Carrots a success story

Why are carrots so hard for me to grow? This is my most successful crop so far.
Any help appreciated . They are tasty, and enough for a meal for me. Or a good supply for lilliputians.

Seriously these were just seeds I had spread about in a few pots on my deck. I am assuming that they needed to stay in for a bit longer.

I wanted to revive the pots and sow some more seeds in them. I have been tidying the deck today. My lettuces are doing OK, one variety has gone to seed. But some others are just developing and the cos is growing, I actually ate some of the leaves of one of them recently with my wee tomatoes. Oh were they so tasty. Just incredible.

Above are some beans I threw in my half wine barrels, along with kale cornflowers and weeds. The iris (brown leaves) have been broken up for composting around them. I ate some of the bigger beans as a snack today. Lovely. I am enjoying my surprise barrels. I sit at my table on my deck when I sow seeds, and often for no real reason I just toss some seeds into the barrels. I am very delighted with what is growing at present.
I have kale, silverbeet and a calendula. These are the three pots in the most shaded part of my front west facing garden. Running along the front of the deck.

My idea of keeping the hens and Roopert in their run is failing. Sigh. It has rained and there is green grass shooting. Unheard of in February. Normally our hottest month. More rain forecast this weekend and heavy. Fuller rain tanks nothing will be the joy of this if it eventuates.

My Deck garden is containers. I am amazed at what I can grow in pots. The benefit is wallabies and possums do not get at them. The chooks can not get at them, or dig under them. Even the starlings and black birds do not tend to get into them like the veggie garden beds. I can cover them easily to prevent cabbage moth damag.

Flowers are becoming a part of my deck garden this year and perhaps more so. In with vegetables they make me smile and happy to see.

Below are my firs attempts at making apricot and peach fruit leathers. There is nothing wrong with the one in the tray it is how apricots dry when no sulpher is used. My peaches were to moist and I should have read up more on what to do but I know next time. (they dripped through) I am not happy with these trays which have not been used a lot. They are cracking. To replace them is not cheap. My dream is to save for a metal set up ie very expensive Excalibur Dehydrator which is also a square one, which is easier to put the puree on and the fruit. The temperature is more evenly spread. The difference in colour of my apricot leather the heat/air in the round ones is not dispersed so well. Lovely with some desiccated coconut. I did add a little sugar but not a lot.

The peach ones are at the front and due to their being so moist they dried very differently. I am trying to dry some hard enough no dry enough that I can then powder the peach. I can then add the powder to tea, and yohgurt. Cream ice cream even my weet-bix. It was simpler than doing a syrup or jam, and I am not a big jam eater. I am enjoying the leathers, and will be buying some seconds strawberries to make strawberry leather too.
I will freeze the plums I think.

The blackberries are ripening and so delicious. I am freezing these for muffins and yoghurt, and winter porridge.

I am thankful for the rain , as I have enough water for my gardens, I am thankful for all the beautiful things in my garden. I am thankful to Mother Earth for her wonders and how a tiny seed can grow and give us food. I am thankful to my hens for the eggs they provide for me and my dogs. I am thankful for my health and the improving of my mental health as I get back to my routine.

G’day!

As an Australian I have never ever said G’day mate in my general life. Perhaps for a tourist or mucking about. G’day a form of hello in vernacular Australia.
G’day, good day! G’day, gardening day…so as an Australian living in Tasmania in the southern most council region of Australia. I feel it fits my post today.
A lot has been happening about my little acre. Last summer I was getting frustrated with blackberries wildly growing along one of my boundary fence lines.
My plum trees seen in foreground of first photo below were becoming surrounded by shade and the black berries were heading towards them. A wonderful neighbour and his business partner gave me a quote which seemed huge originally and I needed to think about it. I ended up thinking about how my hazel nuts were impacted last summer too. It was a necessity for harvesting and survival of them. So I agreed. I am so incredibly happy with the result. Light streaming in, and whilst the plum trees are not going to give me plums this year I have hopes for next year. The hazelnuts are incredibly happy! Growing everyday.

