Friday, 13 January 2012


 The potager is in full on production mode right now. Here is my harvest basket from January 1st... rhubarb, baby rainbow carrots, spring onions, cabbage and Heather potatoes. In the glasshouse I've got strawberries and cucumbers. A few days late (as in, too late for Christmas) the boysenberries began to mature, so I've been making lots of desserts... crumble, clafoutis, and the good old berries and ice cream.

Yesterday I picked the first ripe tomato from the glasshouse. According to my garden diary from last season, the first tomato was December 19. Nearly a month later this year - shows what a different season we have had. It was a Brown Berry cherry tomato - small but delicious! I carved it into wafer thin slices so I could enjoy it in a sandwich - and even though the serving was small the homegrown taste was amazing. 

Life is good when you can just walk outside and gather the ingredients for your meal.

 The garlic was ready for harvest last weekend. I pulled it up and spread it on the grass to dry in the sun. Later I'll plait it. I had planted 3 shallot bulbs as well. One died, but the other two multiplied into four bulbs each. So I'll save four of those for replanting, and probably about 6 garlic cloves.

I had a punnet of leeks ready and waiting to fill the empty space in the potager. Leeks are one of my favourite winter veges so I need lots of them growing. And I'm going to sow one more batch of seeds to plant just for their flowers - the tall stems with the elegant pointed globe at the top are a great focal point!

 Here is the potager in the midafternoon sun. I cut the chives back because they were getting a bit manky, and they've grown back all fresh and lush. They had a bit of an infestation of black bugs, but a quick spray with flyspray took care of that.

The rosemary in the four central beds is filling out. Each bed was meant to have a row of rainbow carrots around the curved edge, but the strike rate with those was extremely patchy. A shame, since they are such fun to harvest. At the back left, you can see the borlotti beans are doing well. They're covered in pretty pink flowers.

How is your vege garden doing?


  1. Lovely looking basket of veg. We got a few scabby beets, past it's best kale and bolted leeks! But it is winter here so I shall look at yours with admiration!

  2. Hi Ruth your garden is looking great,I tried growing some shallots this year too and pulled them last week at the same time as the garlic bulbs, Im sure they were red when I planted them, when I pulled them last week they just looked like onions, not quite sure what happened there.

  3. Hi Ruth, i enjoy your blog as its a little bit of home for me over here in the UK!. I'm thrilled to see the rainbow carrots in your basket. i grew them here last year and loved them, so am excited to see them avaliable in CHCH. (they may have been for years, but i wasnt vege gardening when i last lived there!!).

  4. Yours is doing so well! Mine is almost dead, waiting for spring. I do have a little bit of lettuce still!

  5. Janet - I feel for you! I hope you've got a pile of seed catalogues to get you through the last months of winter!

    Kellee - my shallots changed colour too. I'm assuming the skin will turn red as they dry? The ones I planted were withered little things!

    Rach - it's the first time the rainbow carrots have been available from Kings Seeds (where I get most of my supply from!) I was very excited to grow them, and the only disappointment has been the very low strike rate. They are great to pick and eat though!

    Holley - hang in there! Spring is coming! And I'm glad to hear you still have some lettuce.



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