An explosion in the garden

This is what happens when you stay out of the garden for a week. It explodes!

The weather this past week has been considerably warmer, topping 40C degrees on Thursday with some heavy rain and storms too. It’s clearly been good growing weather as the garden is proving. Sadly, the grass concurs as it has grown enough to nearly need working in just 6 days. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

We spent a grand total of 15 minutes in Ballan this evening, a dropping off of some boxes and other stuff after having spent the day in Bendigo with my extended family for Christmas. We have had a lovely, but long day and didn’t make it home until nearly 9pm. But having that 5 minute check out of the gardens has been wonderful. Here’s the tally.

I’ve lost a few Marigold seedlings, suspected snails and slugs as well as possibly planting some too deep. I have more to plant so I’m not concerned. The various herbs are all doing well and the pyrethrum and parsley which were looking a little wan last week have bounced back green and strong. I’ve lost a couple of my sunflower seedlings, but as they’re not fans f being transplanted I am not overly surprised at their loss. In fact, I’m surprised I didn’t lose more. And the sunflower seeds I planted last Sunday evening are already starting to sprout and wave their cotyledon around in the sunshine. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunflower seedlings. I only planted single seeds but there were some broken ones that I threw in too. Either some seeds hold twins or the broken ones sprouted! :o

Sunflower seedlings. I only planted single seeds but there were some broken ones that I threw in too. Either some seeds hold twins or the broken ones sprouted! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Sunflower seedlings that were planted last Saturday.

Sunflower seedlings that were planted last Saturday.

Ground-burst and a new born plant.

Ground-burst and a new born plant.

Venturing in to the vegetable garden proper and I nearly fell over. The pumpkins have grown nearly a whole foot! Beware the unguarded as they will take over the garden if left unsupervised! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Well, if they give me lots of big golden pumpkins, I say let them! My lone butternut pumpkin (butternut squash to my British and American friends) who was given a doubtful survival chance has proven to be only slightly less tenacious than my one remaining watermelon plant and almost as vigorous as his pumpkin cousins.

Vigorous pumpkins

Vigorous pumpkins


The beans are putting out their second sets of true leaves and even a few third sets too which is great. I fully expect them to start making use of the fence in the next week. Hoping I get some to harvest for Christmas but not counting those chickens quite yet.

Some of the corn are going gangbusters and the others are not far behind and I will plant some more seeds tomorrow to increase the potential corn harvest. The zucchinis are doing well too although I’ve desperately got to weed the corn, kini and melon bed as the straw I used as mulch obviously still had a lot of grain attached – it’s all sprouted. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Not bad for a fairly shaded garden bed. I think Martin will be cracking out the chainsaw tomorrow on that tree.

My one and only lonely watermelon seedling.

My one and only lonely watermelon seedling.

The onions and chives are doing well although it’s still hard to see too much happening. I don’t think I will get a good crop this year but I don’t think they do too well with freshly built no dig garden beds. Time will tell though.

The broccoli haven’t done too badly either although something is having a fine time munching on the leaves. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ 2 of the seedlings have shown me just how much they love me though as they have quadrupled in size and are going great guns. I wonder if they will provide something for Christmas lunch. I doubt it but I live in hope.ย The rest have done pretty well too, considering how sickly a few of them were. Not all survived but I was pretty sure that some of them would just not make it. Still and all, no harm in trying.

My second largest broccoli seedling

My second largest broccoli seedling


The largest broccoli seeding


The brassica bed

My currently empty and awaiting more tomato seedlings bed is doing well too. Clearly the newspapers weren’t thick enough to stop one particularly tenacious weed as the rotten thing has come up smack bang in the middle of the garden bed. Its brothers and sisters have also come up in other areas. I have a feeling that it might need to get up close and personal with some natural herbicide (read salt and vinegar) or be completely, totally and utterly dug out. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

The planted tomato bed is going very well too as all it’s tomato inhabitants have at least doubled in size. One of my capsicums has died but the rest are doing well and it appears I even have some flower buds on there. Yay!


The radishes have also all doubled in size and in fact I can see the beginnings of those red roots that I eagerly await. And if I look closely underneath the shade of their leaves I can indeed see carrots beginning to wave at me. The few I thought may have been carrots last week turned out to be a few washed out of line radishes.


And most impressively of all are the spuds! I need to get another load of compost with which to bury them again already! It’s only been 2 weeks since I last buried them! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Spuds anyone. Just wish I had X-ray vision to see what's happening under the soil. The most vigorous of our spuds have been the Sapphire spuds.

Spuds anyone. Just wish I had X-ray vision to see what’s happening under the soil. The most vigorous of our spuds have been the Sapphire spuds.

