19 January 2015

What's growing in your vegetable garden?

I popped out to the garden early this morning and just stood and looked around at the plants and the trees (and the weeds).

The rampant pumpkin vines put a smile on my face. They really are taking over the back yard. Now if only the possums would stop eating the little pumpkins we might actually be able to harvest some. I'm actually looking forward to picking some beautiful Queensland Blue pumpkins and put them away for winter, especially as pumpkin is so expensive to buy - $1.50kg at my local greengrocer.

The tomatoes are going great guns. This year I put them in frames to try and control them without having to stake and tie them and it seems to be working. Most of them are full, lush bushes loaded down with tonnes of green fruit. A couple of days of nice hot, sunny weather should have them turning red and then it will be a race between me and the birds to get them first. I've been picking them at the first hint of red and letting them ripen on the kitchen windowsill but I'd rather vine ripened.

The beans are looking a tad sad. Not sure why, they haven't been great this year. The capsicums however are producing better than they ever have. We really have a glut of capsicum. I'm picking two or three every day, then dicing or slicing and freezing for winter.

The lettuce are looking perky and crisp. I don't grow too many lettuce, they are a bit of a waste of space with little nutritional benefit for the space and water they need. A half dozen usually see us through the summer with picking a few leaves off each plant when required.
Do you like eggplant? We love it and the six plants are keeping us in this delicious vegetable with plenty for freezing for winter.
My basil is trying to go to seed. I'm pinching out flowers every day and picking leaves to dry as fast as I can. There are  six basil plants in amongst the tomatoes, maybe that's why they're doing so well? Tomatoes and basil just seem to go together in cooking, perhaps it's the same in the garden.

The strawberries are on their second fruiting for the season. These are my extravagance, they take up a lot of room and really for the fruit they produce the space could be put to better use. But every garden has to have at least one plant because it's beautiful and loved and not just practical. They produce enough to make jam and I honestly think there is nothing as sweet as a sun-kissed strawberry picked and eaten straight away. Perhaps that's why we don't get a lot of strawberries - too much picking and enjoying instead of picking and preserving.

There are three cucumber vines and typical of cucumbers they are bountiful. I've made jars and jars of bread and butter cucumbers and we've eaten them with our salads, on sandwiches, with dips and just like a banana and still there's more.

The apple tree is full of apples and again it is a race between me and the birds to see who gets them first. At the moment it is a draw, but only because I've been able to get the boys up the ladder to pick them early in the morning.

There are oranges on the orange tree, lemons on the lemon tree, limes on the lime tree and mandarins on the little mandarin tree.

The rhubarb is growing and at the end of summer I'll separate the crowns and start some new plants off. We love rhubarb. It's another one of the "easy to grow, so expensive to buy" foods so having it in the garden to pull as we want too is wonderful.

That's what's growing in my vegetable garden at the moment.  What's growing in yours?


  1. Sounds like your garden is doing really well Cath.

    I love telling people what I am growing.

    In my garden at the moment is; rhubarb, celery, a variety of pumpkins, butternut, Qld blue, and yellow ones (don't know the variety), beetroot, carrots, spring onions, zucchini, silver beet, tomatoes, capsicum, rock melon, cucumber, kale, sweet potato, and golden delight potatoes. In the fruit garden we have figs that are nearly ready, apricots, nectarines, grapefruit, mandarin, orange, apple, grapes, mulberry and guava. Herbs growing include rosemary, thyme, mint, parsley, oregano.

    My rhubarb is growing so well at the moment, it just gets better every year. The garden is like a jungle with self seeded pumpkins and rock melon growing in every available space :)

  2. We have sorrel doing well for salads - if you haven't tried it, beyond weeding the annoying version, it's definitely worth the space. About 30x30cm, pick the newer leaves. The stems are sweet/sour bitey, the leaves similar to lettuce. it's perennial, so no bolting to seed in the hot weather.

  3. re: birds, I see the figs almost ripe and the next day zilch, the old English mulberries fruit late and we sometimes get almost a bowlful. Last year we bird netted the grapes - great success! May have to net the fig tree and the quince.

    1. I have the same problem with the birds and the apple tree - this year it is the Rosellas that are doing the damage, usually it's the Cockies. The apple tree is too big to net, so I am extra vigilant and as soon as the apples start to turn red Im out there with a bucket to pick as many as I can. And the possums love the citrus so I battle to get to the lemons, mandarins and oranges before they do.


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