Thursday, August 26, 2010


Spuddies; There must be thousands of books written and a gazillion of web pages devoted to the growing of spuddies so I'm not going to waste your or my time by reinventing the wheel again.

I will however stick to the basics just in case.

Ruby Lou is the name of the variety I'm growing. I grew these last year and found them a good all round potato so in they go again.

  1. Soil prep; I'm working on a previously dug bed so a straight forward turning over to the full depth of the digging fork tines is in order and then a trench about 100mm deep.

  2. Place the spuddies about 25cm apart with the rows 75cm apart.

  3. Back fill with compost and cover with the soil you dug out for the trench.

  4. I didn't water in this case due to the soil being very moist and rain forecast for the next day (which did arrive, 36mm)

  5. I also didn't mulch for the same reason as above. When things dry out a bit I have some, by now, very soggy wheat straw that I'll use to mulch the rows.

  6. You can hill up around your spuddies, usually twice. The first time is when the plants make about 30 or so cm's and the second time is just before flowering.

  7. I'll also be spreading some sulfate of potash around just as they start to break the soil and again at flowering time.

Note; At 0:29 on the video. Notice how I gently place the bucket down after use, very important this.

Cheers and happy spudding


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My 2:33mins of fame

I posted a throw away line on the ABC Southern Queensland face book page when the recent Federal election was announced. The line was about wanting a time machine to get me to the 22nd of August because living in a safe National seat I felt the whole election thing was/is a waste of time for me.

Anyway Peter Gunders from ABC Southern Queensland thought it was interesting and here is the result. FWIW I like his work.

So here is folks, my 2:33mins of fame. Not keen on the close ups. FWIW I voted Greens in the hope the major parties would get the idea that green issues are important to me. And it's not just about climate change. There is the whole spectrum of environmental challenges, like sustainable development, renewable energy, not turning farm land into coal mines, the health of our river systems to name but a few.

So what do you think?



I'll be taking autographs in the foyer after the show.

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Veggie Garden's top 10 plants to plant in September.

My Veggie Garden's top 10 plants to plant in September.

In no particular order.
  1. Carrots

  2. Radish

  3. Tomatoes

  4. Beetroot

  5. Lettuce

  6. Potatoes

  7. Peas

  8. Beans

  9. Rhubarb

  10. Asparagus
That'll keep you busy for a while!!!

Cheers and happy gardening


Sunday, August 22, 2010


Planted these guys over here on the left today. And to save me a whole lot of typing and to show you the effort and the amount of info Green Harvest supply with their seed packets I scanned the front of the seed packet fyi.

If you click on the photo it will bring up a bigger photo that should be readable.

Cheers and Happy Tommy growing


Friday, August 20, 2010

First assa

Just a quicky post. My first asparagus spear for the season about to go straight into my scrambled eggs.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Here's the plan. LUCERNE 'Sequel'

LUCERNE 'Sequel'
Medicago sativa

I purchased some Lucerne seeds with my last order from Green Harvest and here is some of my thinking behind this.

  • The second highest (the first being taste) reason for growing my own veggies is to save money. In my mind it seems pointless to spend $100.00 preparing and maintaining a crop that you could buy from a fruit and veggie shop for forty or fifty dollars, not counting the hours spent tending the crop.

  • So with the above thought in my head I decided to grow my own lucerne and make my own mulch/straw. I can place a few plants here and there where it is not practical to grow veggies like along the fence line, around the edge of the chook pen, between the roses, etc, etc.

  • A nitrogen source for my compost.

  • The deep tap root will help lift nutrients from deep within the soil making it a welcome addition to my compost

  • Also due to finical constraints (like I don't have enough money) and a green tinge on my part for the environment I have unregistered my car and am now push pike bound which makes it very difficult to get bales of mulch and trying to save money means delivery is out of the question so grow my own it is.

  • I can harvest it as needed let it dry in the sun and bung it through the muncher if need be.

  • The chooks will get a feed every now and then of fresh lucerne.

  • It smells nice
Here is a few Lucerne facts I lifted from the front of the Green Harvest seed packet.
  • Lucerne is a upright perennial winter vigorous legume (more on legumes/cover crops below).
  • It has purple flowers and a strong, very deep tap root.
  • Lucerne prefers deep well-drained soils, with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH.
  • It will not tolerate water logging even for short periods but is tolerant of frosts.
  • (I'd like more info on this fact) The tender leaves are used as a vegetable and as a tea.
  • The leaves are rich in methionine whatever that is), an essential amino acid.
  • Lucerne flowers attract beneficial insects such as assassin bugs (who said gardening was boring), parasitic wasps, and ladybeetles (my favorite).
  • It is useful as an orchard cover crop and as a mulch plant in the garden.
  • It is also a highly nutritious animal forage.

Cover crops/Legumes
  • Cover crops provide a living carpet of perennial plants for orchards, this 'living mulch' can provide many advantages, especially compared to grass, which aggressively competes with fruit trees for water and nutrients. Cover crops can;
  1. Suppress weeds without the use of herbicides
  2. Protect valuable topsoil from wind and water erosion
  3. Reduce compaction caused by frequent mowing.
  4. Increase organic matter, earthworms and beneficial micro organisms
  5. Increase the soil's available nitrogen and moisture retention
  6. Provide habitat, nectar and pollen for beneficial insects
  7. Improve water, root and air penetration in the soil.
What is a Legume

  • Legumes are plants such as clover, lucerne, peas, beans, medics and chickpeas. An important advantage of legumes is their unusual ability to obtain nitrogen, a major element need for plant growth, from the soil air, as most plants are unable to do this. They do this by forming a symbiotic relationship with a group of bacteria called Rhizobium, which live within a special structure, called a nodule, on the plant's roots. The Rhizobia can take nitrogen from the air and convert it to the form plants normally obtain from the soil. This process is called nitrogen fixation.

