Saturday, December 27, 2014

Happier New Year

Some veggie musing on 2014 while I'm stuck inside on a cool, damp day.

It's the time of the year when I start thinking ahead to the new year to come.

Looking through seed catalogues and online seed shops. Thinking, planning and hoping. Visiting nurseries and garden centers.

Hoping for a better Spring. I seem to get a good Summer, Autumn and Winter but I can't put a spring together here at My Veggie Garden.

For the last two years it has been record low rainfall and record high temperatures.

I get everything started off well and then it either fries in the baking hot sun or kicks the bucket because I missed being able to water it. Which leads to frustration and eventually disillusionment, but not for long. A few cooler days and a little rain and I'm full of hope and enthusiasm again.

I have to spend so much time watering that I don't get other essential jobs done, like mulching which in turn only exacerbates the problem.

Coming out of Winter and moving into Spring is when I seem the most enthusiastic in the garden but I'm thinking next year I'll curb my enthusiasm a little so I can ensure the success of what I do plant. I find I run out of room quickly (better planning needed) and I have excess seedlings but no veggie garden to put them in.

Another problem that needs a solution is that my onion and garlic crops tie up the garden for five or six months of the year (most of winter and Spring) but they do really well. I need to find somewhere else to grow them so I've got more room for other crops like, Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale and Cauliflower among others, or accept that these grow well and are worthy of the time and space.

I've also found that starting my new job at Glenvale Villas in October took up a lot of my energy and creative garden think space which left the My Veggie Garden a little neglected when it needed some attention from me but now that I'm getting settled into a routine of sorts I'm looking forward to more time in the veggie garden in the new year.

Well. that's just a few thinks rolling around my head looking for answers. Still, when I'm not feeding the wildlife or getting fried to a crisp I have a few wins and seem to maintain a modicum of enthusiasm to keep me pursuing my dream of a wonderfully lush and productive veggie garden.

Cheers, and all the best to you all and to your veggie garden adventures for 2015


P.S. I said 'Happier' in the title but this year has been a pretty bloody good year for me.
After fighting and struggling with ulcerative colitis for many years and having had surgery to 'cure' me of it I feel alive and energetic again. And after years of the above and being stuck working in a cab because of it I am now out doing what I love again, Gardening.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Pineapple Rice Cream

Australia Women's Weekly Recipe Card Library
 Facebook to the rescue.

Some people frown on Facebook but boy 'o boy when you need it it's always there for you.

We have rather flexable Christmas traditions but one I've enjoyed over the years is a Pineapple Rice Cream that my wife made for us many years ago and it went over quite a hit.

The recipe she used was from the Australia Women's Weekly Recipe Card Library.

 So it was made every other year or so until the recipe was lost or misplaced.

 And so with Christmas coming up I became nostalgic for another taste of Pineapple Rice Cream.

Anyway couldn't find the recipe anywhere in the house, searched the interweb from the top down. Nothing but a few photos and glib references, but, nothing.

My wife, who knows little of how the interweb works, pipes up and says why don't I ask on Facebook.

Now why didn't I think of that.

Put up a description, ask the question and, ta-da, a friends mother in Victoria had them in the pantry. A quick photo and I'm back in business.

Pineapple Rice Cream for Dessert on Christmas Day.

Cheers and Merry Christmas


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Dividing a Cymbidium orchid

Not a veggie that's plain to see, but I had fun all the same.

Dividing a Cymbidium orchid that I went halves in with my Daughter, Elysha, and I still owe her for, I'll get around to it.

I got three good plants from it and the single bulb has a side shoot so I potted it up and I'll wait and see what happens with it.

I'm no orchid expert so if anyone has any suggestions about my method I'd love to hear from you.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

About four or five inches.

I've lost track of how much rain we've had over the last week or so but it's around about four or five inches.

After feeling rather disillusioned with gardening after six/seven weeks of very hot and dry weather I'm itching to get out into the garden tomorrow and get some good ol' veggie gardening happening.

Also I've had a very tight and sticky space bar on my laptop which has made typing and blogging pretty frustrating.

It's been like that since I bought it home twelve moths ago but I took it back under warranty and they replaced the keyboard and now it's a joy to type again.

