Garden Share Collective – January 2014


Well the month and in this case the year has ticked around again and it’s time for a garden tour and update.  This month I’m much more excited about the progress in the garden than I was in the last couple of months, mainly because it’s that time of year where everything is growing like weeds (including the weeds themselves) and the harvests are starting.  For a new garden only established in the last couple of months this is highly satisfying.

In the garden at the moment I have…..

Potatoes looks most spectacular.

Spectacular Spuds

Spectacular Spuds

Greens including lots of lettuce, rocket which I can’t quite pick fast enough, pak choy in it’s very early stages and silverbeet.

The patch of greens... plus a little purple.

The patch of greens… plus a little purple.

The sweetcorn is looking wonderful, I’m just sad the germination rate was quite low.  Perhaps the seeds were too old.  Time for some new ones next year.

Yum, sweetcorn

Yum, sweetcorn

A lonely cucumber which is growing oh so slowly – why?

The very small cucumber, grow little one grow!

The very small cucumber, grow little one grow!

Some red and white radishes, mostly picked already, but I have planted more seeds.

Lots of tomatoes of various kinds – ten in all I think and mostly cherry tomato varieties.

IMG_0037 IMG_0035 IMG_0032

Two zucchinis one small and growing little zucchinis (I’m not sure if they’re going to get bigger or if this is it?) and one huge vine trying to take over the whole garden but without a single make flower.  Is this a lack of bees or germination issues?  Is it the same reason the other plant only has little zucchini?  Some zucchini advice needed please!

The zucchini who wants to take over the world, but not produce a single zucchini!

The zucchini who wants to take over the world, but not produce a single zucchini!

The little zucchini plant with little zucchinis.  Can you see them in there?

The little zucchini plant with little zucchinis. Can you see them in there?

Beans – green stringless and red runner beans.  The ones I’ve been training up the tree stump in the corner of the garden are doing quite well, but the zucchini is threatening to take over.

Eggplant and Capsicums – both still very small and unless they really start putting on some growth soon I don’t think I’ll be harvesting much from them.  I wonder if I can over winter the capsicum in this climate as I did in Melbourne.  It might be too cold and frosty here over winter?

And strawberries, ten plants and most with a handful of fruit on them.  I’m hoping they’ll send out runners and colonise the whole garden bed eventually.  I’ll have to do some reading about how to encourage this.


Finally some herbs, spring onions, blueberry and lemon/lime tree in pots all in various conditions.

Harvesting at the moment:

Lettuce, rocket, radishes, strawberries, herbs and spring onions.

To do:

We’re yet to finish the paths around the garden beds, but this is a longer term project which might take us another few months to get done.

In terms of the every day to do list, I need to keep up with the succession planting.  I’ve just put in the pak choy as well as yet another lot of leeks (though I caught the cat digging just where these were) and some radishes and beetroots.  Beans are next on the list.

I’m also in desperate need of some flowers in my garden to attract a few more beneficial insects.  I have sunflowers growing but they’re a way off actually flowering.  I also have cosmos and marigolds in which should flower soon.  I also just planted some more including nasturtiums .

There’s lots of watering needed which has kicked up a notch since we’ve had less rain lately.  Having said that we had good rain on New Years Day and even a little this morning.  And the the temperatures have been very mild for the last week or so and set to continue for at least another week.  Unlike a lot of the country which is experiencing very hot weather.

And that’s the garden for this month.  With any luck there will be lots more harvesting happening next month.  In the meantime I’m heading over the Strayed from the Table to check out all the other Garden Share Collective posts.

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25 Responses to Garden Share Collective – January 2014

  1. Christine says:

    So funny that as you are talking about putting in more flowers, I’m busy planning to rip out my ornamental garden beds!
    I have the same problem with little cucumber plants – I want them to hurry up and grow, I have grand sweet pickled gerkhin plans for those plants!
    Good luck with your strawberries and getting your zuchinni to co-operate!

  2. Thanks for the tour. You have so much going on now!

  3. Linda says:

    I am having that trouble with some of my cucumbers – the ones in beds, where it is cooler than the ones in pots on the fence. The ones in pots are doing fine, although I think there is the same amount of sun – just the fence (wooden paling) absorbs and puts more heat back.
    Love your garden – thank you!

    • Barbara Good says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one with slow cucumbers. And it has been far from warm around here lately, so perhaps if we ever get some summer weather they will respond.

  4. skud says:

    Looking good!

    I wonder if the zucchini is getting more nitrogen than it needs? Supposedly that can lead to lots of leaves and lack of flowers/fruit.

