Vegetable Patchwork

Cold (Frame) Comfort

Winter passed. Spring began and this time I was ready for those little frosts that we still get in Castlamaine even in November… The Latest from the CFT_Vegie Patch.

The plan over the winter was to be more organised with my seeds and be ready to plant my tomatoes come Melbourne Cup day (5th November this year) among other things.

And so I was very excited to finally make my cold frames, with the help of a mate and his circular saw, using recycled decking from the old pool area and 2 second hand windows that picked up in Trentham (for $5 a piece). Together with some cunning design work and hey presto a little insurance for my fragile seedlings over winter days and Spring frost lives. Except a couple of weeks ago, on the one day we had of 30 odd degrees, I forgot to lift the lids for ventilation, worse —  forgot to water and subsequently manged to scorch everything ;(  even the zucchini finally withered. A sad day but valuable lesson. Withered zucchini pictured in front of the cold frame next to the right of healthy zucchini replacements!

So as I write nothing is in the ground, I pretty much had to start again, the tomatoes are taking there time let me tell you so cup day will be a distant memory before these seedlings go in. Of course, I had to purchase seedlings but that did provide a greet excuse to get to St. Erth in Blackwood — home of the the Diggers club and an amazing garden to visit. More on this next time.


Spring 2013

So finally the weather warms up. The seedlings are finally coming through and here’s what’s been planted so far.

Water Melon & Cantaloupe Melon (at #1’s request)
Continental Cucumber
Tomatoes, lots of varieties including Tigerella, Tommy Toe & Yellow Pear
Chillies — black, we’ll see how these go not had much luck with chillies

And still to go in:
Hot Mustard

And sweet potato that I grew unsuccessfully last year seems to have self seeded and is now looking good. Early days but I’m loving the warmer weather and plans are happening in the garden  which will impact on the vegie patch and orchard to be…


Winter 2013

Last year my leek growing was a disaster. This year I’m happy to say the opposite is true, the only thing I did differently was to plant the leeks in a different location, however most areas of the vegie patch get at least 6 hrs of full sun, so the only reason I can think of is that the soil conditions have improved. Yay for composting. So here’s what I did with my leek harvest this year.

Other success stories include the Silverbeat which self seeded, after coming under heavy possum attack last year, and positively went nuts. Celery was fantastic although we didn’t eat nearly enough of it. My rhubarb, a cutting courtesy of a friend in Northcote, is really begining to establish itself and my Spanish onions are really doing well too. My wild flat leaf rocket of last year failed to come back but my more traditional Roquette is thriving and very peppery. And for the fist time I’m actually growing garlic. Which should be ready sometime in December.

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