Wrap Up – July 2012

July for me is as much about preparing for summer as it is about what is currently growing in the garden.  During July I got my summer seed sowing underway.  As well as my year round crops I sowed tomatoes, eggplant, capsicums, chillies, cucumber, zucchini, beans, pumpkins and sunflowers.  All of these I sowed inside moving them outside into a cold frame as they germinate.

Some of these I am sowing really early just to test the boundaries a little.   My tomatoes have pretty much all germinated (or at least a couple of each variety have).  My beans are up (I only sowed one variety – Majestic Butter which was my earliest cropper last year).  A few eggplants have appeared, so have a few chillies and a single cucumber.  The others are yet to appear.  This has been a fairly cool winter for us so if they’ve germinated this year then I think its fairly safe to assume they would germinate at this time of the year most years.

It isn’t all about summer crops though.  The brassicas continue on their merry way.  I posted about my strange cauliflowers in my Harvest Monday post but they aren’t all bad some are looking pretty promising (if a little small):

Then there’s the Romanesco which reminds me of the sort of costume Madonna might favour for her stage shows:

The Cavolo Nero continues to do well:

and my potted spuds are looking promising:

The lettuces are perfectly happy to produce lots of leaves in what is our coldest month:


The alliums are going along well.   The shallots are dividing:

The garlic stems are looking fat and fairly happy – I do worry that it might have been a little wet for them though.

What it hasn’t been too wet for is the watercress which appears in the garden every year after self seeding.  This years is growing slower than normal (presumably because of the cold) but still looks pretty happy.

Most exciting though are these lovely little pink flowers:

I hope the blueberry fruit follow.

Whilst I don’t have many flowers in the back garden at the moment (my native front garden is alive with colour) the lavender is happily producing blooms.

But for all that I’ll finish with a final image more reminiscent of summer than winter:

Does anyone know how long Long Cayenne chilli plants can live for?  This is this plants second winter and I don’t know whether to try and keep it going or consign it to the compost – its looking a little worse for wear compared with my birds eye and scotch bonnet plants which last a few years at least.

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18 Responses to Wrap Up – July 2012

  1. Nina says:

    Sigh. I’m so far behind you with sowing my seeds, Liz. I’ve only JUST done the tomatoes and eggplant plus some lettuce, spinach, parsley, chives and a bit more dill. They went straight into the ‘Bunning’s Special’. I’ve no room for them to hang around inside.

    Should I be starting zuchinni, beans and pumpkin NOW? Really??? Aarrgghh! I think that has been my problem in the past, I leave sowing too late. I always seem to be running out of hours in the day, especially at this time of year when the daylight is scarce. Thank God for shop-bought punnets of seedlings, is all I can say.

    I have no advice about the chilli plants. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m thrilled that a few planted against the bricks are surviving, hopefully for their second season. I’ve only had that with one other, before.

    By the way, you might remember that I dug up a couple of capsicums and potted them up to make some space. Well, they haven’t died (yet). In fact, the one that I put in a pot by the bricks of the house is not looking too bad, at all. I need more bricks! That’s one secret to a micro climate, I reckon.

    I’ve got some onions and lots of garlic in and they are progressing, slowly. Is it too late for shallots? I stupidly missed planting them.

    • Liz says:

      I reckon you could put your shallots in now if you’re quick, Mark put his in in spring from memory and he got a harvest so I’d definitely give it a try and see what happens. Regarding zucchini, beans and pumpkin – no you don’t need to plant them now. I normally wouldn’t sow zucchini & pumpkin until late August (still undercover) and I usually sow beans direct in September. I’m just experiment to see what happens. The beans germinated but so far the others haven’t so it may well result it a few lost seeds.

  2. It doesn’t really stop for you does it?

    • Liz says:

      No and I have to admit my garden is something of a big mess as a result. I should really give the beds a bit of a rest from time to time but it just never really happens.

  3. Louise says:

    Great July wrap. Some of my tomatoes have raised already too!. I am so glad that you have some tight cauliflower – they are looking lovely as is your lovely purplish broccoli!

    Well done for keeping your long cayenne going so long! I have never kept mine going that long, mostly becasue mine were in the shade a bit so suffered more than yours in winter. I wonder if they’d take a good cut back so they are sturdy? Or yours might already be sturdy. I find that my long cayenne get a little leggy and brittle so if you were wanting to keep yours going, perhaps a good prune if yours are leggy too? Not sure.

    Great looking garlic and shallots. Lavender is lovely this time of year.

    • Liz says:

      Interestingly the chillies that came back the best after last winter wwere those that I didn’t prune – but maybe I didn’t pick the right moment for giving them a trim.

  4. Daphne says:

    I love the photo of the kale. Mine has just germinated. I may or may not get to pick it this fall. I might have started it too late for that, but I’m hoping they survive until spring (very iffy here) and then I’ll get a great spring harvest.

    • Liz says:

      I’m really enjoying the kale I have to say – great plant. Mine are growing really slowly at the moment though. Interestingly the aphids seem to prefer it to the broccoli I have growing next to it.

  5. maryhysong says:

    teehee, I was a bit confused when I started reading, until I remembered you are on the other side of the world and having winter ;=) You might trim back you chili plant and give it a good feed as your weather warms up and see if it won’t produce some new growth. Always fun to see how far we can push the envelope!

    • Liz says:

      I do like pushing the envelope – great term by the way. My garden is a pretty mild micro climate and so I can have success with crops that might not do as well just a few miles down the road.

  6. Liz, your garden looks much better than mine! Because of over 40C heat nothing grows. I am glad I started earlier this year (in January) so by the time we had hot weather I had a good harvest of tomatoes. This days I am “harvesting” only indoor sprouts… 🙂

    • Liz says:

      Your climate is really extreme isn’t it. We are fortunate in that the seas breezes keep our summer temperatures fiarly bearable. It does get over 40 on occasion but never for more than a day or 2 at a time.

  7. Diana says:

    You are very organise. I only start sowing summer seeds at the end of August. I have never grown romanesco yet, interesting looking broccoli. Having a hard time washing off aphids from our broccoli harvest.

    • Liz says:

      I planted Tuscan Kale next to our broccoli and the aphiods seem to have gone for that instead, the broccoli is pretty aphid free which is nice for a change.

  8. kitsapFG says:

    I agree with Mary Hysong that you ought to give a try to pruning up and then amending the soil/feeding the pepper plant to see if it will rejuvenate and keep going.

    Your early spring crops are looking amazing.

    • Liz says:

      Thanks for the advice, I will give it a rpune once the weather warms up a bit and feed it then. I think its still a bit cold for new growth at the moment but it will be interesting to see if it survives.

  9. Chelsea says:

    ‘Majestic Butter’ -excellent name for a bean! I’m just harvesting my purple pole beans and yellow Kentucky Wonder Wax. Re-chilli plants, until last year when I needed the window space, we had a jalapeno chilli ‘tree’ which was about five years old. Produced two main crops a year, with trickles of chillies inbetween the main flushes. I want to try again now, and see just how long I could keep it going.

    • Liz says:

      It is a good name isn’t it – and it was my most productive bean last year so it lived up to the majestic part very nicely. 5 years is great for a chilli, I know some varieties are longer lived than others. My neighbour has had the same scotch bonnet in their garden for the past 5 years and its still looking pretty good.

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