Saturday, November 26, 2011


Here it was on the 30-10-11. It had grown since.
I'm devastated, disillusioned and verging on tears, um, yes, well, that might be a little over dramatic but I will say I am disappointed at the very least.

You see, what happened is, I'd left one of my Bulls Blood Beetroot go to seed with the obvious goal of collecting the seed for future plantings. Now all has been going well, it had (notice the past tense) grown to a height of over two meters and was multi-stemmed as well as being absolutely covered in flowers that would have turned into seed for me to collect.

Now, as I mention the past tense, then you will have gathered that my seed collecting days are over, for now at least. and why might you ask?

Simple really, it got too big for it britches, or root system if you like. Over Wednesday night we had 80mm of rain in which I was rejoicing but it was all to much for the a fore mentioned Bulls Blood Beetroot. With the added weight of all the water covering the plant and the softening of the ground from the rain it just fell over and uprooted itself. So now my Bulls Blood Beetroot is an ex Bulls Blood Beetroot without seed.

Another catastrophic event, sent to test me I'm sure, was when a good friend dropped around a few Amaranthus  plants in exchange for a few I had. All was good. I put them in a safe place, gave them a water and would get around to planting them in the next few days. How wrong was I, the very next morning having my walk around the veggie garden before I went to work and there where my amaranthus reduced to three chewed up stems and not a leaf in sight. Arrrggghhh, I said to myself, the bloody possum likes amaranthus.

And just in case you're wondering about the purple dutch carrot then you'll be glad to know it is fine and you can also bet your life that I going to stake it tomorrow so as to prevent the same fate happening to it.

Barring any further catastrophes it's been all plain sailing so far and I hope it stays that way.

Cheers and good luck to you,


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Purple dutch carrot progress.

 Good news trendsetters, after running a cleanup program on my PC and almost killing my modem I'm now back online.

And even more good news my fellow veggie fiends, 80mm of rain here overnight and I swear I can hear the veggies giggling with glee.

In the beginning
Apart from all the good news above the reason I'm here is to show you this, ta-dah. Yep you guessed it, this is how much the 'purple dutch' carrot has grown since I brought it home from the supermarket and planted it, to see if it would do what it is doing, back in August. Go here to check out the beginning.

It has grown a flower stalk about 60/70cm tall and has started forming flower buds.

I can hardly wait for the seed to ripen so I can have a go at growing my own. It will still take a while from here but I'm sure it will be worth the wait.

 Nice seed head s forming

One thing about carrot foliage is it's green.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

All work and not much play. But it's nearly Christmas.

It's all work, heat, dry and watering here for me since Sunday. So far it's  been Mon 34c, Tue, 36c, and today it was 34c again. On top of that I was asked to work on Tuesday, my regular day off,  to which I said yes. With Christmas being just around the corner I could use a few extra dollars.

Sunday itself was a productive day with lots of weeding, watering, mulching and fertilizing. I planted the sugar baby watermelons that I'd grown from seed and they are now powering along with all this heat we're having. I also sowed seed for more baby beetroot and carrots along with two punnets of lettuce (can't have too much lettuce) and one of some Yates wild rocket seed.

They, that is those who profess to know, aka the Bureau of Meteorology, have us, Toowoomba, down for 28c tomorrow so that is something of a reprieve.

I planted some leek about a week and a half ago but there is no sign of them germinating just yet but I'll persevere with them a bit longer and the corn seed I planted Tuesday week ago is just starting to poke through the soil. And the corn I planted before that must be between 2 and 3 feet tall now and almost growing in front of my eyes.

What else then? Potatoes are just starting to flower as are the tomatoes. the cucumber is looking like the best I've ever grown. The cabbage are rocketing along as are the cabbage grub eating them. I promise myself to make a garlic and chilli spray for them this weekend.

I think I have covered everything... no wait there is the yellow button squash, zucchini, beans and climbing beans are growing very well and the french breakfast radish I planted on Sunday are starting to sprout as well.

Then there is the lettuce I planted from punnets Tuesday week ago. They're settling in and getting a go on and the cos lettuce I planted I have started to harvest some of the outer leaves for when ever I need some lettuce in the house.

Then there's the rhubarb, ginger, turmeric and silverbeet all doing well. I'm thinking this has been the best spring, summer garden that I planted so far and I'm feeling excited about what is to come over the next few months. My only concern is the weather and I've got everything crossed that it will be very king to me.

Cheers and I hope you're enjoying your veggie garden as much as I am,


Friday, November 11, 2011

Burke's Backyard 'Santorini' tomatoes

the Burke's Backyard 'Santorini' tomatoes that I planted from seed in the video I made on planting tomato seed.

They are about ten weeks old now after planting the seed and are just starting to flower. They seem to be making good growth with just basic tomato care.

