Posts Tagged ‘vegetables’

Garden Update

August 3, 2013

Well, almost 5 weeks to the day have passed since I direct sowed a bunch of seeds in one of my new garden beds. I thought you’d like to see the progress of the seeds so far:

Clockwise from left: Arugula, Mizuna, Radishes, Spinach

Clockwise from left: Arugula, Mizuna, Radishes, Spinach

As well as the radishes & carrots (not pictured – they are still pretty small) in my tutorial, I also sowed spinach, arugula (rocket), mizuna, and basil. Everything has sprouted now except for the basil – I suspect the soil it possibly still too cold for the basil to germinate. Still learning new things even after 10 years of gardening!

So far I am most impressed with the rocket, I’ve never grown it before so I didn’t know what to expect. But the germination rate is quite high, the growth is lush and quick, I’ll be harvesting some for a salad or three within a few weeks!

Another new-to-me crop is mizuna, which is often found in mesclun mixes at greengrocers. I don’t want to spoil any future blog posts, but its one of the prettiest salad crops you can grow.

Radishes have been a mainstay of my Spring gardens over the years, there’s pretty much no other vegetable that gets me in the mood for fresh zesty salads grown at home that grows almost as quick as I can eat them. And the spinach, while I have grown it before, I haven’t ever grown it from seed, so that was another good learning experience. The seeds are large and gnarled-looking, and the seedlings can only be described as looking like oversized carrot seedlings – but thankfully with the emergence of their first true leaves I can see they are definitely not carrots after all. The spinach should grow rapidly if we have a moist spring.

Apart from the basil, I’ve very pleased of the progress of my seedlings! Not in the picture are 3 rows of carrot seedlings, and a somewhat sparse crop of brown onion seedlings (well there are actually quite a few seedlings but the seed leaf is so fine they are quite hard for me to see!), and a few oak leaf lettuce seedlings that are not enjoying the cold weather so much, I will sow more when it starts to warm up.

I am so impatient for the warm weather to come! At the moment I will have to be content in watching these little seedlings grow.


Hobart Farmers Market

November 28, 2010

This morning I got up semi-early and visited the Hobart Farmers Market. Despite being established over a year ago, this was only my third time visiting, mainly because I usually work on Sundays or have other important “plans” (like writing assignments). Now that uni is over though, I can take advantage of my rare Sundays off and wander around the market!


Hobart Farmers Market view


The aim of the Market is to encourage the local market for high quality produce, and only local growers and producers are allowed to sell at the market.

There is always interesting things to see, like this colourful garlic:



Both me and my sister who was with me today love broccoli. Have you ever eaten the stem of the broccoli? Its delicious! Simply peel the tough skin off and slice up and munch away. I have often thought to use it in a salad or stirfry but it disappears so quickly from the chopping board there’s almost no hope of it ever landing in an actual dish! One day. We did buy some broccoli but it was only later that we saw these beauties with their long stems; this broccoli will definitely be in my future!



I’m also fond of radishes but I prefer to grow them myself, as I can harvest one at a time, rather than trying to use the whole bunch in a few days. But I can never resist taking photos of the bright red globes!



And who can resist a good bunch of carrots?? Not I. These are so orange and luscious!



And, almost my sole motivation for going to the market today: Peas!! Its pea season here in Tasmania and I look forward to it every year. I’m not growing any this year, due to a combination of lack of space and time, so when I saw them at the market today I snapped them up!



More green things in the form of some juicy-looking mixed lettuce leaves:



And the markets aren’t just for fresh fruit and veggies, you can also pick up meats, bread, poultry, oysters, cheeses, preserves and sauces, and… Flowers! Just like the Salamanca market on Saturdays, I always try to buy some locally grown flowers to brighten my dining room table. On offer today were some gorgeous Peonies in a range of pinks, from almost pure white to the brightest pink:



So I bought some of these bright pink ones, always a lover of bright coloured flowers. They should be fully open in a few days!


Anyone in Hobart and the surrounding area should really make a trip to the Hobart Farmers Market, and soon! Its an awesome venture and I love it there.


A Garden Update

May 16, 2009

It was so cold & blustery outside today, but I hadn’t visited the garden for a few days so I thought I had better pay it a visit. So this afternoon the sun was coming & going between the clouds, so this would be a good a time as any to go outside.

There few a few tomatoes hanging on the vines still, but I think I am going to have to pull them out soon. Once they are close to ripening the wet weather quickly rots them and I end up throwing them onto the compost. A not-so-wonderful end for the last veggie of Summer in the garden. So it’s time for the Winter veggies to have their turn in the (low gloomy Winter) limelight.

