Thursday, 15 January 2015

Post-holiday summer gardening with benefits

After a rather busy and bustling visit to the relatives over Christmas and the New Year we have returned to the garden and our pets with a mixture of relief, exhaustion, excitement and apprehension.  Another year begins.  

I have taken eight months off from the part-time work I returned to last June.  Therefore I have time to languish Turtle with attention and at the same time develop my own personal pursuits, such as Lizzing Lightly, my yoga practice and experimenting in the garden, kitchen and beyond.  One of the main projects I want to focus on is the vegetable garden and making it as productive as we can.  I also want to try and use all of the produce we grow in delicious meals. 

We returned to the garden looking quite lush since our house sitter made a big effort to water a lot during the heat wave that hit Perth while we were away.  The kale that I planted a week or two before we left in mid December has flourished.  The celery, which we planted in about September, has also done really well.
Radicchio, kale and celery flourished in the back garden bed while we were away
The baby eggplants are also going really well.  We planted it, along with a capsicum, in the half wine barrel in Paradise Patch at the same time the celery went in and they are a good use of the space. 

Baby eggplant and capsicum plants in the half wine barrel
Unfortunately the capsicums have been struggling a bit so I've been picking them while they are still green.  I think they either have a disease or the sun is baking them so that one side goes all thin and loses it’s structure.  While I’m home I can keep a better eye on them and pick them if they start to turn.  We eat all of the unaffected fruit.

A couple of the eggplants had sat on the plant for too long so the bottom of them was a bit brown (see pictures) but we returned to a pretty impressive crop of 10!

Our harvest of ten baby eggplants
Our heirloom tomatoes have been a disappointment unfortunately.  We have harvested only a few fruit from three of the plants in pots.  Overall I’m extremely pleased that the garden has survived our absence and that we are getting some food upon our return (we were worried that we would miss out!).
The first big summer harvest - a good reward for our efforts
It’s nice to be home again to tend to our plant babies, although the heat is definitely a challenge to work around.

How is your garden faring? Are you also in post holiday recovery mode?

Wishing you a happy start to 2015. 

Lizzing Lightly

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