Kitchen Garden Guides

Friday, January 3, 2014

Summer …….. or what?

Nothing illustrates the topsy turvy summer we are having in Tasmania more than the confusion in my garden and hot house. At last the basil has moved on from being only millimetres high to being centimetres but at the same time and less than a metre away there is self-sown miners’ lettuce germinating and growing fast. Normally miners’ lettuce germinates well into autumn and grows through the coldest time of the year!

I absolutely LOVE the red amaranth but have struggled to get it going here. Right next to the self-sown miners’ lettuce this year are a dozen or more magnificent, self-sown amaranth (and a few tomatoes too). Why would these things all come up within the same square foot of soil and, so far, no where else?? The most annoying bit is that this is where I planted 2 eggplant seedlings which are now totally outgrown by all this self-sown stuff!

I dare not shift the amaranth as it is the first sign that it is possible to grow good, strong plants of the green and the red amaranth here in southern Tasmania. I have shifted some the tomatoes away though. Interestingly the self-sown tomatoes, that only appeared a week or 2 ago, look fabulous compared to those I sowed months ago and nurtured through spring. I think I will have to shift the eggplants. Oh lalalala, gardening is so incredibly unpredictable and consequently it is never boring.

Side by side on my lunch plate are basil and miners’ lettuce!
Amaranth are just the prettiest  of vegetables
The square foot of multi-seasonal vegetables
Here, basil is best sown in December but it is soooooo tempting to sow it before
Full germination of some old Bari cucumber seeds. Only 1 germinated last year and this was to be their last chance!
I have a crop of 2 cranberries!!!!
….and about a dozen blueberries. Ok for their first year.
I can’t resist putting in another photo of the amaranth!


JOC said...

It has been crazy hasn't it Kate? The cucumber seeds that I was given because they were "out of date" have not only sprouted but I've already had 2 cucumbers. Whilst the self sown tomatoes are almost ready the eggplants just have the pretty flowers. I finally have ONE flower on the habanero chili and TWO flowers on the capsicum plant that survived out of eight of them. No nectarines or peaches this year because of terrible curly leaf. But it's still exciting to go outside and see what's happening.

Linda Woodrow said...

Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial put me on to amaranth (leaves and stems) sauteed in oyster sauce Chinese style. Amaranth grows nuts up here in summer so it's now a regular dish in our house.