We love our Vegetable Garden. Different years have greatly different results depending on the climate and our energy levels.Some years we are rather competent and attentive and this is rewarded with a close to self-sufficient veggie patch. Other years we are less attentive and have very little to show for it.
We plant much later than most, mainly because we find that seedlings planted into warm soil hit the ground growing... rather than needing to survive the cold before they grow. Also in Canberra we can have very late frosts so it is always a gamble as to when they are over. We have come to plan around Melbourne Cup Day being a safe time to plant.
Our garden is a whole family affair. I find that the more the kids are involved the more they are likely to eat the vegetables that are presented on their plate.
I am hopeful and slightly optimistic that this is a year of growth for us all, and that the garden will be rewarded with attentiveness, which in return will reward us with delicious organic vegetables.
With our veggie patch re-fertilised and doubled in size, we set out to the nursery to select this years crop. Ideally I would LOVE to be growing all of our veg from seeds, but this requires me to be even more attentive, and I have not yet got to that place :) We often save our seeds but are not yet dedicated enough to do this productively. The kids love picking the tomato varieties for the year and love all the different names they have. They also join in the discussions about vegetable selections... should we try yellow zucchini this year or stick with the tried and true black jacks? What type of onions are on the menu? Do we want real spinach or just silver beet What colour carrots do we enjoy? This year we selected: kent pumpkins, beans, snow peas, more strawberries, Lebanese cucumbers, black jack zucchinis, spinach, rainbow chard, 4 types of cherry tomatoes, 4 types of big tomatoes HEAPS of Basil, lettuce sweet potato (trial) and a mixed bag of carrots. We also choose nasturtiums as our edible flower to welcome bees into our garden.
This year the kids did all the planting and I acted only as a foreman. I delighted in hearing Orlando teach Matilda how to care for and plant the seedlings. His instructions were "Squeeze the tub... but not too much... support the stem in your fingers... turn it upside down... and then take the pot off.... now the fun bit.... tickle the roots and make the plant happy.... if you laugh too it works better.... now put the happy plant in the hole... make sure it is up straight and not falling over.... and cover it with the dirt like a blanket... remember you don't like a blanket over your head and neither does the plant, so just around its bottom and legs, which is the roots.... push it down tight so it is cosy and give it a kiss with water, but not too much .... then we wait before we can eat it..."
Don't think I could have put it better myself....
Now to do the waiting part... remember to kiss it with water regularly and see how we go....
How is your garden growing this season? Hopeful?