Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sweet, Sweet Corn

 Sweet corn, if I'm planting in late October then obviously that makes it a warm weather crop.
I'm planing on planting four monthly crops of nine or ten plants, which will make early February my last planting but should leave me enough warm weather to finish off the crop.

Sweet corn is also a hungry plant as in it likes plenty of water and a rich well fertilized and well drained soil at planting time and additional fertilizer, applied in my case at monthly intervial until all the corn cobs have been eaten.

Talking about eating when it comes to reaping the rewards of home grown produce then sweet corn is right up there. When it comes time for me to cook my corn I usually have the water boiling on the stove before I go and pick what I want to eat. I also remember an episode of M.A.S.H. where Col. Potter was talking getting back home an his idea was to somehow peel back the skin off the corn and just lean the plant over and dip the corn cob into the boiling water. Now that's fresh.

The photo on the left shows a roughly one meter square area that I prepared for the corn I used a bucket of aged compost and a half bucket of Searl's 5 in 1. I also used two hundred grams of Organic Xtra, an organic fertilizer I've been using with some good results.

I usually grow my corn from seed sown direct where it is to be grown but I've had a late start to the growing season therefore I bought a punnet of corn in order to catch up four of five weeks. The next crop will be planted from seed.

Organic Xtra blends the proven properties of
  • composted manure
  • blood and bone
  • feather and fish meal
  • seaweed
  • natural minerals
  • and Sulphate of Potash.

    Ta-dah, the finished product. Watered in with a fish and seaweed liquid fertilizer (told you they were a hungry plant) I'll mulch with some straw after I get the first lot of weeds out, fish and seaweed liquid fertilize every week or two plus another one hundred grams of Organic extra at the beginning of each month.

    Have I missed anything?I think I've covered it all.

    Cheers and happy Sweet Corn to you


    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    Spring storm rain

    20 mls. 20 mls of beautiful Spring storm rain here at 'My veggie garden' last night. I can almost hear them (my veggies that is) growing as I walk around my backyard, and the weeds but that's another story.

    I expect to see the next crop of beans up by this weekend along with the yellow button squash. The carrots and beetroot will take another week or so. Oh, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the radish up when I go out for a look tomorrow.

    I sure the the tomatoes, cabbage and lettuce I've planted will be having a good time too and it'll be great for the corn I plan to plant this weekend.

    What can I say? Nothing beats a nice fall of Spring storm rain.

    Cheers and all the best for your veggies,


    P.S. As I'm sitting here writing this we've (we've as in me and my veggie garden that is) just had another shower pass over. It's all good here.

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011

    Apple and rhubarb sponge pudding

    Apple and rhubarb sponge pudding
     I made it. The very first harvest of my Rhubarb went into making my very first effort at Apple and rhubarb sponge pudding and while it wasn't a photo perfect finish it still tasted divine. There's plenty left so I'm thinking some custard with it for desert tomorrow night.
    I also managed to pickle some eggs. I've never tried them before so I have no idea what to expect but in the latest copy of Grass Roots Magazine there was a recipe for pickled eggs and I had a few getting a bit old. So I'm thinking nothing ventured nothing gained. If they turn out alright I can take a couple to work for lunch or somkeo.

    If you want to give them a go I can post the recipe or you can pick up your own copy of Grass Roots Magazine

    Plenty of other stuff went on today but I'm getting way to tired to go on about it tonight.

    I did post a few updates on my new My Veggie Garden facebook page through out the day, so you can pop over there and see what I got up to today. There is a nice photo of my newest toy that I put to some good use today.

    Cheers for now


    Sunday, October 23, 2011

    A quick weekend update

     Just a quick weekend update. I managed to sneak home a bit early on Saturday and managed an hour in the veggie garden. I'd also sneaked down to my favorite plant nursery (Sungrown Seedlings in case you were wondering) before I finished work and bought a punnet each of Cos lettuce and Sugarloaf cabbage.

    Therefore when I got home I bolted for the garden and got stuck into planting them out. You can see the nice row of Cos in the bottom photo.

    Today being Sunday I got to knock off at around two-thirty which gave me heaps of time to get some gardening done.
    My priority was to get some seeds into the ground.
    I managed to plant
    • Beans, dwarf
    • Beans climbing
    • Carrots
    • Beetroot, baby
    • Yellow squash
    • Radish
    • and some chilli seeds into a punnet.
    Very happy to get that done.

    I still had some spare time so I just fiddled around weeding, composting (potatoes), mulching, watering and fertilizing.

