Friday, 23 September 2011

changing of the (veggie) guard

It's the time of year when the winter veg are finishing off and it's time to make room for the summer shift.  My tomato seedlings are busing at the seams!  I've given away two already but the remaining black cherry are outgrowing their pots.  The basil sprouts are powering along quickly too.
The only problem is that their tub is occupied by beets!  At the front and in the smaller pot is silverbeet (developed for its leaves), behind that are beetroots, and behind that is the last of the kale.
I keep hoping the beetroot plumps up a bit.  I want to eat them as baby beetroot but they're still too small even for that, as you can see here.  I thinned out the smallest seedlings as I probably should have done weeks ago, and I'm hoping the remaining beetroots plump up in the next week so I can plant the tomatoes.
But in the meantime I picked some of the silverbeet to try for the first time ... and learned I don't really like silverbeet.  I like spinach and I don't mind kale and other brassicas, but silverbeet has an unpleasant sort of bitter flavour to me.  It's meant to be such an easy-to-grow garden staple but I won't be growing it again.
As you can see in that photo I'm often harvesting my herbs all year round.  My front herb bed, where I used to grow geraniums, now has chives, sage, thyme and my huge rosemary bush.  The smaller herbs are finally starting to fill out after a quiet winter.  They're all hardy sun-lovers so they should appreciate the hot spot much more than the geraniums did!
My snowpeas are finishing off their winter shift too.  One of them got some strange and sudden die-off for a while before sprouting a bit more new growth, but as you can see it's on its last legs.  I'll have to start thinking about what to grow in these two big pots this year.  Last year it was a capsicum and a zucchini, which didn't work out too well.  I'm thinking this year of trying green beans for the first time, we eat a lot of green beans.
It is well and truly spring!  Such an exciting time, preparing for the summer garden.