Wrap Up – Feb & Mar 2013

  • Value of produce harvested: $330 combined Feb & Mar total
  • Money spent: $58
  • Most valuable crop: Cherry Tomatoes
  • Seeds sown in punnets:
    • Tomato – Winter mix (thanks Nina)
    • Lettuce – Mix
    • Broccoli –  Calabrese/Green Sprouting
    • Kohl Rabi – Purple Vienna
    • Cabbage – Tronchuda
    • Spring Onion – Straightleaf
  • Preserving:
    • 57 Fowlers number 27 jars of tomatoes bottled (from fruit from my garden but mostly mum & dads)
    • 1.5 litres plum jam (from mum and dads fruit)
    • 3.7 litres tomato sauce (ketchup) (from my fruit)
    • 12 Fowlers number 27 jars of peaches bottled (from bought fruit)
    • 4 litres Madras Chutney (fruit from various sources)
    • 750ml Eggplant pickle (my fruit)

Firstly a note to a couple of people who asked for it – I have now added “What to do in the kitchen garden” for both Feb and March – these can be found in the Planting Notes menu above.  They are a little late for this year I know but exceptionally early for next year which is how I like to look at it.  There is now a page for every month of the year.  If you have anything you would like me to add to a page then please let me know.

Summer like conditions extended through most of March this year, so my failure to write up the garden at the end of February actually makes sense as the two months can be viewed as one summery whole.  We had a warm summer this year, although we had a lot of hot days we didn’t have the horrendous extremes (ie successive days over 40C) we sometimes get and for that I am grateful.  It was over 30 a lot though and as a result some of the plants did suffer a bit.  Others though seemed to really enjoy it.

Listada de Grandia Eggplants

Their leaves might be starting to look a bit flaccid but they continue to produce eggplants which I am very happy with.  Also doing really well are the peppers, particularly the chillies.

Bishops Cap Chilies  Birdseye chillies

L from the (currently very quiet) 500m2 in Sydney sent me the seeds to the Birdseye chillies on the right.  Previously when I’ve grown Birdseye the plants have been small squat things.  Not so these ones, which are huge – a good metre tall with loads of fruit on them.

Although much of my garden at the moment is looking either tired, empty or simply past its best there are still pockets of green.  My silverbeet and rainbow chard, planted with some parsley and sorrel, are looking happy and healthy in a reasonably shady corner.

Silver Beet

Also in that corner, but extending up and into the sun, is a passionfruit, now in its second year.  It hasn’t fruited despite looking really healthy and having loads of flowers on it.  I presume this is because it is young.  I will forgive it and anxiously await some bounty next season.

Its not only me that likes this part of the garden.  The chooks are only about 8 weeks old so I am giving them free reign at the moment, but there will come a time when I need to section off some no go areas or else my crops will be decimated.  Particularly the sorrel, they really seem to like sorrel…  I am hoping they eat all the long grass though so I don’t have to mow it.


I am experimenting with winter tomatoes this year.  I’ve planted out a few relatively cold tolerant varieties and I’m hoping for the best.  I have to say I’m not tremendously hopeful as the plant look pretty sad already.

Winter tomatoes

As well as planting new plants I’ve pruned all the fading foliage from a couple of the older  plants.  These were plants that had new growth so I’m hopeful they might produce a late crop.  We shall see.


Otherwise I have a few winter veg in the beds.  Beetroot, Calabrese Broccoli, Cauliflower and Brussel Sprouts have all gone in and are growing really well.  I’ve had a few cabbage whites in the garden but not as many as usual which is nice.


Also doing well is the celeriac you can see in the background of the below shot.  I have 5 plants in the ground and one in particular is swelling very nicely at its base.  I’m not sure how long they are normally left in the ground for but I figure another couple of months and it should be perfect.

Winter crops

What’s doing well for you at the moment?

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18 Responses to Wrap Up – Feb & Mar 2013

  1. Jo says:

    That’s a great saving you’ve made by growing your own. I’ve never weighed and logged what I’ve grown so it would be hard to say how much I save but there’s all the other benefits of growing your own over buying from the supermarket too. Interesting that you’re having a go at growing tomatoes over winter, it would be great if you could get some fruit as shop bought are usually tasteless.

  2. Jo says:

    That’s a great saving you’ve made by growing your own. I’ve never weighed and logged what I’ve grown so it would be hard to say how much I save but there’s all the other benefits of growing your own over buying from the supermarket too. Interesting that you’re having a go at growing tomatoes over winter, it would be great if you could get some fruit as shop bought are usually tasteless.

    • Liz says:

      It will be interesting to see if even if they taste good whether the flavour is any good – I suspect they need the sun to really taste nice.

  3. Someone else managing to grow our bete noire celeriac as for winter tomatoes – wow!

    • Liz says:

      The winter tomatoes haven’t worked yet so I’m not getting my hopes up. They work in Sydney but that is a long way north of here with milder winters.

  4. mac says:

    Great return on investment.
    The greens still look very pretty and lush, hope the experiment with winter tomato works out for you.

    • Liz says:

      Yeah, me too although maybe I should just admit that there are some things which we are just meant to enjoy seasonally…

  5. Mark Willis says:

    Have you tried tomato “Sub-Arctic Plenty”? It was allegedly bred during WW2 to provide fresh tomatoes for GIs in the UK who couldn’t cope with the absence of an essential ingredient for their burgers… It supposedly gives a decent yield in very cold conditions. (Don’t quote me on this!)

  6. Frogdancer says:

    That reminds me… I’ve got the seeds for Siberian tomatoes. I should plant them these holidays and see how they go.

    • Liz says:

      Mine are looking a little sad I have to say – whether that’s because I left them in pots too long or they aren’t that happy with an Autumn planting I’m not too sure.

  7. Andrea says:

    Your garden did really well over feb/march and with heaps of preserves to enjoy during the colder months.I have made one batch of eggplant relish which was a bit dissapointing so am going to try another recipe with some of my Bonica’s ….can’t believe I have some still on the bushes! The peppers are still going strong but one of the best producers this season was Basil, yesterday I made up my third batch of pesto which went into the freeza.

    • Liz says:

      My Basil did really well too, ditto the eggplants and mine are definitely going strong although everything has kind of paused with the cooler weather we’ve had over the last few days.

  8. Daphne says:

    Everything looks so summery to me. Right now I’m dreaming of summer.

  9. foodnstuff says:

    That’s nice to know your chooks like sorrel. I have lots of it growing but haven’t given them any yet. Was a bit concerned about the oxalic acid.

    • Liz says:

      I did a bit of research (but probably not as much as I should have) and I found lots of comments suggesting chooks like it but none that suggested it would do them any harm. So I am hoping for the best.

  10. Nina says:

    Your chooks are so cute! I get really cross with the destruction that mine are capable of, but I love ’em, regardless. They are so funny when I get home from work, running up to the backdoor squawking a ‘welcome home’.

    I’m so envious of your broccoli, cauliflower etc. I’m really cross that I won’t be planting anything that I grew from seed as I just didn’t get around to it. Thank goodness for punnets (that reminds me, I must get some)! I’m promising myself I’ll be on the ball next season (maybe!).

    • Liz says:

      Oh well as you say there are always seedlings. And some of the best broccoli varieties like green dragon you can’t get seed for anyway.

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