    Cos lettuce I planted on Saturday.
    Speaking of potatoes these are the Purple Congo potatoes that self seeded themselves which was a great relief because I thought I'd lost them in all the rain we had at the beginning of the year.

    What do you think of the rhubarb photos?

    I'm thinking apple and rhubarb pie.

    It took a lot longer to establish than I thought it would. I think this is the second year since I planted it but right now it's powering along.

    All in all it's been a great weekend and I'm currently planing Tuesdays gardening. I know the strawbs need weeding and a feed and I have a small area I want to clear where I'm planning to plant sweet corn.

    I also want to plant some more lettuce seeds.

    Phew, talk about your busy time of the year.

    Cucumber seed I planted last Sunday has just poked its new seed leaves through the soil surface.

    Anyway, cheers for now


    P.S. don't for get my new 'My Veggie Garden' facebook page. I'd love to see you there.

    Saturday, October 22, 2011

    My Veggie Garden facebook page

    Look out, now we're in trouble. I've created a My Veggie Garden Facebook page.

    I've been puzzling over how to share smaller bits of Veggie garden info I come across but find too small for the blog where, I think, it is more useful for larger information and stories. So I decided that a My Veggie Garden facebook page would do the trick.

    Now if you find this at all interesting then I'd like to invite you to follow the link above and click the like button on my 'My Veggie Garden' facebook page and if you think any of your friends would be interested then by all means come along.

    Any feed back will be appreciated and I'd really like to know what you think or would like to see and hear about.

    Anyway, cheers for now and thanks in advance if you like the My Veggie Garden facebook page.


    Thursday, October 20, 2011

    Potato Pizza

    If you click on the photo you should get a good sized readable photo to work off.



    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    You're not going to believe this. (Carrot jam)

    Cooking the 450g of carrots
    Cooked carrots with 350g of castor sugar added
    Carrot jam, yes you heard (read) me right, carrot jam. You see I was visiting my favorite life line 2nd hand bookstore the other day (last Friday I think) when I came across this little booklet called "The Complete Carrot" and inside is a recipe for Carrot jam. So being the experimentalist that I am I just had to give it a go. So I bought the booklet, a whole 80c mind you, and into the kitchen I went.

    Here is how it is written up in the booklet.

    Carrot Jam
    Carrots will make a very sweet jam (that's no understatement there). It is unlike fruit jams, but is cheap, easy to make and has an interesting flavour.

    1 lb/450 g carrots
    3/4 lb/350 g granulated sugar
    2 lemons
    pinch of ground cloves or nutmeg
    flaked almonds (I missed out on the almonds 'cos I didn't have any)

    Boil carrots till tender and mash to a pulp (I also used my stick blender to get a finer texture, be careful not to spray it all over the walls of your kitchen). Put in a heavy saucepan and boil with sugar for about 10 mins until mixture becomes thick.

    Remove from heat and cool. Then add the grated rind and juice of two lemons, a pinch of cloves or  nutmeg and some flaked almonds. A little drop of brandy gives added flavour.

    Carrot jam on toast

     How does it taste?

    Verdict! With the juice and rind of two lemons, sugar and a pinch of ground cloves in it it tastes more like lemon butter with a slight hint of carrot. But seeing as I like lemon butter and carrots I think it's great. And it might just be good for your eye sight (where did I but my glasses again?)



    Built like a brick chookhouse.

    Rhonda Hamilton and the chook house
    I couldn't go past this story from ABC Rural without passing the link to all of you.

    Built like a brick chook house. Swing by and have a read.

    Sunday, October 16, 2011

    The colour purple

    According to the Sunday Mail newspaper here in Queensland and US researches it seems that 'Health conscious cooks could be serving up a new 'super-food' - the purple potato.'

    They (the Sunday Mail) go on to say that 'When cooked without fat, it had been proved to reduce blood pressure and doesn't even make you put on weight.'

    'The deep colour of the Purple Majesty variety comes from the same compounds found in blueberries, red cabbage and aubergines.'

    The 'US researches found that when eaten by overweight patients with high blood pressure, it was as effective as rolled oats in lowering their reading. The study may help resurrect the reputation of the potato, seen by dieters as a food to avoid.'

    Cheers and plant some purple tatties


    Saturday, October 15, 2011

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    Touch wood

    Touch wood. Today is the best I've felt for at least the last six to eight weeks. The 'low dose naltrexone' I've been taking for my UC since the fifteenth of August seems to be working on certain areas of my illness and I'm beginning to feel hopeful 'we' (my doctor and I), are onto something. What I've been calling my 'silver bullet'.

