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Monday, July 29, 2013

The vegie patch...

This part of the garden has been sadly neglected this year but amazingly I have still been able to pick produce every now and then. The new garden bed that I made last winter needed replenishing of soil and nutrients, so DH helped me dig it over. It had been filled with bags of potting mix last year and this medium tends to flatten out after a growing season. This winter we put in bags of compost, manure, garden soil and potting mix to raise the soil levels again. I planted one end of the bed and we also put in a large barrow-load of homemade compost at one end of the bed. Just leaving this bed alone then... and with some showery and some unseasonably warm weather about 5 weeks ago, this is what I noticed...
Yep! Lots of little tomato plants from my homemade compost...


So that was then, since then even more little tomato plants have come up in that garden bed and I've had to thin them out. These self sown tomatoes always do really well, I've found and I'm hoping that this year's lot will be just as productive as other years. 
A little while ago, DH helped me retrieve some strong looking tomato plants that were growing in the strip of our land still behind the temporary fencing. Those 2 plants are growing really well in my vegie patch but the plants still seem to be springing up ...this spot was where my compost bin used to sit before the builders moved in. I'm itching to dig some of these up and plants them somewhere in our patch. Maybe I should ask the builders when the new fence is planned...if it isn't for a while, I might just stake these plants and let them grow!

In the photo below, I've thinned out many of the seedlings but realistically I  should take some more out. The large plant was transplanted from behind the temporary fencing and is thriving. I have lots of stakes in this garden bed to deter the (new) bush turkey and a tabby cat who lives a few doors away and thinks this garden bed is a cat loo! But the cat is digging my plants out too :-/ Eduardo has 'spoken to' this cat about this!!



At the other end of the bed, the potatoes are growing well...I envisage a fair bit more mounding up of the soil will be needed...that way I'm building up the level of the bed too, as the potato plants grow.


I emptied and then refilled some large black pots with premium potting mix and transplanted some of the stronger looking tomato seedlings. Last year I also grew potatoes and sweet potatoes in large pots like these.

And talking about sweet potatoes or kumara as these golden fleshed varieties are also called... for a few years I've let sweet potato vines grow all over 2 other vegie beds throughout the hot summer months and right through into early winter. This vegetable doesn't seem to mind the heat and doesn't bolt to seed or have any of those issues ( insects, powdery mildew etc etc) that so many other vegie plants have in the sub tropics in summer. 
Now Jean, over at Allotment Adventures with Jean, and I have been lately comparing notes about our respective sweet potato crops. Jean has dug her's all up and replanted. I commented to Jean that my crop wasn't as good as last year's I thought. I think I based that comment on the fact that the sweet potatoes seemed much smaller this year. In the last week I have dug one of the 2 beds over and harvested my kumara crop... remember, it's just one bed so far...I seem to have a few...

Some of them are ugly, some are small, some have been bored into by unknown creatures, but the ones we've eaten so far have all been delicious...
If I should invite you to dinner, you can be sure that sweet potato oven chips, or baked sweet potato or steamed sweet potato will be on the menu.  Lol!

5 comments:

shez said...

you cant beat home grown vegs.xx

Jill Butler said...

So satisfying to eat the produce from your own garden!

Susan said...

we dont grow vegetables - but we have had some really good tomato plants - from the scatterings of the compost bin!!

Noela said...

Have you ever had sweet potato curry bake, Maria. It is so yummy. Yes rain certainly makes everything grow. Hugs....

allotmentadventureswithjean said...

I have really enjoyed this walk around your garden Maria. Lovely to have your own veggies just outside your back door.
A good harvest of sweet potato. I looked at my own harvest of sweet potatoes, none of them very pretty, and I wondered who was the first brave soul who decided "I think I'll eat that". Lol.
Thank you for linking to my blog.