I'm a little concerned about blossom end rot here (having had to deal with it before) which can be caused by a deficiency in calcium and or irregular watering so I'm watering before the soil dries out too much and before the plant wilts. I've also added about 500g of gypsum to the soil around the base of each plant to ensure a good supply of calcium.

My only other concern for this tomato or all my tomatoes for that matter is the dreaded fruit fly. Now I've read that this is a type of cherry tomato which I'm hoping will work in my favour because for some reason unbeknownst to me fruit fly don't bother cherry tomatoes.

It has also been very hot here the last few days so the first chance, probably Sunday at this stage, I'll mulch them up with some straw to help save some soil moisture and keep the soil around their roots a little cooler.

Next time I hope to be showing you a huge bountiful harvest of bright red Santorini tomatoes, if everything goes to plan.

Until then cheers


Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I took this photo to let you all know this little bugger will eat the green above ground bits of your potatoes to smithereens. It is called the 26 or 28 spotted lady bug. I was going to waffle on about it but someone who I follow has already done a way better job than I might have.
So if you get yourself on over to Aussie Organic Gardening you can find out all about
Epilachna vigintioctopunctata and Epilachna vigintisexpunctata with some great links to other sites as well.

My first passion-fruit flower

My first passion-fruit flower. About to supply some extra tlc. Some sulfate of potash, a bit of gypsum, a handful of pelleted chook poo, some straw mulch and a nice big watering.

Cheers and it's a cracker of a day here today;


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cucumber, radish snow-pea-salad.

After a little searching I've found lots of  interesting ways of preparing radish and this one has topped my list for now.

Cucumber, radish snow-pea-salad.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy!


Serves: 4
  • 175 g snow peas, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cucumbers, scored and thinly sliced
  • 2 bunches radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted (optional)


Preparation method

Prep: 10 minutes | Cook: 5 minutes | Extra time: 5 minutes
Cook snow peas in a saucepan of lightly salted boiling water until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain. Rinse under cold running water.
For the vinaigrette, whisk the vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil and salt in a bowl until sugar and salt are dissolved.
Combine the snow peas, cucumber and radish in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette; toss to combine. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using.
Copyright Copyright by The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. 2007



Saturday, November 5, 2011

Radish! What to do?

Howdy trendsetters? Today on facebook I asked my friends this question, 'I'm after recipes and ideas or ways to use radish. I can grow the little buggers but I don't know how to use them! Anyone?' And now it's your turn
 Just pop your recipes and ideas or ways to use radish into the comments for me. Much appreciated.

So far I have.
  • Jatz with cream cheese and little round slices of radish. Yum.
  •  cut in half and dipped in salt and cracked pepper yum! Or you can make a radish cream like horseradish for a condiment  
  • Roast radishes are delicious!
  • Sliced very very thin in salads is the only way I have had them
  • Ingredients (serves 6)
    18 lamb cutlets, excess fat trimmed
    11/2 tbs curry powder
    1 garlic clove, crushed
    1 tbs peanut oil
    Salt & freshly ground black pepper
    Radish yoghurt
    1 x 200g container natural yoghurt
    6 radishes, washed, dried, stems and roots trimmed, cut into matchsticks
    1/4 cup loosely packed finely chopped fresh coriander
    2 green shallots, ends trimmed, finely chopped
    1 tbs fresh lemon juice
    1 garlic clove, crushed
    Pinch of salt

    Place cutlets in a large glass or ceramic dish. Combine curry powder, garlic and oil in a bowl. Pour over cutlets and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to marinate.
    Meanwhile, to make the radish yoghurt, combine the yoghurt, radish, coriander, green shallot, lemon juice and garlic in a serving bowl. Taste and season with salt. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until required.
    Preheat a char grill on medium-high. Drain cutlets and season with salt and pepper. Cook on grill for 2 minutes each side for medium or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with the radish yoghurt.
    Hop into spring with our favourite pasta salad recipes, lemon recipes, zucchini recipes and easy desserts.
What about a radish curry? Apparently it's common in India. Significant other, here, does a respectable one...

I'm about to hit google and the interweb up for ideas and any I think worthy I'll let you know about.

Cheers and how was your gardening today?


Thursday, November 3, 2011

4 weeks in the life of a bean

Seed planted Sunday, 1st Oct, 2011

One week later at 6am
I'm equally amazed and fascinated with the rapid growth a bean seed can make once planted. So here is a four week photographical diary of the growth of a bean seed I planted on the first of October
Same day as above at 12pm.

Week three

And week four.



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

fruits of her labor

From the book 'Victorian Preserves, Pickles, and Relishes by Allison Kyle Leopold

Equipped with silver knife and enamelled preserving
kettle, the housewife joyously proceeds with her task of 
converting the baskets or cases of luscious fruit into
delisious preserves, spicy, pungent pickles,
rich marmalades and translucent jellies; and when 
all is finished, it is with worthy pride and
satisfaction that she gazes upon the
"fruits of her labor."
-"The Housekeeper," The Ladies' World, 1901