The last two photgraphs from my vegetable garden shows the increasre in light and water that can be seen now. It may be an issue that wind will become a big issue now that the blackberries have gone. It will be interesting to see. For hazelnuts to pollinate it is done by the wind so for my trees this will enhance pollination.

The vegetable garden is looking different this year I have put in two new beds. Corrugated iron. I have been making soil for them over Autumn and winter. I have to plant a lot of vegetable seedlings this weekend. Tomatoes, chilies, capsicums(sweet peppers), zucchini, eggplant(aubergine), beans, pumpkins and a heap of others I can not recall at present ..oh cucumbers. My hope is that I will reap more than I did last year. lol. First row of photographs below.

Photos second row above are broad beans that are producing huge amounts and are delicous. The wind has been playing havoc with them as we have had very unusual spring wind coming from a southerly direction..I had not set the beans up for that direction. The last photo is of some of my garlic. I have not planted enough of them I realise, there is always next year. I am sure there will be a lot of local garlic available. In the background of the last photo is one of several foxgloves that self seed each year. This one in the last photo stands over 180cm/6ft.

The marigolds have flowered all year which has been terrific. The fruit trees are fruiting up beautiful peach, cherries sweet and morello, (my newly planted in a pot this winter) plums, apples. The jostaberries, red currants are loaded. Blue currants in the pots loaded, not as many on the two I planted into the ground.

I thought the double grafted (two variety) apple I had planted and am trying to espalier has one side that is loaded with leaves and a few apples. I thought that the other side had died. I was surprised and very happy to see leaves coming out this week. Other apples are doing well.

A busy weekend of planting seedlings and making structures to ensure things will have supports as required.

I am so hopeful for a good year of growing home grown vegetables, fruit and hazel nuts. I have been picking some asparagus, and lettuce, green onions, miners lettuce, I have been able to pick a couple of small cauliflowers. It is a learning curve always.

The wood chips I have been using in the vegetable garden are certainly holding moisture. Which is fantastic for summer. We have just had a 32dC/90dF already this week yet ten days ago the fire was lit. This is part of the reason I have yet to plant seedlings out. Old timers always say do not put tomatoes out until after show day, which is normally about the 17th November. A bit early but they need to go in.

Happy weekend everyone.

blessings to You,

Tazzie

Productivity in Isolation

It was a wee bit weird to be heading off to my small village, after being at home for 14 days. I had to get a script filled, and buy a few essential things.


I was really quite amazed at how busy it was in my small village.
My local supermarket, IGA was stocked well with everything I certainly required. Yes some things I had to buy a different brand or variety, these things were a small price to pay to have what I needed. It was good that my Tasmania milk was available. There was toilet paper, flour, pasta, I did not need any of these. Dried fruit was a bit lacking. I was fortunate to get some sultanas. Just what I wanted. I have dried apricots I dried at home

I think I may have over dried them hard but delicious.

The plants in the photo below, are three I bought plus there are two lavenders on the right you can see the flowers. The three plants cost me $9AUS/$5.46USD/4.42 UK pounds a small prostrate rosemary, and two salvias, The two large lavender plants were selling for
$24AUS/$14.56US/11.14UKpounds each, but they were in the unloved plants area and were $12AUS/$7.28USD/5.57 UK pounds each. I have some cuttings I had taken of some friends lavender plants but they would take several years to be as large as these plants. I know exactly where all of them will be going.

I also purchased some potting mix. I had a lot of seedlings of cabbage and cauliflowers to pot up. I accidentally ordered to many from my local seedling man Dave. I thought they were one seedling in each pot when I read his post on what he had available. So I ordered three of each of four cabbages, two red and two white, and four cauliflowers two different varieties. When the order was picked up they were punnets. So I have so many to plant. I am attempting to put them in pots and in the veggie garden.