Broadbean shoot

I sowed these broadbeans about 3 weeks ago from memory, and they have just shown up in the last few days. I guess it’s the cold that has delayed their germination, but I seem to be getting very good germination rates so I don’t really mind. I would have planted them sooner but I had Golden Nugget pumpkins here that just refused to die back like they were supposed to, and I didn’t want to damage the pumpkins by pulling them out prematurely. I’ve never grown these before so I’m interested to see if I’m going to need to stake them or not.

Pea blossom

My plan for an Autumn crop of peas is coming along nicely, with the first flowers appearing this week. Here’s hoping I get some pollination & some yummy peas in the next few weeks!

Carrots freshly pulled

I had sown a small row of carrots before I planted the cabbage seedlings (in top left corner of the photo), and, being my usual impatient self, I just planted the cabbage seedlings on top because I didn’t want to have to wait for another area of the garden to free up. But it has worked out okay as an accidental catch crop, because now that the cabbage leaves have almost started to cover the space in between each plant, the carrots are just about ready. Well, for baby carrots anyway! I have a few in there still, so the next lot I pull will hopefully be a bit bigger. I have 2 rows that are 4 weeks old also, and my last sowing (2 rows each of St Valery and Mini Round) have sprouted this week. I am determined not to run out of carrots before Summer this time!

Parsnips & carrots

Out of sheer curiosity (and also because I am terribly impatient) I pulled two parnips as well. These were sown on the 28th of January, and I was very surprised at the time because they had all germinated after only 9 days. Covering them with plastic & onion bags really works, and have used it for my carrot seeds with great success too. So these ‘snips are about 3 months old now & still probably need another 3 months! They are cool though! I’m going to grate them up along with the carrots & make some veggie fritters. It will be my first time eating parsnips so I hope I like them!!

Parsnip leaves

Here’s a photo of the parsnip leaves, which was another thing that was a mystery to me when I first started growing them. They are a bit like flat leaved parsley, but several times larger, and the stem bases wrap around the newer middle leaves – you can see this a bit in the other photo. It’s kind of cool. Carrots do this too but because the stems are narrower it’s less noticeable.


Also eagerly awaiting my first turnip!! This is the biggest one, I might roast it, or make some soup with the winter squashes I still have. Such excitement!

That’s it for now – I’ll see what the weather’s like tomorrow after work, I might pull out the tomato plants & spread out a load of manure & coffee grounds. Seems like a long time until its going to be Summer again!

Garden Update

January 28, 2009


I can’t remember when last I did a garden update, but I guess I should do one now since we are pretty much at the height of summer down here in Hobart. Even though the days are getting shorter, the temperatures are getting higher and we are getting up to the low 30’s for the first time this summer. You can see in the photo above, the corn are starting to ‘set fruit’ (is there a technical name for that with corn plants??), the tomatoes are huge and the onions (bottom corner of the bed) are almost ready to dig up. Under the chicken wire (where the little terracotta pots are) there is some late-planted lettuce (before it was so hot) that will hopefully give me something to harvest before it bolts. And in between all that are some snapdragons that accidentally grew there (don’t ask…).  And here’s the other bed:


Celery all going to seed (I ate as much of it as I could….), mini pumpkins (you can see one poking up over the wood), raspberries behind the nets (still producing a few every day) and you can see a tiny bit or purple in the middle of the bed, under that I sowed some parsnip seeds. I did my research and found out that they take up to 28 days to to germinate, and optimal germination temperature is 18 degrees Celsius. So I’ve sowed them into warm soil & to keep in the moisture I put a few layers of onion bags held down with wood. I have had it there for about a week & there is a few things sprouting, but I don’t know if they’re parsnips or weeds! I might have to take the onion bags off tomorrow to let them develop a bit before pulling them out (if they’re weeds).


Speaking of seedlings, I am already planning my winter veggies. These are broccoli seedlings, they sprouted after only 4 days! That’s a record for me. Also around the same time, the Cauliflowers came up, and brussels sprouts. Still waiting for the cabbage to come up though. these will only be ready to put in the ground in about 6 weeks, it will be March by then!! They need another 6 weeks or so to build up a good framework of leaves. Then the cool weather will be here when they want to grow their ‘heads’. 🙂


The warm weather ha definitely helped my tomatos, I had a problem with the blossoms dropping off before setting any fruit. I think it was due to the cool weather but I haven’t looked it up. But I have managed to harvest one determined Roma-type tomato, as well as some beans & a bit of usable celery:


I had the tomato in my salad for dinner tonight & it was so delicous!! There’s nothing like the first tomato of the season. That’s all for now!

Garden Update

December 10, 2008

No recipe today, but my neighbour gave me a bunch of her broad beans, which I’ve never tried to eat or grow before:


Cute aren’t they!! I microwaved them with a little water for 2 minutes to steam them. The outer skins split a little, but mixed with a little butter & pepper, they were sweet & delicious! I think they are a cool-season crop, so I will have to try them next winter!