  5. fergie51 says:

    Hang in there with the cucumbers, mine have just taken off and are going gangbusters! Isn’t it great seeing your hard work coming to fruition in any garden, but especially a new one. Strange about the zucchini this season…. I don’t have any male flowers appearing and am trying hand pollinating from male pumpkin flowers. That could prove interesting! Tomatoes are also very slow to show a lot of fruit, usually picking by now and apart from those in the greenhouse not much else to show. Hopefully all the flowers will come good with return of young fruit soon. I’m hoping some summer warmth soon will improve outlook. Great first season for you!

    • Barbara Good says:

      Okay, I’m very interested to see what happens with your hand pollination. Think I’ll have to come up with a solution for my plants too, research required I think. Yes my tomatoes are only just starting to put on fruit now and mostly they are still just flowering. I hope that gets going soon too. We definitely need a proper summer to start.

  6. narf77 says:

    I didn’t plant any cucumbers this season but one grew from seed from last year and it is teeny. Might be something to do with our cooler summer (so far) but I will just leave it and see what happens. I have yellow zucchini going mental with small fruit, blackjack that are HUGE but with no fruit and a few patty pan squash that are ginormous but are producing fruit. No idea why any of them are behaving that way but I am just glad that they are growing ;). Cheers for the link to the gardening site 🙂

    • Barbara Good says:

      Well it seems there are lots of zuchinis behaving strangely this year.

      • narf77 says:

        Indeed there are. I put it down to our long wet winter and sporadic sunshine and perhaps my fully enclosed veggie garden that might be preventing some of the beneficials from pollinating the garden but there are bees etc. buzzing around so obviously that isn’t the answer…someone more elevated in the horticultural world than I am will have to answer that question 😉

  7. renlikesred says:

    Looking great! I have four zucchini plants and three are flourishing but one is similar to your wild one with no flowers. This one was attacked by snails early on and probably also gets the least sun. Last year I didn’t have a lot of luck with cucumbers but this year they are going beautifully with marigolds planted all around their bases. My capsicums are quite slow too but just starting to form so hopefully soon!

    • Barbara Good says:

      I wish my zucchinis were doing that well. None of mine are getting sun cos it’s been so damn cloudy! I’ll have to try putting in marigolds earlier next year. Capsicums are slow going – try over wintering it so it gets a head start next year.

  8. I’ve never seen a zuke trying to take over the world. Its not a sneaky pumpkin is it? Running amok around the garden is more the pumpkin’s style.
    Your gardens look great. I’d love to come and see them one day. 🙂
    My tomatoes are all still pretty small out the back but the ones out the front are happier. They get less sunlight (it’s the south side of the house) but not by too much and they are warmer being higher up the hill (cold air sinks). My pumpkins (all 90+ of them) are finally starting to look like theyre going to take over ze vurld but as yet, 1 flower. My sunflowers have flowers but nothing is open but I do have nasturtium. In fact the bed where they reside appears to be on fire with thier vibrant orange. Things are VERY slow in my garden too which I’m attributing to a cool summer and also new garden beds with insufficient nitrogen. If you’ve build no dig beds it might be worth adding a little more rotted manure or some power feed or blood and bone to give them a boost. I learned last year about nitrogen drawdown where the carboniferous materials (straw and such) used in contruction of the bed used all the available nitrogen. My neighbour who told me this is an agriculture specialist. 🙂

    • Barbara Good says:

      OMG, why did I think of that, of course it’s a bloody pumpkin…. and in the worst possible spot. That explains so much. Yes you must come a visit soon. We have a couple of busy weeks but after that we’re pretty free.
      Glad to hear the toms out the front are moving along and I’m sure the back ones will get there in time. Love the sound of the nasturtiums, they are great colours.
      Will do a feed with something this weekend. Our bed weren’t no dig, but the soil probably wasn’t great. I did put blood and bone down when we planted, but manure etc was probably needed. Oh well we’ll get there.

      • My toms out the back are struggling but that’s due to the soil being a 10 for alkalinity. Tomatoes like it a little on the acidic side – 6-7. No wonder they’re unhappy.

  9. Those zucchini’s are really interesting. Like Rabidlittlehippy suggested its not a pumpkin is it? that rapid growth is incredible. With your cucumbers keep them in a warm spot they love the heat but they also love loads of water. If you find that things have slowed down due to the rains you have been having, maybe think about adding a splash of seaweed or fish liquid to your watering can every two weeks to perk the veggies up.
    Its great to see your garden transform and as a beginner gardener I think you will be rewarded very soon with plenty of veggies.

    • Barbara Good says:

      Yes, the pumpkin tip, very good I think that’s exactly what it is. Just given the cuke a particularly deep water and will do some seaweed solution on the weekend. Hopefully that will get it growing a bit quicker.

  10. Gardens looking fabulous! I can’t believe how big those potato plants are! I hope you get a bumper harvest!

  11. Fantastic, what a great garden you have. The zucchinis, potatoes, strawberries and well, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g looks amazing. I bet you are enjoying gardening and harvesting.

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