With the end of Daylight Saving it feels like winter is fast approaching. The spring and summer brought both successful and not so successful endeavours in the vegetable garden.
Potatoes and Yams
Growing potatoes under pea straw and rotted manure worked really well for me. I had a good crop and it was easy to go out and feel round for enough potatoes for dinner. Next year I would make sure that I added another good thick layer of straw though as I had a few green potatoes. The few yams I tried to do the same way did not go well at all, the tops grew a bit but that was about all.
Tire potato crop
I dug up the main crop potatoes I planted in tires this month and was quite disappointed with the yield. I had stacked two tires on top of each other and planted the potatoes in the second one and didn’t add any other layers as they grew. Next year I would plant them in the first tire and make sure that I added more tires and growing medium as they grew. The bottom tires were just a waste as the potatoes didn’t go that deep.
Running to seed early
I also had disappointments with the silverbeet which went to seed really quickly. I don’t know whether there’s any truth to it or not but someone said that if your buy silverbeet and the like as seedlings from nurseries they go to seed quite quickly while if you plant your own seed they last a lot longer. This may be true, I don’t know, I had the same problem with parsley seedlings I brought so I have just planted silverbeet seeds and will plant parsley seeds also and see what happens.
In the Glasshouse
The glasshouse has been driving me nuts. I definitely planted too much in there and have often had to attack plants with the secateurs just to get in the door. I wouldn’t plant so many tomato plants (if any) in the glasshouse next year as they have probably only ripened a month or six weeks earlier then outside and there are other vegetables we’d benefit more from - some I planted just could not compete with the tomatoes. I also planted a spaghetti squash there without knowing how huge they can grow and it just went ballistic. I got six or seven good size squash off it but a plant outside is doing just as well just a bit later - so they will all be outside next year. The capsicums were attacked by something (slugs I think) and I haven’t got one fruit off them - the outside ones I must have planted too early as they didn’t survive.
Brassicas and curcubits
The brassica bed did really well but everything came ready at once and went to seed quite quickly. Next year I’ll endeavor to do more successive sowing there. The later plants also had bug problems - whiteflies or aphids. The curcubits I really had success with were the courgettes and spaghetti squash. Other than a lemon cucumber in the glasshouse none of the cucumber plants fruited, nor did the luffa or melons and I only got one pumpkin. Perhaps it’s not warm enough here for some of these, though I’ll try again next year as we did have an awful lot of rain in spring and not much sun. They may do better next year if the weather does.
Rat tailed radish
My dwarf beans grew well but haven’t fruited as I’d hoped, I may have missed a couple of important waterings as some of the fruit is small and shriveled. Carrots, beetroot and spring onions on the other hand have gone really well and I tried a rat tailed radish where the radish flavoured fruit grow off the plant above ground and was really happy with the result, good for salads.
This month I have been planting seeds for winter vegetables which should have been done a month ago I think, but it’s still worth a try. I’ve planted daikon radish, more carrot, spring onion, brassica’s, silverbeet, spinach, lettuce and am trying for some late peas a few of which I’ve put in the glasshouse.
I’ve never grown broad beans before but have planted some seeds which have come up really well. Broad beans are a much underrated vegetable I think, I tried some while staying with an older person and they were really nice even though they’d been cooked for longer than was probably wise. I was quite suprised by the flavour as they definitely have a reputation for being horrible (from the days of force feeding vegetables I guess).
Other than seed planting I’m harvesting what I can, tidying things up and hoping and praying for just a bit more good weather to get my seedlings under way!