If You look at the photograph above you an see seedlings basically in the middle of the photo these are some of the seedlings. I have to take out the tomatoes I have picked them all and wait for them to ripen.

New England Honey Eater

I love my garden this salvia is loved by these birds. This wee New Holland Honey Eater was happily getting nectar as I was potting up seedlings on my deck.

Above are the 3kgs/6,61Lbs for $12AUS/$7.28USD/5.89UK Pound of tomatoes I purchased from my friends who had a veggie store at the Cygnet Market,(which is closed due to the Covid-19 virus). They are selling their produce from their gate, you order and they book you to come one at a time to pick up.
I wanted them for sauce. I had not told them this and they had picked me a lovely lot of varied ripeness tomatoes. I had to think fast. How could I ripen them all at once? I put them in my car, with the windows up. The next two days were gorgeous. Hot sunny and clear. This is how the box of tomatoes looked (photo above) when I took them out of the car/glass house. I have also used my car as a greenhouse for seedlings in the past.

I started the sauce yesterday (Tuesday). I had picked some rose hips in the morning to make some rose hip syrup. I put them on to cook, I just took the tails and heads of them, popped them in the saucepan whole put them on to come to a boil and left them to soften. I came back twice and mixed them to break the hips up and to release the juices. I then strained the seed and skins overnight catching all the juices. I then added some sugar. I do not add a huge amount as I do not like it too sweet.

The history of rosehip syrup

During the war, government scientists realised that, weight for weight, rosehips have over 20 times the vitamin C of oranges. So the Ministry of Food (UK) recommended rosehip syrup and a generation of children began receiving a daily dose.

During World War II, a national week for the collection of rosehips was established in late September. Scouts, guides and other groups would head out to harvest the nation’s hedgerows. In 1941 this produced a 200 ton haul of hips which made 600,000 bottles of commercially produced syrup!

With the growing popularity of foraging, the vitamin saviour of World War II has been making a welcome comeback.

As well as vitamin C, rosehips are a great source of vitamin A, D and E. They contain an anti-inflammatory and have been shown to help relieve the symptoms of arthritis.

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2019/07/raw-rosehip-syrup/

Home goods for my pantry.

In the photo above the tomato sauce is in the large jars on the left( with the seeds in them). The small jars in front with the red colour are my four jars of rosehip syrup for over autumn and winter. To the right of that t

Blackberry Thyme Oxymel

Based on a recipe from “Wild Drinks and Cocktails” by Emily Han

Ingredients

6 oz container of organic blackberries (approx. 1-1/4 cup)

½ cup roughly chopped thyme

1 ½ cups of raw apple cider vinegar

1 cup local raw honey

Directions

Place berries in a bowl and lightly crush.

Coarsely chop thyme and combine with blackberries in a glass mason jar.

Cover with vinegar, making sure thyme and blackberries are submerged with at least 1/4 inch of headspace.

Use a non-reactive lid and store in a cool, dark space for 2 to 4 weeks.

Strain the mixture using cheesecloth, add honey and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 year.

Add your oxymel to seltzer or use as a base for sauces, marinades or salad dressing.  It’s a great way to stay healthy through the winter.
Recipe from https://soulholistichealth.com/blackberry-thyme-oxymel/

The final jar the tall jar on the far right with all the chopped up things in it is my Fire Cider Vinegar. I followed the recipe from Danus Irish Herb Garden. on Youtube. It is not quite ready to be strained.


I feel happy to have these items to go in my pantry in any year. This year with all that is happening as we here in the Southern Hemisphere are heading into Winter and the normal cold and flu season. The added concern of Covid-19. Well I want to be as prepared to have things to assist me and my body as best I can.

My garden provides so much the rosehips, the black berries, the garlic. All for free, as I now grow garlic from my own previous years supply. Horseradish seems to have fallen out of favour with Wasabi seeming to be many peoples preferred heat these days. I am very content with Horseradish.

