24 November 2011

Vegetables winding down for the year

I'm looking forward to a peaceful day today. A walk around the garden, looking in on Mary and her eggs, a few emails and two summer hats for the babies and that will be it for me. I even slept in!  That was a good start to a quiet day and what made me think I should relax instead of work today.  It's the ideal time of year to start taking it easy.  The weather is hot again and everything is starting to wind down towards the summer holidays.

Our vegetable garden is starting to slow down too. There comes a time every year when Hanno and I ask each other: Will we keep planting? The answer now, is no. We'll keep harvesting and watering but own main growing year is almost over now and by late January most of the vegies will be gone, we'll rely on our freezer more and start planting again in March. There is still a lot of food there waiting to be harvested and much more that will keep producing like pumpkins and watermelons, but the planting is over for the year.

Let me introduce Lulubelle and Martha, our buff Orpington and Plymouth Rock chooks. Soon they'll be joined by some more of their type. The eggs under Mary are buff Orpingtons and Plymouth Rocks.

There are still a few gardening chores to carry out. This flower spike is just starting and when it flowers and turns into seeds, we'll collect them for our next planting. 

The beans have grow like wild fire this year. There are still a lot of the climbing green beans to eat fresh and to freeze and the butter beans below, a bush variety, still have another couple of weeks left in them.

The tomatoes have done well this year too. These are the French heirloom St Pierre that I grew in a pot at the garden entrance. We'll be collecting seeds from these so we can continue with them next year.

Over near the bok choy, we planted more mixed heirloom tomatoes about two weeks ago. I don't know what they'll be yet because they were mixed seeds given to me but this one above is a potato leaf variety so if might be a Brandywine or a Prudens Purple, or any number of delicious old fashioned tomatoes. Hopefully the weather won't be too hot for them to produce. Tomatoes stop setting flowers to fruit when the temperature is too high.

 This orange tree is full of small fruit that will be juicy and ripe next winter.

We have a few chilli bushes left from last year that have produced very well. These above are Firecracker - you can see them ripe red, and in the kitchen, below. The capsicums (peppers) and chillis aren't bothered at all by the hot weather. If we keep the water up to them, they'll keep growing happily all through summer. Then we'll cut them back and they'll come on again next year.

These are jalapeno chillis, a great one for spicy cooking or for making chilli jam.

 We always grow a lot of cucumbers. This is one of two Lebanese cucumber vines. They're picked small and crisp and are excellent in salads or for bread and butter pickles. Now that the hot humid weather is here, these vines will soon get powdery mildew and we'll pull them out.

And of course we always have flowers and herbs too. Here are some calendulas inviting the bees into the garden and parsley.

And what do we have here? The quiet gardener working on his compost. Shhhh, he doesn't know we're here. Let's walk away quietly.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends. I hope you all have a wonderful day.



  1. What a nice visual vacation to look in on your garden! Yesterday we had record rainfall here; getting very cold, blustery and wintry, too.

    Thank you for the Thanksgiving wish!


  2. Lovely wander about your vegie garden Rhonda...i have been wondering how much more planting to do too with this heat coming in fast.
    Do you leave your capsicum plants in...i didn't realise they would reflower? I picked our first lebanese cucumbers yesterday...so lovely to have a salad with tea fresh from the garden isn't it? I think i will try some heirloom tomatoes next year...have you found any variety particularly reliable? I seem to have real trouble with a black spot on mine!
    Enjoy a relaxing day...lots of rain here which might head your way!
    Jode x

  3. Rhonda, I love looking at your vege garden - it inspires me. We have only been dabbling with vege growing in recent years but every year plant more and more. We have a mini orchard now in our backyard and herbs, tomatoes, pumpkins and berries. There's nothing quite like growing your own food - we've lost touch with our roots in the cities. I am also trying to grow as many native 'bush tucker' foods as I can and look forward to 'semi-retiring' so that I can spend more time working in the garden. Thanks for your wonderful blog. Kindest Regards, Miki

  4. Good morning Rhonda, I had to laugh at your post this morning because for me here in Tasmania, my growing season is only just beginning!! I am finding it hard to imagine having the summer off from the the garden as we are all madly weeding, hoeing and planting out tomatoes, cukes, zucchini and beans!
    Our family have just returned from a 5 week holiday to Lismore in NSW and I can imagine how little would want to grow in the heat of your northern summers after just a few of those hot hot days! While we were away though, the weeds in our garden here, grew lush and succulent and I am having a delightful reunion with it on these balmy spring days! The weeding of fresh, luscious greens is therapeutic indeed!!
    Enjoy your gardening holiday - and the fruits of your earlier labours!

