.
I didn’t get a shot of the bunching onions but, be rest assured, they are bunching. I have sautéed a lot of them and put them in the freezer because we just can’t keep up. Clearly, I bought too much of it: I bought 4 little pots. Next year, I will know better.
We also have coriander which is going to seed before we can use it and I have put in some spring onions but they are struggling to find sun under the cucumbers.
We have 6 asparagus crowns and 3 appear to be doing well. As it is the first year, we haven’t taken any.
Finally, as I have already bragged, our garlic did wonders.
Your “veggie patch” is fantastic, Glenda! Your tomato and cucumber harvest is something to see. You’re going to make some friends and neighbors very happy with your veggie gifts. You can only preserve and freeze so much. 🙂
Hi John. Yes, I am already offering 3 cucumbers at a time. It is always the same with vegie patches – famine or feast, never half measures. I thought I was smart not growing zucchinis (you can’t even give them away here in summer) but my neighbour caught me out. She asked if I wanted any. I said “yes, but only one”. She tricked me! The one she gave me was 1.5kilos!!! I made 11 jars of zucchini relish with it and I have aready made cucumber relish. I will be knocking on people’s doors offering cucumbers soon:)
Congrats!! You really worked hard in your garden,love all your vegies,:-D
Thanks so much!
Thank you for sharing this. I am growing cucumber from seed and I won’t do another tray 🙂
Wise move, Tandy. We picked another 7 cucumbers today:(
As a fortunate beneficiary of some of this produce, I must say that the cherry tomatoes are the best I’ve ever tasted. But as anyone can tell you,shop bought tomatoes taste, at best, like cardboard. It’s always worth the effort to grow your own toms.
There are sure to be more, Steve!
Your soil must be super good, cause you sure are jamming them in there! If I tried that, I’d have a garden full of tiny plants. I did do close planting for one veggie (beets) and the result surprised me – whenever a few beets began to grow better than their peers, I’d pull those for baby beets – that would give the rest a little more growing room, and so they too would soon be big enough to pull for baby beets – I’ve been doing that since March, and I just noticed that I need to pick again. Interestingly, the cold and wet doesn’t seem to kill them as it does other things, and they just keep growing – waiting to see what happens when spring comes.
Hi Doc. Remember, there was no soil. It was weeds, paper, straw, sheep poo, blood and bone and compost. Beetroots must be very versatile. Our friends just brought some around for us and it is so hot here. I am going to grow some in autumn.
Glenda, it’s amazing how well you’ve done in your very first year! You made me laugh – I can just imagine how cross you must be to have to rip stuff out – you who can’t stand to throw old jam out of the fridge or waste anything! 🙂 You need chooks! Of course, you’d then have to cart them in the car between houses.. 🙂
Wish we could grow tomatoes – we get too many bugs here to even attempt it in summer – and we’re getting a decent harvest in cucurbits this year as well. I turned a giant cuke that we’d missed into two jars of bread and butter pickle – want the recipe?
Hi Celia, Home grown tomatoes often get viruses but we are lucky at the moment. Maybe the bugs and the birds don’t know they are there yet.
I would love your recipe, the cucumbers are going to be a problem. We can always preserve tomatoes but there are limited uses for cucumbers.
I know, I had to be cruel to be kind. There is no way we can eat all the parsley we have but I can find a use for the tomatoes, so the tomatoes won… and bloody silverbeet. It is everywhere.
Here you go, Glenda! Next year you can plant zucchini – can you imagine how THAT would take off in your garden? 🙂
Love to Maus! xx
Thanks Celia. There is no way I am growing zucchini!! I just went to visit Renate to give her some cucumbers and she asked if I wanted a zucchini. I said I would have one! You should see the bloody size of it!!!