I am thankful that Mother Earth provides me with so much free food. I am also thankful that she has given me the ability to grow things for myself.
I am thankful that I was able to go out and do what I needed to today. I am thankful to be home, in my safe, isolation with my two dogs. I am thankful for the lovely fresh produce that is grown around me in this beautiful valley.

keep well blessings to you all Tazzie





Hedge Rows and Killer Ants.

I was out picking blackberries this morning in what I consider my hedgerow. I know it is not really a true hedge row.
I know that here in Tasmania mostly in the midlands and north of the state there are some amazing hedges and hedge rows. I recall driving into Perth Tasmania from Hobart and seeing these amazing structures, quite neglected but quite lovely still.

In spring Tasmania reminds many people of UK.

It is so green and rich looking, from mid Autumn to late early summer providing rainfall has been adequate. Combined with Georgian and Victorian style houses and buildings in towns and cities across Tasmania and rural areas.

Records indicate there are 3,000 kilometres of historic hawthorn hedges left.
Landline: Tony King

Along with hawthorn hedgerows, many planted in the first half of the 19th Century and stone walls. In reality the only similarities are the verdant green of the grass from autumn to early summer, the Georgian and Victorian built heritage that still remains and the patchwork of fields enclosed by the hawthorn hedgerows, many of which were planted in the first half of the 19th century.

The first hedgerows were planted and cared for them which then enabled the family that owned the property to plant crops for the early colony of Tasmania.
Sadly for the last 70plus years these hedgerows hae been neglected as barbed wire fencing became more accessible and affordable.
Mr Dumarseq a sith generation farmer said.

“We’re slowly now just starting to trim them again, lay them over in the traditional way and bring them back into traditional working order.”

The family has employed one of Australia’s few traditional hedge layers, James Boxhall to work on the property. James has been slowly beginning to trim and lay them as the convicts would have so once again the hedge rows will be back in working order.

James Boxhall at work in Tasmania

Since the introduction of barbed wire, fencing has taken on a whole new form, harsh on the eye, requires mining and high energy to produce and is lifeless. In stark contrast a healthy living hedge is not only a fence or boundary but a nature reserve full of diversity.

Flowering profusely in the spring, highly fragrant, buzzing with insects and the chatter of birds they attract, visually spectacular with painful thorns for the unwary. A sensory overload! Ever-changing autumn brings fruit, prized by the Green Rosellas, the swamp harriers and goshawks cruise the extremities flushing out prey, small mammals find homes among the roots and branches, all while these carbon sinks provide shelter from the elements for our sheep and cattle.

The satisfaction of preserving these ancient hedges and passing on a dying craft has kept people like Mr Boxhall on the job, cutting, pushing, bending and chainsawing the thorny and at times nasty plants back into the shape of the traditional fences.

“Science has shown your mortality rates in sheltered paddocks are 50% less than in unsheltered paddocks”, James says. https://www.outbackmag.com.au/sticks-and-stones/

We must ensure their survival long into the future.

In the UK their benefits are of such importance the government pays land owners to look after and maintain them in the Countryside Stewardship scheme creating gainful employment for many. Here in Tasmania we too should appreciate the great value healthy hedgerows make to the diversity, ecology and charm of the Tasmanian landscape as well of course as the cultural importance of our British colonisation.

Fortunately in 2003 John and Robyn Hawkins employed master hedgelayer and stonewaller Karl Leibscher from Shropshire in the English midlands to teach a small team these traditional skills and to restore the many kilometres of hedges on their property “Bentley”.

James says he has had the great privilege of being invited to the Patrons Event, a competition held this year on the Queen’s estate “Sandringham” by the Patron of the National Hedgelaying Society HRH The Prince of Wales.
“I travelled to England to compete in the National Hedgelaying Championships, becoming the first person from outside of Europe to do so”.
http://www.omlxi.com/sticks_stones/about.php#james

Along with 35 other competitors from most parts of the UK we were given six hours to lay, stake and bind our 7-yard section of hedge which was judged at the end of the day. Many of England’s masters of the craft were in attendance to advise and mentor which made it an invaluable experience. The chance to meet and talk with Prince Charles about Tasmania and hedges was wonderful, an opportunity I will not forget.