So I should be posting a little more regular now as well.

Cheers and here's to Sunday's in the veggie garden.


P.S. Dear Santa, if I've been good, I like one of these too.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


Sunny? It's always freaking "Sunny"
At last I have some reasonable gardening weather (RGW).

And after four or so weeks of ridiculously hot and dry (it's still dry) weather I've got about three weeks of neglect to catch up with.

Weeds to be weeded, compost bins to be emptied, turned and filled back up again and planting a few seedlings I have left that I have survived.

So I'd better get cracking.

Cheers and have a nice day,


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It rained!

It rained!

I finally got followup rain to the falls we had in August.

Never mind that it's two months too late and half the garden has fried in the hot and dry conditions. It rained.

It's like stunned disbelief, it's been so long I was beginning to think it not possible.

14mm here at My Veggie Garden but just to rub a little salt into the wound my work, on the western side of  town, received 30mm.

Fingers crossed I don'thave to wait another two months for the next fall.

A friend on the Southern end of town didn't fare so well

Cheers and may your rain god smile upon your veggie garden.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Planting Pumpkins.

That's it for me, I had mulch, cow and sheep manure delivered today so I've no excuses left to not plant my pumpkins tomorrow.

Soo I'm thinking I'll get up at 4:30 have a quick brekky, throw everything into the soil, and plant those little baby's before it gets too hot too do anything again.



Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Here we go again!

Has someone pushed repeat on last year?

I seem to remember a dry winter and a long hot Spring, just like this one.

Here it is nearly half way through November and I'm sure my total rainfall since August wouldn't add up to a total of 25mm.

And if that isn't bad enough nearly everyday is 30c plus, 37 Saturday and 34 Sunday.

And it becomes crunch time. Do I walk away from the garden or do I persevere with the watering and the mulching. Water is expensive and time consuming but a little raijn or a storm or two would take off a lot of pressure.

I've already stopped sowing any more seeds.

I just don't know what to do.

Maybe it'll rain again, sometime soon.



Monday, November 10, 2014

Three bins is way better than two.

I bought myself a new Gedye compost bin cos I'm fed up with not having enough compost.

Came home from work and filled both the 400l compost bins with what I had so I now have 800l of green waste happily composting away.

I'll empty them out every two days and put it back in to keep good aeration in the bins and speed up decomposition.

The 220l bin is full of ready to use compost and I have a wheel barrow full as well.

Three bins is way better than two.



Let there be compost.

And then there were three. Let there be compost.

I couldn't wait for next weekend to get here so I went and got my compost bin with a little (a lot) help from my friend Robbie. 

Cheers and here's to making more compost.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Gedye compost bin #3.

That's it, I can't take it any longer.

I'm fed up with not having enough compost.

So next weekend I'm going to buy Gedye compost bin #3.

Then I can have the 1st bin cooking, the 2nd bin brewing and the 3rd bin maturing.

I prefer making a big pile of compost and turning it regularly but I just don't have enough spare space to do this so a Gedye compost bin is the next best thing.

Cheers, still wishing for rain,


Friday, November 7, 2014

Toowoomba area Backyard Veggie Growers Group.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


9mm of rain overnight last night. Only took two months from the last rainfall.

Not exactly what I'd call good follow up rain.

I've never won Gold Lotto but it must be the same feeling.



Saturday, November 1, 2014

Hot as hell.

About to venture out and see what's left of the garden after the week from hell.

30 plus degrees all week.

It's been a long week of watering and hoping I haven't missed any plants.



Monday, October 27, 2014

Planting Pumpkin seeds.

I made this video on planting pumpkin seeds eight days ago now and as of today most of the seeds sprouted (there's a few slack buggers but I'm sure they'll be up in a day or two).

The vermiculite didn't seem to make any discernible difference to germination but all the other ideas must have had some impact in order to get pumpkin seeds up in eight days.

Well, I hope you enjoy the video and happy veggie gardening.



Thursday, October 23, 2014

But wait there's more

But wait there's more..and I'd forgotten I'd ordered these....

 ...but I simply love pea shoots.

Therefore I should have a go at growing my own, shouldn't I?

So I am... having a go, that is. Growing my own.