  5. How beautiful and productive your garden is! Thank you for giving us a peek :)

  6. Such a beautiful, relaxing tour of your garden, Rhonda. I felt calmer just looking at your photos!! Also learned a lot - as usual - about the ebb and flow of the summer garden.

    Hoping to build our own vege garden for next spring, so I'll be sticking around here for your wisdom! And also, thank you for your post on your chooks the other day. My husband and I have nearly finished our chickens house and were going to just go for Isa Browns, but are now looking at different breeds.

  7. Rhonda, your garden looks so productive. And I`m sure it`s all yours and Hanno`s hard work that makes it such a bounty of veg and fruit. Enjoy your harvest.

  8. Your garden is just beautiful Rhonda!,thank you for sharing these lovely photos,such a joy to look at:)

  9. Your garden is beautiful - everything so healthy
    Thank you for the Thanksgiving wishes.

  10. What a beautiful, lush, vibrant, productive garden! I just LOVE seeing your chickens roaming through the grass - what a lovely yard for them to enjoy. Hanno does a fabulous job of tending to your yard and garden ~ it's so very lovingly cared for which is a delight to see... Thank you for sharing :)

  11. Your garden looks so green and productive! In England, our growing season is at an end now, so our raised beds have been cleared and compost added prior to planting again next spring. As you look forward to summer heat, we are expecting the first frosts.

  12. Jode, you should get two or three years out of your capsicums. Just feed them well during the growing season (not too much nitrogen) plus a bit of potash to encourage flowering. In winter, we tip prune them. They don't grow at all in winter but as soon as it starts getting warm again the leaves will come back and eventually, so will the flowers and fruit.

    I love brandywine tomatoes best but they're better when it's not so hot. Also the St Pierre we grew this year for the first time has been really healthy and vigorous. We'll definitely collect seeds and grow that again next season. Supice is good, so are any of the large cherry tomatoes like Tommy Toe. Happy gardening.

  13. Your garden looks so lovely and established, such a treat to observe.

  14. Your garden is really nice. I have enjoyed looking at your pictures.
    Thanksgiving is almost here. My pies are done and everything is ready for tomorrow!

  15. I love it when you share garden pictures - can almost taste the produce.

    In Australia, do you have any sort of harvest celebration?

    brenda from arkansas

  16. Let's sneak up on him and give him a goose
    (not a bum one, an arm one).

  17. Brenda, we don't here but I think they do in agricultural areas.

    Freefalling, LOL, you won't get away with it, he'll chase you.

  18. It's interesting that you wrote about winding down the garden....because I've been thinking alot about 'winding down me' and 'winding down as a family'. So often at this time of year things start to get crazy busy, at a time when everyone is ready for a break. I'm concentrating on having a simple and slow christmas this year.

    Your grden is looking lovely.

  19. Thanks for the info Rhonda...i had never thought to keep the capsicums going but will do so now!
    I have heard a lot of people mention the brandywine toms so might give them a go to!
    Thanks again.

  20. Hi, I am a relatively new reader and loved reading about your garden. It is really lovely. I hope that mine looks as amazing over the coming months!

  21. Hi there, love this blog, I'm psyching myself up for attempting soap these summer holidays! Last year I discovered this heat-tolerant list of veg seeds from Green Harvest - the snake beans are the best, they fed us for months. I'm going to try Madagascar beans this year too, and the mildew-resistant cucumber. You may very well already be growing most of these, but thought it was worth a mention.
    Cheers, Liesel

  22. Just beautiful! Your garden makes me look forward to the next few months when mine will start coming to fruition.

  23. I love your photos they are very appetizing I don't mean the chickens they are just cute.
    Like you I am looking forward to slowing down for a couple of months but for a different reason yours is for hot weather mine for snow. I look forward to just slowing down a bit. I think that is why seasons are created to give us a little time for ourselves. Tricia I agree with you.
    Enjoy you have had a very productive year and I do not mean just in the garden. B

  24. Beautiful Rhonda, thanks for allowing us to walk with you around your garden...truly a pleasure.

  25. You're garden is Beautiful!! ~ Barefoot Mama


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