January – The Wrap Up

  • Value of produce harvested: $122.50
  • Most valuable crop: Basil
  • Seeds sown in punnets 9th January (all except Spring Onion and Celery potted up on 29th January):
    • Tomato – Stupice, Yellow Currant
    • Cauliflower – All year Round
    • Lettuce – Mix
    • Broccoli – Romanesco, Calabrese/Green Sprouting
    • Beetroot – Cylindrica,  Detroit Dark Red
    • Cabbage – Red Express
    • Kale – Toscano
    • Celery
    • Brussel Sprouts – Long Island
    • Spring Onion – Straightleaf
    • Chard – Rainbow
  • Seed sown in the ground 16th January
    • Kohlrabi – Purple Vienna
    • Radish – Champion, Watermelon, Mix
  • 4kg of cucumbers turned into Bread and Butter pickles

As you can see I have sown my winter crops.  The tomatoes are purely experimental, I shall sow some more each month for the next few to see how they react.  I’m not really expecting much (if any) in the way of fruit but it will be interesting to try.  The other new crops I am trying are Brussel Sprouts and Kohlrabi, the remainder I have grown and enjoyed previously.

Of course none of this seed sowing frenzy is really about January which, for me, was more about holidays (and rats – which I promise not to mention again in this post).  I did harvest a good range of produce though.  Highlights being beans, basil, cucumbers and zucchini’s of varying sizes.

Cucumbers and other harvest

My garden is looking nice and overgrown at the moment.  The rocket is draped down over the lawn, the beans struggle for space competing with the rampaging zucchini and a remarkably tenacious golden nugget pumpkin that I swore I’d killed a month ago.  The eggplants are threatening to topple over (why I don’t get bigger stakes I don’t know…) and the capsicums and chillies, although confined to pots, have taken over what used to be a path to the car port.  I am hoping that all this will mean a bountiful February with lots of everything summery to eat.


Pretty much all of my crops are producing as expected (if you ignore the rodent losses) the one exception being the beans.  My beans don’t seem to be producing as many beans as usual this year.  The Purple King did OK but have died back a bit now.  The bush beans have put on a lot of leaf growth but have yet to produce many beans and despite flowering for the past month or two the Scarlet Runner beans haven’t set any beans at all.  This is the runner bean plants second year.  They didn’t produce last year either but I thought that was purely that I’d sown them very late but now I’m starting to think its something else.  Anyone with any thoughts?  The flowers do look pretty though.

Scarlet Runner Beans

On a completely different note some of you may have noticed that I have introduced captcha code to the comments.  This is part of an attempt to rid my site of robots which are eating up all my web hosts resources.   If you have any issues with Captcha then please let me know and I will try other options.

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16 Responses to January – The Wrap Up

  1. It could be that it has been too dry for pollination of the bean flowers. I think they need a bit of humidity try spraying the flowers with a fine water spray.

  2. Roger Brook says:

    Oh to have so many followers to worry about robots. I always fail the test myself until about the third try. I was initially thrown into confusion on coming to your site but then I realised you are the other side of the world. Wonderful things, these blogs!

    • Liz says:

      Not sure if it is an amount of followers thing or them just happening across a site without sufficient security…… I hope the Captcha wont prove too problematic.

  3. I saw Brussels seedlings yesterday and was jolted into realising that I need to think about the next season, not just luxuriate in this one!

    My scarlet runner beans are about the same stage as yours, beautiful flowers but nothing set. I’m not worried about this. We actually planted them this year purely for the colour as the bean production last year was rubbish (and quite late in the season from memory). I like Sue’s tip to increase the moisture to the beans.

  4. Daphne says:

    I find that runner beans won’t set when it is too hot. Even here in our cooler climate.

  5. ooo, love both Sue and Daphne’s comments. I have the tricolour mix from Diggers. Which gave me quite a few good crops but then came ‘the heat’ and they have been pretty awful. There have been a few beans since it got cooler but I am sure there has been lots of chomping from creatures…

    eek must go plant seeds, thanks for the reminder

    • Liz says:

      I never thought of beans being heat sensitive but clearly they are. i get the occasional chomped pod but usually the pests keep away.

  6. Louise says:

    Been a bad bean year with all this heat hasnt it! Oh well the flowers are lovely and they are doing the soil good. I am loving your cucumber crop – they are very cute and chubby.

    Thanks for putting down your seed sowing. I have started mine too – in dribs and drabs and it reminds me to post on my crops. I am intrigued that you sow your beetroot in punnets.

    • Liz says:

      I find beetroot quite good to slot into gaps in the beds so i generally start it in punnets – it seems to cope fine, although very occasionally I get a bolter or two.

  7. Mark Willis says:

    I think you are doing the right thing in growing so many different types. If one crop fails, the chances are that something else will do well. Bring on Bio-diversity!

  8. Coming into lushness there. You make me realize how different the Christmas table must be there compared to here in New England. Greens are now in scarce supply, even from the winter farmers’ markets — this is the time we delve deep into our stores, and remember the warmer days when we put them up.

    • Liz says:

      You have very distinct seasons in a way that we don’t here. Sure we have summer and winter but not your extremes. Reading Northern Hemisphere blogs has made me under the concept of harvest festivals far more. Here you can harvest all year round and although there are good and leaner times it doesn’t take on the same significance. There also isn’t the same need to store produce, there is always something coming into season.

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