    Six weeks ago it was painful to walk, it seemed all the bones in my feet ached and I had sore lumps forming under my skin. Today both these symptoms have gone. I don't feel as bloated and my cramps are not as painful as they were. I'm feeling a little excited right now but I still have my fingers crossed for a good end result (cautiously optimistic). I don't want to get too far ahead of myself though in case it doesn't work on all my symptoms, ie the UC itself.

    Burke's Tomato seeds I planted at the end of August. 

    On a lighter note I had a lovely morning in the veggie garden before I had to set off to see my doctor. I chipped the weeds out of one of my veggie beds that I've been trying to get to for the last month and I managed to get eight seed spuddies planted. Also cleared a few beach heads in the war against weeds and cleared a space for where I'm going to plant the Burke's Backyard Tomato seeds I planted that have sprouted (here's the video of me planting the seeds). And now it's time to go back out and do some whipper snipping and mowing. The weather is warming up quickly so I hope I can keep some of my new improved health and get this veggie garden tamed before the up coming Summer.

    Cheers and wish me luck


    Sunday, October 9, 2011

    Gourmet Delight

    I always seem to over plant so with this in mind today I limited my self to a whole ten bean seeds. I figure that with a 70 to 80% strike rate that will be more than enough beans for us here. And if I plant that many seeds every 3 to 4 weeks apart I should have more than enough beans to keep us going right up until at least the middle of Autumn if not longer.

    The variety I chose to plant this time are called 'Gourmet Delight' from Mr Fothergill's, a dwarf bean with long fleshy pods and great flavour also ideal for deep freezing (so it says on the packet).

    If by chance you are a novice or beginner veggie gardener you could do a lot worse than starting out by planting some beans for yourself. For starters you will be able to see, taste, beyond any doubt that home grown fresh beans are tastier by far. Also they are so easy to grow that you should be encouraged to try other veggies and before you know it you'll be tearing up the turf so you can plant even more veggies.

    So don't say I didn't warn you when you go out to plant your 10 bean seeds.

    Just a few tips I pinched from Mr Fothergill's website

    How to grow: Sow 25mm (1in) deep in dark, damp soil. Avoid watering for a day or two afterwards. Sow 7-10cm (3-4in) apart, allowing 50cm (20in) between rows. Ensure the danger of frosts has passed and protect plants from the wind. Plant in 3-5 metre (10-16ft) rows and remove weeds regularly. Water well during dry periods and spray flowers with a fine rose on your watering can. This will help the pods to set.
    Harvest: Around 8-10 weeks from sowing

    Cheers for now


    Thursday, October 6, 2011

    My top ten essential veggie seeds to sow in October

    My top ten essential veggie seeds to sow in October

    1. Bean
    2. Beetroot
    3. Carrot
    4. Cucumber
    5. Leek
    6. Lettuce
    7. Rocket
    8. Silverbeet
    9. Corn
    10. Celery

     If you want to grow plants like Tomatoes, chillies, eggplant and capsicum  from seed then you are a bit late unless you live in the warmer parts of Aus with a longish growing season. If it's a shorter season where you are and you still want to plant some then grab yourself a punnet or two from your local nursery and bung them in.

    So what are you waiting for, lets get cracking.



    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    Hi there

    Backyard rabble
    Hi there, it sure has been some time since my last post and I feel I should put up some sort of an explanation for those of you whom (I so hope that's right, I hate who and whom) are regular readers of my veggie garden blog.

    Some of you will be aware that I have Ulcerative Colitis. I don't talk about it (UC) much because I don't see there is much to talk about but the reason I am mentioning it here is that it does cause me long periods of poor health, including needing to sleep alot, a lack of energy, along with a few other things which takes some time to get over.  Top this off with a poor immune system and I get every cough and cold going around and this is basically why you haven't heard from me for so long. I've hardly pulled a weed or planted a seed for over a month now and it's frustrating the heck out of me but there seems little I can do about it for now. I have a few options in front of me, none of which I like.

    At the moment though the sun is shining and it is an absolutely beautiful day, but I know if I go and do any work in the veggie garden I'll regret it tomorrow when I need to be as good as I can for my "real" job.

    I'm thinking I can post a few 'things to do in the veggie garden'  or 'what to plant when' stories just to keep things ticking over and would appreciate your feed back on this idea.

    Cheers for now and I wish you all great health