Growing vegetables in the backyard over summer is a particularly interesting pastime. The challenges of sun, heat and watering lead some plants to give up completely and others to go absolutely gangbusters and produce awesome quality ingredients in abundance. My tomatoes went well and I also had good supplies of green beans, basil and passionfruit. I grew pumpkins (for the second year) and again was blown away by the prolific growth. I planted a smaller variety in the hope it wouldn’t take over the garden.
Also planted watermelon for the first time and as you can see by the size, it was barely worth it. Didn’t taste too bad, but not amazing. One of my garden beds is especially hot over summer so I put in plenty of sunflower seeds. Have to say they looked particularly beautiful and I’ve harvested the seeds to plant for next summer.
Now the heat of February and March has passed I’ve been loving getting out and working in the garden. Over Easter I got into the vegetable patch and cleared off the exhausted summer plants, added lots of compost and organic material. Also dug over all of the garden beds and set about preparing the garden for new plantings. I planted some lettuce and rocket seedlings. Also broad beans, peas, green beans and beetroot, plus brussels sprouts, garlic chives, sorrel and coriander. Once planted I put in a layer of straw to keep moisture in the soil and (hopefully) keep the weeds down.
All my hard work of preparing and planting is already paying dividends. In just a few weeks the lettuce and rocket have blossomed and I’m enjoying daily super-fresh salads. A few chilli and capsicum plants that were hidden behind the tomatoes and have done really well since they’ve had access to more sunlight. Herbs planted in January are going really well and I now have masses of sage, parsley, oregano, spearmint and thyme. So if you’re not already a vegetable gardener, prepare a small patch and give it a go. It’s a great time to be planting and the fruit, vegetable and herbs you get to enjoy will taste pretty amazing. Get to it!