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New Year 2021

Endive flowers

Hello All Gardeners.

This Winter/ Spring we have had cool weather and average rain. This has meant rapid growth in the garden, ripe tomatoes before Christmas and zucchinis in plenty. loaded berry vines and good displays of flowers in spring.

As usual, I started the beans later than most people, putting in seeds after the Summer Solstice, December 20th. I do this to avoid rust and fungus in the area which tends to be prevalent in spring .

Still trying to get some beetroot started this season. . The stars must be against me this year. Seeds did not germinate or failed to thrive. And other disappointments included packets of new seeds which also failed to germinate. Given the good weather, I can only conclude that the seed was not fresh in spite of being within the Best By Date on the packets. By scouting around in local garden centers and hardware shops, I have discovered more brands of seeds available than usual, and I am always ready to try something new. But it is disappointing when the seeds don’t come through.

At present I am drying and packing Lucullus Silver Beet, large semi double Peony Poppy, Haw Lan Do snow peas and Telephone shelling peas, Big Big Russian Garlic bulbs, Nigella seeds, Dill seeds, and Endive. Endive makes a good addition to salads. It is slightly bitter and said to be very good for the health.

The Burgess Buttercup pumpkins are making fruit, also small purple striped Egg plants, Tomatoes ES38, too, which are small but quick to grow as they have a compact form and medium fruit. The fruit is round although slightly flattened and the colour, bright red. The skins are thin and the flavour is good, so I hope to start collecting seeds from them soon.

I was disappointed by Sweet Bite cherry tomato, recommended by several friends. It grew well, made big roots , but the fruit is very very small, and the skins tough and the flavour not sweet at all. Maybe the nights have been too cold here, as we had temperatures regularly down to 5 degrees at night, right up till January.

I am trying a bush snake bean with burgundy skin, and some Bulls Blood Beetroot and will sow Uncle Dick’s Turnip later this week.

Warragul Greens and self sown red stem Purslane are providing some leafy greens, very welcome now that the days are getting hot.

Drying herbs such as sage, oregano and coriander seeds ensures plenty of culinary flavour for the year ahead and my loaded nectarine tree will soon be ready to harvest. Drying the fruit is a good way to keep it for a long time and takes minimum space in storage.

All the best for a safe and happy season. Rose

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