“It’s a big undertaking, it’s a long-term thing, it’s almost a five to 10 year plan that [the] Dumaresqs are looking at and it’s a big financial undertaking as well,” Mr Boxhall said.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-04/restoring-tasmanias-hawthorn-hedges/9106960


So I accept that my boundary is not a true traditional hedge row, as it is not made from bent trees and woven and trimmed. It does keep my dogs in. I love my hedgerow. It is full of life. It is not for stock and meets my needs.

Looking down the hedgerow.

I do wish I could say this is a fairy entrance into my garden, it is almost as magical. This is a pathway for wallabies and other animals it goes under the apple tree. The blackberries provide a safe escape. Quiet a few years ago I watched a blue tongue lizard eating blackberries just up from this spot. This has been a pathway for all the time I have lived here. I will not fence as I love having the wallabies come in and be part of my garden. So many new people are moving here and fully fencing their properties to keep the wallabies and possums out. I understand if you are having stock or horses, but just to keep the animals that belong here much more then we do out of their pathways and feeding areas not good.

Hedge row blackberries grass and bracken no fencing at all along here. The only small bit of fencing is where the apple tree is and the first bit of grassland as people would come onto our land to pick the apples. No problem with them taking them from the road side.

How lovely the rain has arrived and is falling as I type. It has cooled off.

Hedge rows (neighbours across) is a pine of sorts just a hedge) Mine blackberries bracken and agapanthas.(white flowers) I do not have any fencing along here at all.

Agapanthas I cut and had to go back to pick up because I had forgotten them. The clouds were coming over and as I bent to pick them up I felt two stinging burning bites. Really painful I was in a mass of Jack Jumper ants. I feel they knew it was going to rain. Why they were about the agapantha flowers I am not sure. They were no where about earlier when it was humid so sticky and humid. Below is the photograph I took of two of them and some information about these beasties! (I was also bitten earlier in the week in the veggie garden on my left index finger).

Photograph of Jack Jumper Ants in my garden

The jack jumper – Tasmania’s killer ant: 2012

By Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

Jack jumpers (Myrmecia pilosula) are small, black and orange ants with extremely keen eyesight and an unusual ability to jump. This tiny creature is considered one of the most dangerous ants in the world – and, indeed, the most dangerous animal in Australia! In Tasmania, the death toll from the jack jumper’s sting is about one person every four years – greater than the toll inflicted by sharks or by the most poisonous of snakes or spiders.

They are named after the ‘jumping-jack firecracker’ because of their tendency to jump aggressively towards potential threats to themselves or their nests, and to follow up with multiple painful, fiery stings.

The ant’s fierce-looking, toothed jaws are ideal for holding insect prey in place while using the stinger at the end of its abdomen to jab its victim.

Jack jumpers are so very dangerous because the venom in their stings is one of the most powerful in the insect world; about three per cent of Tasmanians (some 14,000 people) are at risk of anaphylactic shock if stung.

While jack jumpers are common in the bush, their preference for disturbed, sparsely-vegetated and stony ground allows them to colonise roadsides, pathways and heavily-grazed paddocks.

For the same reasons, they can also be common in recently-established suburbs. Nests are typically found under logs and rocks and can often be spotted from the mounds of gravel that mark the entrance holes.

Not one single ant species, but a complex of seven superficially very similar species, jack jumpers hold a key position in native ecosystems.

Despite their notoriety, their nest-building improves soil structure, while their predatory and competitive behavior with other insects and invertebrates helps to selectively enhance plant growth.

They are also a food source for other animals. The most important predator of jack jumpers is the echidna, which – unfortunately for people – avoids disturbed ground and suburban areas.

