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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Late summer in the vegetable garden

February in the garden has been a month for planning, researching and soil replenishment.  It has mostly been too hot for too much gardening, apart from watering and basic maintenance. 

30mm of rain has fallen on our property in the last fortnight which has washed the dust off everything and proven to us that it can still rain.



 My family have kindly assisted in collecting several large trailer loads of sheep manure from underneath our woolshed to top up my depleted vegetable beds.  Armed with rakes, buckets and a wheelbarrow this has proven to be a perfect Sunday morning family outing.


This beautiful book was a thoughtful surprise from my Valentine.  The Little Veggie Patch Co's guide to Backyard Farming is presented in a month by month format.   Each chapter contains a list of vegetables, fruit and herbs to plant and harvest as well as extra activities, tasks and recipes relevant to the month.   For me this format is easy to follow and encourages forward planning in the garden.  At times I struggle to remember critical times,  particularly for vegetables such as asparagus, beetroot and rhubarb and this books makes finding this information a breeze. 

If you need a little gardening motivation in an attractive, informative and humorous book I recommend this is a great resource. 


Last Sunday the children and I filled this old saucepan with bits from the garden.  I couldn't help but smile at the colour and texture in this little harvest. 


We have just enjoyed this season’s first pumpkin and the same vine is still flowering. 


The tromboncinos are vigorous and producing enormous zucchinis when left to their own devices.  Here you can see them almost growing vertically and starting to tangle with my asparagus ferns.  It is going to be a big task to get rid of this vine when the weather cools off.  A clean up at the end of the season always feels good though.  


My two quince trees have set their first small crop.  These trees were planted in 2011 and I am very happy to see them starting to set fruit. I dream of the day I bring this furry fruit into the kitchen.


This terracotta birdbath provides a welcome dip for the birds in our garden on a hot afternoon.  Native saltbush and other native shrubs have popped up around the edges   giving this corner of the garden a natural feel.


Are you looking forward to Autumn?
What is happening in your garden? 

46 comments :

  1. how lovely that it's rained in bh too..it's rained here after a very hot and dry january and it's such a relief..today it's only 20 deg c after 2 weeks of 30+ days..

    i have pumpkin envy jane..that's one thing that hasn't done well in my garden..the plant's flowering away and the rudimentary fruit develops but they just yellow and die..yesterday i did a bit of artificial pollination..i'll be interested to see if it has worked..

    i have a bird bath too that on very hot days i refill several times..i've had a family of magpies visiting daily throughout summer and they take turns to have a drink and a bath..they amuse me the way they get in and flap about..

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    1. Hello Jane, lovely to hear from you as always. I am not experiencing a bumper pumpkin crop but I am grateful for the few I have picked, they are so sweet!

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  2. That quince looks delicious Jane. I love stewed quinces! Pleased to hear you have had a good share of the rain.

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    1. Thanks Kate, yes I am looking forward to stewed quinces too!

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  3. I was looking at this book online yesterday...does it also offer anything in terms of bugs/pests for each type of plant...that's really my main issue on the balcony. Your garden looks WONDERFUL! I'm hoping that I'll soon be given a plot at our local community garden...if I do get it I'll be looking at things like corn, zucchinis, cucumbers - anything that needs a bit of "space".

    Your garden looks magnificent...as always!

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    1. Thanks for your generous comment Mel. I cant wait to hear about your community garden plot. As I said on your blog, the book does contain some info on pests for individual vegetables.

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  4. That book sounds great. Right up my ally. Thanks for the recommendation. Great pictures on your blog Jane.

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    1. Thanks Gillian, I know you would love this book :)

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  5. that is a perfect portrait of that butternut pumpkin, so tall and proud! i am envious of your garden (and your rainfall) and really need to stop making excuses and get better at mine. thanks for the envy/inspiration jane (as always!).
    and yes i look forward to autumn -it's generally considered the best time of year in hobart.

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    1. Thanks e, I imagine autumn in Hobart would be beautiful.

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  6. I have heard of the Veggie Patch book and visited their Pop Up Patch above Federation Square in Melbourne before xmas. Love what I've seen so far and your review of the book makes me think it is going to make a perfect present for a loved one. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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    1. This book would be a perfect gift Lucent! My husband could not have picked a better Valentines gift.

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  7. Wow so much growth and lush deliciousness! I love this blog xx

    www.mindfullygreen.com.au

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  8. Your garden is looking great Jane! Glad to hear you got some rain. We've had a fair bit, but are still hoping for more :-)

    Hope you're having a lovely day!
    Sarah x

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    1. Thanks Sarah, we can almost never have enough rain can we?

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  9. Sigh. We were looking at our tromboncinos growing over the dome frame (we now refer to it as the Thunderdome) and wondering how on earth we were going to get rid of it. It seems to have really slowed down in terms of fruit productions too. Glad to hear you're still getting a good yield from it! x

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    1. I have sent my children into the garden this morning with the cutting equipment Celia, today is the end of the road for the tromboncinos. Thunderdome sounds like a perfect description!

