Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Garden Bed

I've just uploaded a video of our main vegetable garden

The video was taken early this year (January 2014) and is a walk through past the corn bed, beans, tomatoes, carrots, onions, broccoli, potatoes, capsicums, plus separate strawberry bed. The pumpkins are grown in a separate area on the top block and are not shown on this video neither is the garlic as it has already been harvested.
Last year was difficult because it was so dry, we didn't get much rain during winter or spring so started the growing season with our tanks half full. Ended up having to buy water. We still managed to get a decent harvest of fruit and vegetables.

I planted approx. 80 corn seeds and harvested approx. 200 cobs , some of the plants had 3 to 4 cobs per plant  ... I grow "Honeysweet" Sweet Corn. I like the way it grows and I like to harvest them all at the same time because I blanch and then freeze them so we can have corn during the winter months when the garden is resting.

This is a photo of last years Elephant garlic approx. 100 plants. I dried it on the veranda and when reasonably dry I cut off the tops and roots and then separate the bulbs into cloves. This year I picked out the biggest and best cloves and used them to plant this seasons crop which I have increased to 180. I love growing Elephant garlic because it grows so well here and is very easy to grow.

I was given Elephant Garlic from a garlic farmer however you can buy it from Green Harvest. It has a milder flavor than normal garlic and that's because it isn't really a garlic but a relative of it.

We grow 2 types of potatoes which are Sebago (white) and Desiree (red). We harvest approx. 70 kilo

The Jarrahdale pumpkins are grown in a separate bed and sometimes they cross with the neighbours pumpkins so produce all sorts of shapes and sizes. Not that it matters because I buy new seed each year anyway. Last year we got 14 pumpkins with one of them weighting in over 8 kilos. One year we grew 96 of them so ended up with a lot of pumpkin soup that year!. I love pumpkins and most of the time I use them in soup or as roasted vegetables.

 The strawberry patch is in a separate covered bed to stop the birds from getting to them. In a good year we harvest approx. 21 kilo over the season. Usually 500 grams every day

I grow a variety of beans from seed saved "Old Homestead" climbing beans to shop bought dwarf bean seeds. They are easy to grow providing the strong wind doesn't dry the leaves out.
I normally plant enough seeds to produce approx. 27 kilo of beans which I blanch and store in the freeze for use during the winter months
I love onions so every year I try to plant as many as I can. Some years I've harvested up to 800 and other years only 200 just depends on the water supply and growing conditions. We use a lot of onions through the year. My favorite is onions soup. Once they are ready for harvest, I place them on the veranda to dry completely before storing out the back room.
The tomatoes are grown on a wire mesh setup which is about 1 metre off the ground. The tomato plants grow up through it and then lay over the top with the fruit hanging down through the mesh. I start the tomatoes as seeds in punnets but also have little wild "tiny toms" coming up from previous years so I just let them grow as well. The tomatoes are harvested and place in bottles using the "Fowlers Vacola Bottling Kit" . I like using this kit, I find it easy to use and does a great job. I store the preserved bottles in the cupboard and use them during the winter months in spaghetti and stews etc anywhere tomatoes are needed. I try to grow enough tomatoes to fill approx. 48 large jars
I also like to grow broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage & capsicums and they are harvested and then frozen to be used at a later date. Of course some of the produce we produce is eaten fresh but the bulk of it is processed in some way by either drying/cooking/bottling/freezing or storing for use later through the winter months when the garden beds are empty and resting

 This year I plan to make Sauerkraut with some of the cabbage. I have never made it before but I have purchased a crock so will be giving it a go this season. I love Sauerkraut.

We have an old Apricot tree and old plum tree which give us lots of fruit. We planted another 4 apple trees, 2 more plums, a peach and persimmon plus I took a seed from the old apricot and have grown a tree from it because I really like the apricots from it. It's not a graphed tree so the one I have grown from its seed should reproduce true to type ...I hope so because its no longer possible to buy this variety of apricot from the shops.

Here's hoping that this coming growing season will be just as productive as all the previous seasons


  1. Amazing harvests! I am envious. How much land do you have? We do all our growing on an ordinary suburban block plus we lease a 2.4 metre square patch in a community garden.

    1. Hello, thank you. We grow this in the back yard. The main vegetable garden consists of 6 beds which are 9metres x 1 metre each. Then we have a separate Strawberry patch which is 15 metres. We also have 5 garlic beds with 3 of them on the outside edge of the main garden and we have a separate pumpkin patch on the top block where the fruit trees are. I'll put up a diagram next post :D


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