Winter Wednesday – The Joy of Germinating Tomatoes

I really enjoy gardening in winter.  This hasn’t always been the case, in London it was bloody miserable, freezing earth, cold hands, drizzle, not much daylight and frankly not nearly enough reward.  But Melbourne is different, kitchen gardening in Melbourne in winter is a joy.  A slow growing joy but a joy nonetheless.  The garden remains fairly orderly, the pests go away, the weeds aren’t nearly as rampant, and slowly but surely things get bigger and bigger.

Towards the end of winter hibernating plants begin to reappear like this tarragon.

Those leeks will all of a sudden be big enough to eat.

The garlic will eventually mature.

The herbs green and lush, will be eaten.


But best of all there is the anticipation of what is to come:  Broad beans which will ripen, cabbages will form hearts, and these tomatoes, which I sowed in late July and are just starting to get their true leaves, will become breakfast, lunch, dinner, sauce and chutney.


Or at least I hope they will provided we get the right summer……

For other joys of winter visit Hazel Dene by clicking here.

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22 Responses to Winter Wednesday – The Joy of Germinating Tomatoes

  1. Oh your veggies are looking good. I only just planted my tomato seeds a couple of days ago. I’m new to growing from seed and am never sure when to do things. Reading your post maybe I’m too late. I always plant the seedlings on Cup weekend. Is that when you’re expecting yours to be ready?

  2. Liz says:

    Hi Veggiegobbler, I think a couple of days ago is a fine time to have sown tomato seeds. I often find that the ones planted later catch up with the earlier sown ones anyway. Impatience means I tend to sow in July when August is probably far more sensible…..I think they (yours and mine) should be ready by cup day or a bit before, sometime in October perhaps, but then it depends on how mild the weather is. I have planted (store bought) seedlings as early as August and they’ve done fine – they only produced tomatoes a couple of weeks earlier than October/November planting though. As long as it doesn’t frost I think anything from now until December is fine to plant seedlings (or indeed sow seed). Exciting isn’t it?

  3. Rose says:

    How encouraging is that! I haven’t planted my tomatoes yet but it’s on the agenda for this weekend.

  4. Your garden looks so healthy! My tomatoes were planted last week and are just starting to pop up to say hello now…. as are most of my other seedlings, Spring just around the corner, an exciting time for the garden! 🙂

  5. ali says:

    Hi Liz,

    Thanks for commenting on my blog earlier – yours looks wonderful, and your tomatoes quite superb! I do hope our cabbages find their hearts 🙂

  6. Mrs Bok says:

    Your vegies look super! I can’t wait for spring where you can just see the garden spring back into life. I am glad we can still grow vegies over winter though.

    I’ve just stuck tomato seeds into peat pots can’t wait for them to pop through!

    • Liz says:

      Thanks Mrs Bok – I do love spring and looking at the Melbourne forecast for next week it looks like its about to arrive. – YAY

  7. Shawn Ann says:

    How nice that you can continue to garden right through winter. I use to live in TX (USA)and probably could have there, but not here in KY (USA). Sometimes I think how nice it would be to live there again and garden through winter, but then I think about how BIG the bugs are in TX! 😉

    • Liz says:

      Hi Shawn Ann, I really do appreciate the climate here, although like in TX the pests can get a little over the top – something has just started eating all my broccoli plants and we aren’t even out of winter yet.

  8. Wow, looks like I need to get a wriggle on and plant some seeds – well actually I need to buy the seeds first so I definitely have work to do. Your garden looks great, I’ll be sure to take a look at the rest of your blog and thanks for visiting mine.
    PS you might want to consider putting a subscribe button on your home page.

    • Liz says:

      Embarrassingly I have yet to work out how to do that, I have tried a couple of times without success….I’ll give it another go.

  9. Katie says:

    Lovely photos 🙂

  10. Mark Willis says:

    Hmmmm; I live 30 miles from London. I know what you mean.

    • Liz says:

      You have my sympathies – although I have to say I did really, and I mean REALLY appreciate spring there. Here its fabulous but I dont get the same feeling of absolute relief or excitement I used to get seeing those first magnolia flowers.

  11. Emma says:

    I really enjoyed your photos.

  12. Diana says:

    Your allium is growing very well. Our leeks and garlic are slow to grow this year. But it is due to my fault of planting them late. So I am hoping they pick up growth too this coming spring.

    • Liz says:

      My leeks have been really slow too – those ones were sown in about January – so they’re 6 months old and still look like babies. The garlic though seems to be going really well.

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