Below please excuse my dirty feet, I have been working and walking about in sandles all day. Digging and on dirt paths in bare feet.
You can see my bites fortunately I am not allergic to them.

The first is on the side of my big toe, and it is swollen quite a lot now it feels like I have a huge blister or pad under my foot when I walk and the top and side is hot to touch and red. There is no pain just a burning sensation which is not unusual. This ant really had a tight grasp on me. It was still attached even when I pulled my sandle off.

Below. The one on my toe is not too bad it has not swollen any where near as much as I feared. (I could not bend my finger for 24 hours after it was bitten, and it itches off and on annoyingly so) It is burning still I know if it had swollen I would have found it really annoying as you can see I have webb toes and it would have impacted both of them. The redness you can see is the reaction but that has disapated and basically where the whiteness is and the small red dot (bite) is now red and the rest of my foot now clean is back to normal. Of course I was bitten on different feet. I can laugh now.

Even with this I have had a wonderful day and so have my dogs. We did our usual run this morning. I picked fruit and stacked some of my wood. I pruned some trees and bushes. (bushes mainly for access for my gas bottle delivery man. )
My dogs were wanting another walk so after their meal we went off on the way home one of my neighbours was out with her two dogs, so my guys played with them as we chatted for ages.

We waved as several other neighbours drove up or down the road. As the dogs played in their paddock.

Another neighbour came and joined us, bringing us each a gift of half a marrow, a zucchini/courgette that has grown huge. I am going to stuff mine and bake it, yummo on tuesday when I have gas again.
She also gave us each a jar of her homemade home grown apricot relish yummo!

We chatted for quite a while and her friend came looking for her and stayed for a while and talked with us more.
I had to go as Busby was so hot and tired and Miss Treacle was sleeping under the shade of a tree. So we all said bye. All smiling.

As I write I am listening to the rain and Busby snoring deeply as he has been since 5pm (it is now 8pm) and Miss Treacle making mmmering noises in her sleep. Neither of them raising their head if I get up to do something. Not normal. Sleeping the exhausted.
It is a lovely night, all dry our tummies full and comfy beds to sleep in.
I am not suffering with my ant bites. I have learnt about Tasmanias true hedgerows.

I am so thankful for lovely neighbours, other dogs for my dogs to play with, the rain, the gifts I received to day, the bounty of Mother Earth, I will have more blackberries, and the apples will be ready soon. I am thankful for I am truelove blessed.

Blessings to You all Tazzie

A little bit of paradise

It is such a glorious day here in the valley where I live. The sky is blue with puffs and streaks of white cloud blowing over. Its a lovely temperature and being a Saturday many people are out enjoying it. The most enjoyable thing is there is not one mower or chainsaw being used. It is blissful and relatively quiet, except for the birds singing and my neighbours little girl playing and laughing with her daddy.


There is a gentle wind, which will dry my washing out. I use a clothes horse and fencing about my deck to hang it. The pleasure I have when I bring in the clothes smelling of sunshine. Sigh.


I did have three clothes lines but had to have them taken down for my replacement water tank to go in. (I guess that is important information if you are on tank water; ensure access is easy to replace your water tanks.)
The plastic ones are easier as you can roll them into position, I do have one plastic one. Not so with the corrugated metal ones.

Corn flowers continue to flower, and provide seed for next flowering season. A sweet pea is growing in the planter, along with some strawberry plants. Only the strawberry was planted in this particular pot. I love my garden for this it self seeds and brings so much beauty for so little work.



I am watching lots of butterflies and bees flying about, along with some white cabbage moths, I feel I am loosing the battle with them and my brassicas. I am having little luck with broccoli forming heads, and the pick again are also not as I hoped. Perhaps I put them in a bit early. Oh well I am eating them and enjoying what I get. I am also adding the leaves to dogs food and my own too.

I spent a while at the begining of the week cleaning the leaves of all the brasscias on my deck before I put them under the netting. Only to discover that I had left it open so the white cabbage moth had laid eggs and caterpillars have eaten the leaves.