Well that's it for now. Any feedback or questions are welcome.

Cheers and happy gardening


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Blueberry and Vanilla cake. Yumbo Bumbo

I cooked this little Blueberry and Vanilla cake up last night and the smell through the house was divine and it tastes delicious. My only concern is that it was just a bit on the dry side towards the bottom so I'm asking any cake experts if or what I can do to keep or get some moisture in the bottom of my cake. Any takers?
I think it's a keeper and I'll cook it again but I'd like it with a bit moisture.

Blueberry and Vanilla cake


1 cup extra light olive oil
3 eggs (I used 2 average eggs and 2 bantam eggs)
¾ cup caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups SR flour, sifted
¾ cup milk
1 cup blueberries


Preheat oven to 160º. Grease and line cake tin. Place oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla in a bowl - whisk to combine. Add half flour, stir to combine. Add half milk stir to combine. Repeat with remaining flour and milk. Pour mixture into prepared cake tin. Sprinkle with blueberries. Bake for one hour. Check cake is cooked by inserting a toothpick. Stand in cake tin for 10 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of “A Woman’s Look at Camping & Cooking" via Go Camping Australia Magazine

Cheers and happy cooking


Friday, August 6, 2010

612 knit thing

Tmba-Knitters, a lose knit group (yes I know, a bad pun intended) formed under the guidance of knitting, crocheting and crafting guru Robbie Burton and who meet each Tuesday and Saturday morning at the Garden Town Shopping Center eatery area have joined in the fun with 612's ABC close knit.

We have entered and Robbie has started knitting our A4 sized panel. A very nice multicoloured and cabled design.

More info about A Close Knit:

This September, Brisbane Festival is making the city a little more crafty and colourful with A Close Knit - a project which combines two intriguing phenomena.

Yarn bombing is the newest trend in street art; removable graffiti that uses colourful crocheted or knitted creations to brighten up the urban environment.

Crafts such as knitting and crochet were once commonplace life skills. Then the world became more complicated, people became time poor and the purchasing power of department stores delivered products that were much cheaper to buy than make. Besides some stellar fads like puffy paints, macramé and bedazzling, craft fell by the wayside for at least a generation.

Craft is now back in a big way. Gen X is embracing indie crafts like never before. Social knitting has become the arts and crafts-lover's answer to the book club, with city-dwellers meeting up in the same café every week to have a yarn while practicing their drop and purl techniques.

So keep an eye out for some fabulous street art during Brisbane Festival 2010!

Cheers and Happy knitting


6, 7 or 8 tips on planting Rhubarb

Here's a little video on me planting Rhubarb 'Ever Red'.

  1. I started with a previously used bed. Cleaned out a few old plants and loosened up the soil with a fork.
  2. I then added about 10l of compost and forked that through. Cleaned out a few twigs
  3. Then I simply scratched a hole big enough to accommodate the Rhubarb division I'd purchased from Green Harvest
  4. Back fill and lightly firm down the soil. You don't want to go too deep or shallow here. You just want the top of the division covered so as when you water it in the soil is washed away so as to just expose the top of the division.
  5. Watering. This is the most important part. I like to really soak the ground to saturation and then not water for another week. I also add a fish emulsion and seaweed extract to the water as well.
  6. Mulch, but not too thick, just enough to help stop the top soil from drying out to quickly.
  7. Cross your fingers and hope it takes a liking to it's new surroundings.
House Keeping

Long term readers here at 'My Veggie Garden' will know that about this time last year I planted some 'Sydney Crimson' rhubarb. I'm sad to say it failed miserably.
Why? My guess is I planted it in a very sunny, hot and dryish part of the garden. While it did grow it was always wilted and no matter how much I mulched and watered it, it never thrived, until it finally succumbed to our summer heat.
This new planting of 'ever red' is in a more protected part of the garden with some afternoon shade so hopefully I'll have a better outcome this time around.

Cheers and happy gardening


Thursday, August 5, 2010


Just nice. Hopefully some real gardening tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hits and giggles

I heard this last night and got a giggle out of it so I'm sharing it with you now!!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The week that was.

A mixed week for my veggie garden. The weather has been varied ranging from plesant to showers, rain (10/12mm) and even warm (22C) for this time of the year.

Ordered and received

I placed an order with Green Harvest (my favorite online mail order company) on late Wednesday and to my surprise it arrived Friday lunch time (damn they are good).
Included in the order was;
  • Potatoes; Ruby Lou 1kg
  • Lupin
  • Lucerne Sequel
  • Tomato Oxheart
  • Tumeric Madras
  • Rhubarb Ever Red

  • Rhubarb Ever Red
  • Lupin
  • Tumeric
  • Carrots
  • Radish
  • Leek
  • Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Spring onions (just)
  • Beetroot
  • Strawberries are flowering
  • Self sown wheat has seed heads maturing
  • Radish are getting there.
  • Peas are a bit slow but getting there
  • Self sown potatoes are powering along. Must remember to plant my seed potatoes earlier next year. They seem to like the early start.
  • Still 2/3 eggs a day.
That's was the week that is from the veggie garden this week;

Cheers and happy gardening