It’s unbelievable what a little sunshine and rain can do. ๐Ÿ˜€


15 thoughts on “An explosion in the garden

  1. narf77 says:

    We have all of the sunshine (laser sunshine at that) and none of the rain! Do you think you mainlanders could see fit to give us back some of our moisture quotient for the year? There has to be SOME benefits to living in Tasmania! ;). Your garden is going great guns. My naturally competitive streak is alread planning lots more garden beds fueled not only by your magnificent exponential vegetable endeavours but also by my friend in the witness protection who just raised the bar to new (and previously unimagined) level by having her erstwhile partner build her an amazing antivermin enclosed veggie garden bed covered by an old tennis net…its huge…its amazing and I am officially envious beyond belief! Time to get (poor long suffering) Steve out there and work out how to mimic this amazing edifice to wallaby/possum free gardening. I am going to (enviously) put some pictures of it in my next post. Not only is it amazing…it’s blue! What’s not to like! Something has been snarfling my eggplants. I thought I was the ONLY thing in Tasmania that loved eggplants but I was wrong…their fuzzy little unhappy stunted selves are not amused. I tossed slug pellets (eco friendly of COURSE) around them but to no avail…not of the sliggety variety my vermin…probably some kind of rare and endangered ecopest imported from Venezuela no doubt…sigh…I might get to coax 2 plants to fruition but I am not all that ambitious about imbibing of the tasty flesh of the home grown eggplant any day soon :(. I have lettuce out the wazoo, tomatoes going gangbusters, zukes and cukes are all doing what they are supposed to do and I need to get weedin’ as well! We have the interesting “problem” of mushrooms growing exponentially in the veggie gardens thanks to the top dressing of mushroom compost (cheers Steve (Soloman) for that bit of advice ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) so we get to harvest them as well and they are showing no signs of ceasing and are curiously attracted to growing around the chives that I planted. Interesting symbiotic relationship forming there! I love having a veggie garden and next year…it will be like a Serendipity Farm earthgarden scale jobby! Anyone out there want a chestnut, walnut or hazelnut tree? I have so many I am drowning in them! There is frugal germination of edible species and there is ridiculous amounts of plants that 4 acres could never possibly hope to contain. Any Tasmanians let me know…I have precious food bearing babies to give away ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oh if only I was local. I’d take your nut trees in a heartbeat.
      Vermin have yet to be assessed but I suspect that it will be a problem easily cleared up with coffee grounds and ducks. ๐Ÿ™‚
      As for the rain, a few months ago all the locals would have shipped it over as gardens were more than just a little soggy. The mozzies loved all the standing water though. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
      Looking forward to you raising the bar in friendly competition. ๐Ÿ˜‰ it will challenge me to keep at it so bring it on. ๐Ÿ˜€ And Matthew Evans from The Gourmet Farmer has a gorgeous enclosed veggie garden. Martin has even offered to enclose ours should the bunnies, possums or others become a problem. Don’t think it will though. Well I hope not.

      • narf77 says:

        Matthew Evans also has normal soil ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Ours is rocky and it sometimes takes a fair few tries to find somewhere that we can dig a hole let alone manage to put a pole in. Check out wednesday’s post to see what our friend in the witness protection’s clever partner made for her…I have plans for more of that ex fish farm netting if I can get more! ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • Yes, rocky soil is a pain. Hopefully you don’t do what we did – sink a hole and hit a pipe. *sigh*

          • narf77 says:

            Been there…done that…had to mend it ourselves ;). It’s amazing how resiliant you become (and how ingenious) when you are penniless hippy students who live in the bush! I am thinking of changing our last name to “Mcgyver” ๐Ÿ˜‰

            • Bah, McGyver has NOTHING on you guys! You rock with your ingenuity thinking outside the box.

              • narf77 says:

                Damned RIGHT we do! ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s the combination of our Yin/Yang personalities, our complete oppositedness and the fact that we are the most stubborn bollocks on this side of the Peacos that result in us being unable to let anything alone for long. We very VERY rarely give in, and when we do…we usually find at least some way to save our dignity and arrive at where we want to be :). Penniless hippies of the world unite (for there are a heck of a lot more of us than any other kind of hippies I can tell you! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

                • I’m still kicking my brain into thinking outside the square. Thankfully I have other friends who think like you do and the advice, inspiration and suggestions from them have helped immensely. Our security door as our chook pen door is just one example of their suggestive handiwork. And now that we are indeed penniless (or sure will be after the reno’s are complete) I will have to kick my brain into creative high gear.

  2. I am in awe of your garden. It’s amazing the effect a little change in the weather can have. It’s actually been hotter in Victoria (and NSW) this past week than it has been up here in the tropics. Admittedly, the temperature here has still been in the low 30’s with high humidity where just walking from the house to the car gets a good sweat going. Hence the air cons have been running hot, and I’m so glad that we have our solar electricity in place now to run them. Having said that, the hot weather has been great for my sweet potatoes. I will post some update pics on my blog soon. In the meantime, keep up the great work in your garden.

    • We have had the humidity the last 2 days, and today, although considerably cooler is probably still high humidity. It doesn’t take much to make a plant happy hey. Some water, some sunshine and some dirt. Obviously to make them delirious they have their soil preferences but even so. Looking forward to your sweet potato pics.

  3. Ingrid says:

    A little sun and rain and a whole lot of love will make your garden grow:)

    Sent from my iPhone

  4. Looking so good. You’re right; you really get a sense for how things are taking off when you haven’t seen them for a few days. I can’t help myself but check out the lot at least once a day. And, after the rains we have had, things are going insane. The watermelon and radishes are my two fondess accomplishments–not that they have fruited; I shouldn’t get too ahead of myself. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. p.s. When the light is nice tomorrow, I’m going to go down and photograph anything and share the progress on my blog. I’ll keep you posted. Everybody else who is reading this: do stop by. ๐Ÿ™‚

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