So sitting out on my deck just enjoying the day, I am attempting to shoot photos of butterflies the one below is the only one I captured.

I am not sure what it is but all my butterflies look the same. I am not sure if I can attract some others. I may have to research this. It was lovely to see so many floating about my garden.


Earlier in the morning I was watering the garden. I realised all of a sudden that all the bird life had stopped flying and chatting. I just caught the wedge tail eagle as it flew bye, explaining why it is not a great shot.

Treacle on the wet paw out door mat eating her blackberries



I gave my dogs a squashy blackberry each and how they loved them. So they have had a small feast each of delicious organic blackberries from the bushes that make up my boundary.
Miss Treacle was not too sure about them. I had to feed her several by hand and then she decided she liked the a lot.
Busby on the other hand just tasted and dove into his serve and then ate the leftovers from me. We all had our fill of blackberries this morning.

Oh Yum delicious blackberries!
Busby loves blackberries. Cleaning up the left overs
Thanks for the tasty blackberries

The beautiful days have bought some growth in the veggie garden.


The asparagus bed is still giving me asparagus every so often, I have high hopes for it next season.





Onions in the old wheel barrow. Looking
lush. The peach tree needs a prune.

Whoa so proud of this capsicum plant(above) I planted it in the asparagus bed and it is doing really well. It has 3 capsicums forming well and more flowers. Who knows if they will grow bigger and ripen or not?

Oh my this bed above is a bit of a disaster. The pumpkins are not happy, neither are the cucumbers. Ahh well a big learning curve lots to read up on for next year. The pumpkins that are meant to be growing (unless I confused the names are butternuts. The wee yellow round blobs are not butternuts. Lucky I can laugh at it.

The chili (at least that is what I think it is ) has another fruit on it, and is flowering. It is purple coloured the fruit. Again all I can do is wait and see what develops.

These tomatoes are Suplice and were supposed to be early developers. I have had five small sized tomatoes of the two plants in the garden bed. There are more beginning to change colour and quite a few green ones. The good news is that at least I am getting some ripe tomatoes. Most people who are growing outside this year are having a bad time with tomatoes.

This is my one and only zucchini I have managed to grow so far this summer, and I am nervous to suggest it is going to develop.. As three others have not but they were smaller than this one. It is not for lack of water so I am so uncertain as to why my squash family are doing so poorly.

I have never had this problem in the past. It is not just in one bed three beds have not really done much. The zucchini has a lot of male flowers and few females.

Red vein something the young leaves
can be eaten.

Rocket is beginning to shoot up all
over the place, this is great news.

The Corn is looking good, as are the beans, I have begun harvesting beans though I am fairly certain I have created a bit of bad seed scenario. As I have planted two or 3 varieties of indeterminate and one determinate. So I am not sure if they cross pollinate. I really have forgotten so much and realise I was quite gung ho with my summer crops. It is an adventure.

I am fairly happy with the Three Sister bed, it is the first time I have grown squash, beans and corn together. Below is the only pumpkin I have growing and this is a butternut Waltheim variety from memory. It is only about 9cm/4inches long not including the dead flower. Again I have no idea if it will mature or not.
Previously I shared about my neighbours lovely pumpkins sadly something has got into his and eaten them. Which is really disheartening for him and I do feel for him. As he has worked so hard on his beds and building his trellis.
That is the thing with gardening you can never count your pumpkins or any harvest definitively until it is inside your house, and you taste it and it is delicious.

The beans just keep reaching for the sky, they are now way over my height, probably at about 213cm /7 1/2foot now and flowering and producing beans..Yippe!

Immature waltheim butternut pumpkin 9cm /4inches approx.
brassica bed

Photo above is my brassica bed. It looks like the flash went off, but it didn’t. A very bright light at midday. The kale is the plant on the rear left and is doing really well. I never knew it would just keep on growing.