In my own garden, the tomato plants are getting really tall and have lots of flowers. I hope we can get a bit more warm weather so they can set heaps of fruit.


My past experience tells me I should be harvesting the first tomatoes around Christmas time, but there’s only a few fruit set & this is the biggest one:


November & December have been so unseasonally cold, it doesn’t seem like summer at all 😦

Also in the same bed, the onions are putting on a lot of size now:


This is my first time growing onions so I hope these are tasty!!


The celery has really taken off with the cool weather, it shouldn’t be too much longer before I’m eating it. The bok choi is completely shading out the poor lettuces that are planted in between them (I had no idea the bok choi would grow that big), so  I did some culling this afternoon. I gave a bag to my neighbour in return for the broadbeans, and threw a few of the largest leaves onto the compost heap. Still no signs of snail damage, dispite all the rain we’ve been having! I am very thankful for that.

One very exciting thing I discovered today, was that some of my raspberries are getting red!!! Raspberries in time for Christmas, hooray!


Also in the last week, my squashes/pumpkins have started to flower & set fruit. I hand pollinated these because I want to save the seeds, and I didn’t see many bees around. But it looks like it has worked with several small fruits starting to grow:


I kind of got all my squash/pumpkin/cucumber seedlings mixed up after I planted them so it’s a bit of a pot luck as to what I’m going to be harvesting! But two of the plants so far have these yellow fruits, time will tell if they end up being squashes or pumpkins.

That’s all for tonight, hopefull I’ll have a recipe for you on the weekend, bye for now!

My first carrot!!

November 9, 2008

Hehe… Just had to post this!! Just pulled up my first carrot, it smells so carrot-y!! I think I might leave the others to get a bit bigger though 🙂 click the photo to enlarge.

Some photos from the garden

October 23, 2008

Since the sun was out this morning I thought I’d update you all through some photos of the garden!

The ground has warmed up enough now so that the corn seedlings are getting bigger by the day.

this is not a weed, I swear!

this is not a weed, I swear!

Also getting bigger by the day are the radishes I sowed a few weeks ago. They grew so fast that last week there were actually cracks in the soil where the radish had pushed out the soil!

look at that beautiful colour.

look at that beautiful colour.

In the flower garden my sweet peas I now finally coming into bloom. I think I planted them too early because they just sat there doing not much for the last couple of months of winter!

a graceful arch.

a graceful arch.

At the moment my Enkianthus tree is small, but it is still covered in flowers, I love them!

interesting-looking flowers.

interesting-looking flowers.

Also in the flower garden, the lilies are getting taller, in a few weeks I will be able to see the buds on these asiatics.

a sea of green.

a sea of green.

That’s all for today, I should be back with another recipe soon!

P.S. More photos from today can be seen at my flickr site, 🙂

Finally, some vegetable gardening

October 11, 2008

Well, after my abysmal germination rates with my warm season vegetables (read: none) I got fed up & went to the garden centre up the road & bought fifty dollars worth of seedlings. I planted eggplants, capsicums, spinach, celery:

pak choi, mesclun, basil, pumpkins, squashes, cucumbers (those 3 actually sprouted for me), tomatoes:

(Gross Lisse, low acid yellow, Roma, Tommy Toe), and sowed some more radish seeds because they germinated really well for me:

The onions are doing really well, getting bigger finally:

And the raspberries are all also coming to life, you can even see the flower buds forming in the centre that will hopefully become raspberries one day!

Also high on the agenda this weekend is the weeds in the garden beds which are really starting to take over. Here is the patch I was focussing on today:

And after weeding:

Still so much to do but it will just have to wait for another day.

In other news, my dad bought us a brand new barbecue today so we had a bit of a braai (south african barbecue) with marinated chicken wings, roast potatoes, and cheese & tomato toasted sandwiches (‘toasts’) and also a nice green salad. Would have been nice to make the salad from my own produce, but you can’t have everything I suppose!

More tulips & a teeny cauliflower

October 7, 2008

Here are some more Tulip photos from when the sun was out on the weekend:

And, the very first harvest from my veggie patches since they were first installed in June. Cauliflowers!!! Only problem was though, they were a bit lacking in size:

Cute huh?? I would have left them growing for longer but I am planting my Summer veggies on the weekend so I thought I might as well take the plants out now. I ate the smaller of the two without bothering to cook it, but microwaved the larger one for 15 seconds in a few drops of water & then ate it. Delicious 🙂 Next year I will definitely plant all my winter veggies on time, the only thing stopping me this year was the lack of veggie patches!