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  10. I can't believe that you have such a wonderful vegie patch in Broken Hill! Your photos always make me want to go back to the country...

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    1. Thank you Becca, yes with a bit of persistence we manage to grow something most of the time. The recent rain has helped!

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  11. I've had that book on the wishlist for a while. so you would recommend it.
    It's lovely seeing all your garden photos and freshly picked produce.
    The garden beds will love the addition of the sheep poo. Hopefully you'll get a bit of rain out your way to help out too.
    x

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    1. I am fairly sure you would love the book Zara, just from what I pick up through your blog!

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  12. I love it when you take us into your garden Jane as it always looks so wonderful and productive. I'm trying to track down some tromboncino seed as yours look so fabulous, though I'm not sure if they'll grow quite so successfully here. We have the first signs of spring in England, which is very welcome!

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    1. They would be worth a try Anne, I am not sure if the Diggers Club send seed overseas. Maybe there are some quarantine restrictions?

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  13. Hi Jane, I love visiting your site and drooling over your garden and farm. You make it look effortless, even though I have a tincy tiny inkling of the amount of work that must be involved in your property. I don't know how you do it! I love the start of Autumn as this is when my vegetable patch is at it's most productive and I am collecting the greatest amount of produce for the year. The cooling of the weather and move into the slower growing period I do not enjoy so much...Collecting loads of produce from my garden makes me more creative with recipes and I love that excitement of collecting it and then deciding what to make with it :)

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    1. You are very kind Kyrstie. It is certainly not effortless but it is worth the effort, as you know! Happy autumn gardening days to you.

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  14. Your vegie patch is a total inspiration to me. I can't wait until I have such wonderful produce to pick, however, as you said, building up the soil is such a major part of the puzzle! I bet it was a relief to get that bit of rain, it's been a dry summer!

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    1. Thanks for calling in and yes soil improvement is a big part of growing food isn't it!

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  15. Another lovely post Jane..lovely to see your quinces...maybe some quince paste coming up :)..it`s about time we got back to some vegies in the garden as well, your garden is looking very productive as always!!

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    1. Thanks Paula, I am not sure I will enough for quince paste...maybe next year!?

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  16. Great to hear you've had some rain, I'm sending rainy thoughts your way for more. I'm envious of that trailer load of sheep poo!

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  17. Another enjoyable post. It's all rain, rain, rain here in Brisbane. Everything is lush if a little soggy. There's been a huge flourish of growth and I just had to cut back the Rosemary bush so it didn't crush the Rocket. I would like a little sun though to encourage some of my new seedlings acquired at a crop swap last week.

    I recommended your blog to a friend who was looking for inspiration - she wasn't exactly sure what to blog about. I told her it doesn't just need to be about food or gardening or kids, it can be all! Thanks J

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    1. Thank you Fiona. I hope your seedlings are enjoying a little sunshine!

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  18. How exciting to have quinces growing, Jane! I can't wait to see how you prepare them. So many beautiful things growing in your garden. I love the colour of the harvest. Your children must love life on the land.

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    1. Thanks Lizzy, I didn't think I would ever be picking my own quinces, it is amazing the different directions our lives take isn't it?

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  19. I envy your garden. It's been one disaster after another in my garden this past spring and summer and mostly because I've been focussed on other things and have barely had a full day to spend out there. I am already dreaming of ways to make it up to the garden through winter.

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  20. Thanks Katie. I wish I could say I spend days pottering leisurely in my garden but the reality is that I grab 10 minutes whenever I can. I hope one day there might be time for a more gentle pace :) Good luck for your autumn and winter vegetable gardening!

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  21. What a great haul you got from your garden! I wish mine would look half like that! I love fresh produce...one day I hope to have more time and space for a big vegie and herb garden. I'm a summer girl, so quite sad about it being over so quickly! It will take me a few weeks to get the hang of autumn :)

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    1. Thank you Ali, good luck with your vegetable growing ventures!

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  22. Your veggie patch is looking marvellous and that little pot of freshly picked goodness is so lovely! We love the Little Veggie Patch Co's Guide to bakyard farming too :)

    Katie x

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    1. Thanks Katie! It is a great book. I am loving your renovation so far :)

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  23. Your vegetable garden looks amazing Jane. the Little Veggie Patch book looks like a must if you're starting to grow vegetables. I visited their store here in Melbourne not that long ago and was very inspired. Beautiful bounty of veg and like Lizzy look forward to see what you do with the quinces. Catherine

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    1. Thanks Catherine, I would love to visit the Melbourne store and can just imagine that it would be inspiring :)

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  24. I love to have this book. Does it also offer anything in terms of bugs/pests for each type of plant? That would mean a lot.

    parker hardscape

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    1. Hi, yes the book does contain some information on bugs and pests.

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Hello and welcome. I will try to reply to all comments eventually because I love the conversation! Jane