Summer Harvest – The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

My aim for this summer was to see if we could live off what I grew in the garden only buying what we didn’t grow. Some good, some bad and some decidedly ugly.

The Good

Tomatoes

I cannot remember the last time I actually bought tomatoes. Must be at least 2 months ago. Whilst the heat did not bring in the bumper crop of tigerella tomatoes I expected, it was enough to keep us going until the next lot kicked in. We are still eating this new crop of big juicy tomatoes. I don’t know what they are as I grew them from seed that I saved from tomatoes my neighbour gave me. They only bloomed later in the season almost to the point where I thought about pulling them out. I was worried why nothing was happening, no flowers just lots of big leaves. But I think they were so late because these tomatoes are so big, the plant actually needed to grow bigger to hold the weight!

Juicy ripe big beefy tomatoes grown from seed

Juicy ripe big beefy tomatoes grown from seed

Zucchini

We had two types of zucchini – round ones in the back and standard long ones out the front. The ones in the back I think did not get enough sun and we only managed a few. I do think the rats got to a lot of them first. The ones out the front, we got more but not as much as I expected. Exposed to the hot sun and looking as if they were nearing the end, I was tempted to pull them out. But all of sudden, they are sprouting new leaves and flowers. So hoping there’s more to come from these.

More zucchini is coming

More zucchini is coming

Cucumber

A bit of a late season crop, in fact only starting to eat them now. The crate is a sea of cucumber so hoping I won’t need to buy any of these for a while. Great snack for my son’s lunch box!

Lebanese cucumber

Lebanese cucumber

Yellow peppers

Again, a late season bloomer and just starting to harvest now. And seems some red ones snuck into the bunch. Love these on the bbq, juicy and sweet.

Yellow peppers

Yellow peppers

Red peppers

Red peppers

Chillis

Another latecomer but now finally showing some life. I bought a mixed batch of seedlings so can’t wait to find out what colours they are.

Chillis

Chillis

The Bad

Potatoes

Experimented with the potato bag this year. The first lot we only managed one meal out of. The second lot, a total fizzer!  The third lot went into a crate where they grew very well last year. So fingers crossed it’s not too late in the season.

Beans

The only ones that feasted on these were the rats.

Basil

Unlike last year, my basil was truly pathetic this year. These were grown from seed so maybe that’s the issue. Next year, it’s back to buying seedlings. I miss homemade pesto!

Not much basil here!

Not much basil here!

The Ugly

Eggplant

So far, there is only one! I am hoping this will change in the next few weeks but I don’t see any budding flowers so I don’t hold out much hope.

One lone eggplant

One lone eggplant

Tomatoes

The hot summer sun burnt quite a bit of the tigerella ones so it wasn’t long before they started to look pretty sad.

The tomato plants (ones from seed) I grew out the back didn’t do much. The ones I planted in a recycled crate fared the worst. I think that was my fault though – I bought the cheapest soil mixture from Bunnings. Even though I mixed it in with lots of chicken poop and compost from my worm farm, there was not much success.

The ones I planted from seed out the front were a huge surprise. Literally. I had no idea they would grow so big so I wasn’t prepared. I had to buy more stakes (extra long ones) and put them in a bit late so it was an ugly hot potch of tomato bushes.

Tomatoes at the front are nearly done as are the beautiful sunflowers we had

Tomatoes at the front are nearly done as are the beautiful sunflowers we had

Lemon trees

I have two, one is around 7 years old and the other just over 1 year. Most of the leaves have fallen off them and I wish I knew why. The older one is infected with the citrus gall wasp. Not only does this look very ugly, it is stopping my lemons from growing! This one is going to get a drastic prune come autumn. As for the other one, I can’t figure out why it is the way it is.

What's going on with my lemon tree?

What’s going on with my lemon tree?


Summer is not quite over but I am starting my autumn collection of goodies. Currently growing from seed I have broccoli, onions, carrot and lettuce. Except for the carrot, none of them were a success last year. Hence starting the seedlings earlier so we shall see. I have so many seeds that I feel obliged to grow my own but, to be honest, I am finding I am having much more success buying ready grown seedlings from the nursery.

To end on a good note, my ginger which I grew from a bulb and the little fig I grew from a cutting seem to be doing well.

Ginger plant is sprouting but not sure how to harvest!

Ginger plant is sprouting but not sure how to harvest!

Figs on our little tree which is still in a pot

Figs on our little tree which is still in a pot

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2 Responses to Summer Harvest – The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

  1. Jason & Jacki says:

    Hi Ros, Looks good. We had loads of Eggplant this year interestingly. Re the lemon tree, take a leaf to your local good garden centre and see if they have a horticulturist who can help. I did this a while back and got some good feedback. Love the figs, will have to try that. We also have some Ginger growing in a pot although only planted a week ago from a bulb that was drying up in the fridge. Let us know how you harvest in the end so we can copy 🙂

    • rosblogger says:

      Our fig tree is still in the pot because I don’t know where to plant it in the garden as I know it will grow so big. And well, we are not in big trees. Not in the garden anyway.

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