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Garden update - July 2014

June was really warm (relatively), it didn't feel like winter at all, and then after winter solstice its suddenly got properly cold (for Queensland, that is!).  We still have day time temperatures in the mid 20degC, but it has been frosty overnight.  I have been heating up wheat packs to stay warm in Brisbane during the week, while Pete's had the woodstove cranking back home (and telling me about all the roast potatoes I'm missing out on!).  The harvest in late June was the last of slightly frost damaged chokos (more about them later in July) and tromboncinos and lots of brassicas.  A few peas that have climbed so high, they may survive (they tend to only get frost damage on the tendrils).  Radishes, although I never find these easy to grow (why does everyone say they are easy??) and some stalks of celery (I pick it as it grows rather than waiting to pick an entire bunch).  And two eggs from our newest laying hens, its a good time to buy new hens, as the old girls are taking a break over winter.  Also, earlier in June prior to the frost, I dug up a few potatoes and found that they were more purple potatoes.  And I replanted a few that I found lurking in the back of the pantry (also planted a few garlic cloves, I try every year, and never had anything to show for it, maybe this year I will grow garlic).

June harvest basket
purple potatoes!  they are purple on the inside too
I took some photos in the garden before the frost, everything is still green in the photos, but after the frost a few sensitive plants have died back.  It has not affected the chickweed though!  I planted celery seedlings at the beginning of June (I can never get them to start from seed) and I have been picking a few stalks occasionally.  They are planted in worm farm compost, so that seems to have given them a good start.  I've asked the worms to make some more.  And I bought a sage seedling because my last sage plant died in the drought.  I don't use sage that much, but I kind of missed having it growing, so I got some more from the farmers market.



celery planted in worm farm compost
(and surrounded by tomato seedlings from the compost!)

A few flowers in June: the nasturtium has recovered from the drought (I thought it was going to die) and is covered in flowers.  I use the leaves chopped with other herbs in salad or with steamed veges.  My borage plant with pink and blue flowers - great for bees, I eat the flowers, and the leaves I dry for tea, and I put some leave in my infused oil for skin salve.  And the pea flowers reaching for the sky, they have grown taller than me, and I'm hoping that means they miss most of the frost.




Plans for July - I always say that I'm just going to harvest and weed, but then I end up planting things, so I'm not really sure what I'll do in July!  I'll probably pull out the tromboncino plant, but I'm hoping that the choko will regrow next year.

What about you?  How's your garden?  Do you grow radishes and celery from seed?  Any tips!?

Comments

  1. Ahhh mid 20's sounds divine! It is more like 11 here most days. I haven't tried to grow celery as we don't really eat it very often. Radish I should give a try though as I like them in a salad once in a while. Sorry - I have no tips for those two.

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  2. celery are very very slow to germinate. We sow ours in punnets of seed raising mix and never let them dry out. They are the tiniest of seedlings and seem to sit there for ages until they are potted up into a potting mix. They are one of those seeds that need a lot of patience while waiting for germination.. Radish can be sown into the garden and should germinate within a few days. If you are having trouble with them then maybe your seeds aren't viable.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! The radishes germinate, but never get nice and fat, just skinny and woody...

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  3. I'm with carrots like you are with radishes. I also use punnets of celery, they are so sensitive to lack of water, as Purplepear says, must pay more attention!

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    Replies
    1. I think carrots are pretty tricky too!

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  4. I agree with you that radishes and celery are hard to grow from seed. One thing is that they need lots of water, and I am always a bit stingy with water, my plants grow up with tough love - told to reach down deep to get their water!

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    Replies
    1. yes I think I'm too stingy with the water, meanwhile any plant that does make it is pretty hardy!

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  5. Radishes I find aren't hard to germinate, but snails and bugs love them so unless they are protected they all get eaten.
    Celery is my downfall too. I've not yet managed to grow good specimens. But I kinda like relying on my local farmers market for something.

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    Replies
    1. I just pick the small celery stalks, they taste nice, I don't want to wait for it to get big!

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  6. I always fimd that sage likes to die. I take cuttings every year to save having to buy more plants. It always amazes me what you guys can grow in "winter". If its not in before now then we pretty much won't have it growing over winter!

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    Replies
    1. that is very organised, I need to learn to strike cuttings, thanks for the tip.

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  7. I grow celery from seed, but I grow it indoors first. So I still end up transplanting it out into the garden. And I'm a big sage user. My chicken soups are almost always sage and parsley. I'm happy this year the sage plants lived. They had been dying off on me, but I finally have enough sage.

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one then! I still have some that I dried, so that's one way to make sure you have some all year even if the plant dies off.

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  8. Great post. You have so much happening in your garden. I too find celery a nightmare to grow from seed. Very spindly growth and takes ages. I still have radish growing although Its from summer and will no doubt be like an old boot. Love the borage and pea shot. Happy gardening :)

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  9. Looking great , Liz. I used to have heaps of trouble with celery growing from seed- I think the key is heat. Since we had the hot house , it comes up everytime. My suggestion would be one of those little heat pads you can buy at the nurseries , it will come up within the week and then you can put it all over your garden. I have 20 sets of celery coming up right now.
    Lovely productive post!

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  10. I have grown radish from seed with no dramas, however celery loves loads of water and I have just never been able to get it to germinate or grow here. Good luck with your garlic growing, I will have my fingers crossed for you this year.

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