Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Out and about in the garden

We're having an Indian summer! 28 degrees today, sunny, blue skies with little fluffy clouds, it's gorgeous. 
I had been thinking about not doing any winter veggies this year ( except peas, of course) but then I thought...nah! get some in, so I'm just going to do some rainbow chard, cauliflowers - I got some mini ones to see what they're like, as there's usually only 2 of us so we should manage a whole one in cauliflower cheese. Oh and after the surprise success of the red onions I thought may as well try more of them. The broad beans are in already and doing well, but they seem to be getting an awful lot of black insects on them.
Anyway, this is what I picked today.
All that's left of the gem squash ( big success), so we can get that bed dug over, fed and planted out again, and a wee lot of tomatoes. They're still going strong - it's been another great year for them.

and speaking of tomatoes... another rogue one, this time actually in the veggie garden so I can prune it etc really easily, and it's doing well. I'm loving these rogue ones.

The aubergines/eggplants are growing beautifully. This is one of the smallest ones from last week.
Oddly, I have 4 aubergines growing, all beside eachother, yet only one plant has any fruit. The others are all flowering beautifully, but the fruit
 isn't setting, and I'm not sure why.

Tamarillos? I had never heard of these before we moved to New Zealand. I think they also get called tree tomatoes? Now, I am not a huge fan of them, well not raw, anyway. But they go incredibly well in pickles, relishes and stuff like that. We had a bigish tamarillo tree when we first moved in and it cropped amazingly for about 3 years, then it died - I've heard they have a fairly shirt lifespan, but no idea if this is true. Anyway, we planted another one last year and it was just a tiny wee stick, but already it's grown into a lovely small tree and is covered in fruit. ( Go, volcanic soil!) 

When they're ready they go bright red, like a tomato and tend to fall off the tree.


  1. Hi Laura,
    I had Italian relatives here on the weekend , checking out my veg beds...( I held my breath!) and Nonna T said that my eggplants were planted too close together, I knew that already as they are not fruiting as much as the lone one in the other bed which is hevy with fruit, I picked a whole basket off that bush last, they need lots of room and air around them apparently....I also got the method for preserving them, ( more secret Italian business) in strips in olive oil, for antipasta etc...Im going to give it a go and post it....enjoy your sunshine...I so love Autumn...

  2. Aha! now that is very interesting, because the three that aren't fruiting are in a row fairy close together - not touching though, but also very near the courgette. The one that is fruiting is on it's own - so this would totally go with that idea - thanks so much - that's really good to know cos I'll plant them much further apart next year.

  3. Your veggies look beautiful. The eggplant is so pretty and healthy looking. The peppers are pretty too and I love the colors. I know you are eating really well and enjoying every bit of it :)

  4. Everything looks so good. I can't wait for home grown tomatoes.

  5. I have something against thinning out - it seems wrong to kill off healthy little seedlings. I took the plunge and did it on the weekend to the eggplants. i hope they are far enough apart now ( the thinned ones were planted else where in hope they too survive)Fingers crossed for your egg plants.

  6. It's barely spring here...I love that tomato tree...we have nothing like that here, but I love seeing what grows in other parts of the world.

  7. Fascinating to see varieties of veggies that I'm not used to...however I see them in the exotic section of the grocer. Thanks!

  8. Hi Laura
    Tamarillos i have never heard of them,are they native to New Zealand?
    I realy love vegetable gardening and i know i have to be patient but i cant wait untill i have enough to share

  9. All of it looks sooo delish, but especially the tomatoes-YUM!

    What do you do with your squash?

  10. Elsie I also hate thinning out!! So most of my seeds get planted in wee paper pots!

    Tamarillos are native to a lot of South American countries, but are grown in the States, Indonesia, Kenya...

    As for the squash all we do with these ones ( as they are small) is either prick holes in them and boil them whole for 20 mins than cut in half, remove seeds and add butter to them. Just eat out of the skin. Or do exactly the same, but cut in half first and bake them in the oven.

  11. I love tamarillos! Raw - yum! Stewed over icecream - double yum! Might have to give a tree a go, I thought we might be a bit cold, frosts kill them off.

  12. Definitely give it a go! They grow like weeds! Outs is in a very sheltered spot, in the orchard so it's surrounded by lot of bigger trees that protect it. I was worried it may be a bit dark for it, but it's thriving.

  13. Gosh those tamarillos look good, I have some seeds here but have been hanging on to them for a good while now. How big does the tree get? I've no idea where to plant it.

    I have a love/hate relationship with eggplant, I have one plant that is just beautiful, all by itself, but no fruit, and a few others that look quite terrible and give fruit. All of them are alone, I try not to do too much in the way of mass plantings of anything.

  14. Ali, it doesn't get too big. Perhaps 2m tall and say 2m across - you can also prune them to make them smaller and branch out. They're pretty.

  15. Nice looking crop! I will have to research that tamarillo. Interesting looking fruit!


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Laura x