I'm just going to try them in a standard 150mm pot and see how they go. If that isn't seccessful then I might have to follow the instructions that came with the seeds.

It is best to pre-sprout them until tiny roots appear. Then grow them in a seedling tray filled with organic potting mix or sieved compost. The best temperature for sprouting peas is 15 - 25°C; avoid hot weather. The pea shoots will take 10 - 14 days.

From Green Harvest; Pea sprouts are sweet and tender as sprouting increases their sugar content. They are very nutritious; a good source of vitamins A, C and K; and minerals calcium, chlorophyll, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, amino acids and protein (20 - 25%).



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

They're here!!!

 They're here!!!

Guess who's going to be a busy boy this weekend?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Freckle the Lettuce update.

 I know you're all dieing to know how Freckle the lettuce is getting on so here's a few photo updates.

S/he's a very easy care lettuce, basically a little liquid fertiliser ans regular watering and s/he's very happy.

I pinched a few leaves from the outside of one plant to make a salad and you'll be surprised to know s/he tastes much like a lettuce.  
 S/he's getting a good size about them so it's about time I started a second sowing so I don't run out.

Cheers and happy veggie gardening


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Thank heaven for eBay.

 Thank heaven for eBay.

I busted the cheap plastic handle on my favorite spade and searched the whole town over for a replacement handle with no luck.

*Note to Cyclone tools. I love your stuff and nearly buy your tools exclusively but your quality is slipping a little.

Anyway, a search revealed someone selling new replacement plastic D handles and an order was sent.

Above order was greatfully received yesterday and fitted like a glove.

Thank-you eBay.

This isn't a full sized spade but the smaller border spade which suits my smaller veggie garden.. It get used for planting and edging and a myriad of other jobs around the garden.

So, very happy I was able to repair it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Flower Power

All veg and no flowers makes Stewart a dull boy so I bought myself three each of the lilies you see below and one Dahlia.

 I'm blaming Van Diemen's Bulbs for their enticing catalogue.

I've had lilies before but they have gone the way of the Dodo.

Mainly due to my poor prep and care, so this time I'm determined to give them all the care they need and then some.

 The following descriptions are from Van Diemen Bulbs web site and catalogue.

Avandrud - OT Lilium

Oreintal Trumpet lilies have well and truly delighted gardeners and flower growers alike with their robust characteristics and huge blooms. They are better suited to Australian conditions than Orientals because they require less cooling and will cope with more heat, making them perfect for areas with hot Summers. They are such good growers that they commonly grow very tall, some up to 2m+ after a few years.  All OT's are last Summer flowering.

Souvenir - Pot Oriental Lilium

 Perfect for pots and planting towards the front of the bed. These great plants average half the height of ordinary liliums. Potting lilies are very popular in Europe where they have more limited space. Light up your own courtyard with fabulous colour.

Bacardi - Oriental Lilium

 These big, bold and fragrant lilies create a real show. Bred for their cut flower properties, you can expect many buds of stunning flowers in the vase or the garden. They are easy to grow and will reappear year after year. Plant in the back of garden beds for height or in large pots. Late Summer flowering.

Romeo - Dahlia

 An international favourite single. Dark red blooms over dark foliage. Smaller plant.



Sunday, October 12, 2014

Toowoomba area Backyard Veggie Growers Group, meeting

Great afternoon at Bianca and Peter's veggie garden for this afternoon's Toowoomba area Backyard Veggie Growers Group get together with Ken and Alison, Kate, Polly Oz and me. With apologies from Trevor and Niamh.

They're, Bianca and Peter, on 3/4 of an acre in Highfields and make use of just about every square inch of it too. Several varieties of tomato and potato are planted and just about every other veg you can think of is there too.

As well as a large selection of fruit trees including many varieties of citrus and apples.

I'm keen to go back and have another look in summer when it has grown and is in all it's glory.

A few pics I took while wondering around barely scrape the surface of this large sprawling veggie garden.

Next meeting is at my place on the 9th of the 11th. I'll set up an event memo in the next few days. You can find out more about their next meeting on their Facebook group page. Toowoomba area Backyard Veggie Growers Group

And as a special treat we got to try Bianca's delicious Spinach and fetta pie and scones with mulberry jam.