My broccoli plants are in the foreground. Interestingly the one with the seed heads from my silver beet draped all over it is not as impacted by white cabbage moth caterpillar as the one on the left.
To the right background is the jostaberry bush.

The photograph above show the other two capsicum plants that were put in at the same time as the one in the asparagus bed. In hindsight I should have left all of them in the one bed. This is not the best photo of them, as the smaller plant in front has some wee capsicums on it and lots of flowers. The taller one only has flowers.
The plant to the right is another pumpkin, variety I have no idea but

it has a fruit growing on it. Fingers crossed it matures. If anyone can assist with help as to why I seem to be having more male flowers I would really appreciate it.

Daisy I put into wine barrel at the front of my deck is very happy as it seems the self sown sunflower. I wait to see what happens with it.

Self sown peas, green peas not sweet peas. I love it when things just pop up, and surprise you especially as I dont think green peas are supposed to be growing now.

Two cabbage seedlings, just beginning, I had some others but someone ate them. So I moved these and hope they will be OK. I have to sow some more.

Ive been tidying up my deck plants, just waiting for the lettuce in the background to seed and I will fix that pot up too. Sadly I lost one of my lemon trees this year, it was in the purple pot. I keep meaning to plant one of them out in the ground. I just never know when is the best time. As they seem to be always flowering.

You can see it is still very dry here, pretty normal for summer. We did have some rain (not a lot on Thursday night and it was quite cool) I am fine for water I still have two thirds of a tank in the metal tanks and my plastic tank is full.
I have to work out how to connect it to my others so I can use it on the pump as it is very slow to water the garden on pressure alone. I have also been distracted, forgotten I was watering and emptied the tank. Not good

Actually I know how to do it, it is just purchasing the things I need and doing it. It is just one more thing that is difficult with my CPSTD. Since so many things I have done or had done, have been made worse not so bad when I have done it. Really frustrating when someone you paid has left you worse off than before they came to fix it, and three times came back but made it worse! OK let it go, let it go breathe.

I have a very long list of what I need to do. One list only and no pressure.

Strawberries and brassicas hmm weird.

This is a very healthy eggplant/aubergine and it has flowers, same story as almost all things will any fruit mature? It is the wait and see vegetable garden here.

Busby is hunting gekos, and I love the red geranium it brings such a lovely colour to this part of the garden. There is a curry plant on the left that has seen better days. Soapwort grows under and about the geranium.

Red veined sorrel has seeded and has new young leaves, delicious.

The tomatoes on my deck are getting larger, and flowering still I just wait for them to ripen. I have noticed some I think they are the mortgage lifter appear to have some blossom rot damage. No idea how that happened. As non of the others have it and they have all been roughly where they are all together since I put the seedlings in. I have basil growing in some of the pots the way things are going I will have to harvest the basil and make pesto.

Brassicas on the deck not looking so great.

New leaves on this poor lemon and lots of flowers, I am hoping it will give me a lot of lemons. Lots of new growth on the lemon and lime too in the foreground.

This is really interesting, this little pot has violas in it an two brassicas. It has never been under the netting and up until this point in time, no white cabbage moth damage at all? I wonder if the scent of the violas is deterring the moth?

My attempt to fix a broken limb well part of it is still healthy. Not sure what happened to the broken bit at the bottome of the tape there. I need to check if there is scale on this plant again. I have recently given it some iron water, not sure what is going on withthe older leaf. I need to look that up.

This is a happy lemon look at the new growth yes.

I am so thankful for today. It was lovely just to be able to spend time in the garden. My back is getting better, and I am hoping next week I will be able to begin to stack my wood. I am thankful that I did not hurt my back severely.
I am thankful that I am getting produce from my garden, and that I have been outside for most of the day.
I am constantly tired, and a bit flat, but spending time enjoying nature, watching the birds, bees, butterflies, meditating and just enjoying the sunshine have all been good.

thankyou all for your support
blessings to you all
Tazzie

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