Time for another Garden Share Collective, hosted by Lizzie at Strayed from the Table. You should definitely head on over there to see how everyone’s garden is going!

Last month, my summer garden was going not-too-badly considering how late it had been planted, and I was starting to harvest a handful of vegies every few days for a salad.

This month, the garden exploded.

tomatoes, tomatillos, zucchini, and more -- lots of greenery

See the zucchini sprawling across the path? Yeah, you didn’t want to walk there, did you?

The most amazing period was over the weekend at the middle of February when I was down in Melbourne at the Sustainable Living Festival. Two nights away, and I came back to find that some of my plants had doubled in size. Looking at the pics from last month, I see things that were knee high that are now threatening to climb over the fence and invade the neighbours, and things that were barely visible that are now too wide for me to reach across to pick.

more rampant greenery

That squash clambering up the fence was knee high this time last month.

The zucchini are fruiting regularly and I’m picking one every few days. It’s not what I’d call a glut but it is a fairly regular supply.

two medium-large zucchini, a handful of long skinny eggplant, and a few beans

Today’s harvest. There’s more zucchini coming along, probably be ready in a day or two.

Tomatoes seem to have slowed down, but I’m still picking a few. I feel like there’ll be a lot of green tomatoes at the end of the season, which is actually fine because I want to try a green tomato salsa recipe that requires a few kg of them.

tomato bush with green tomatoes

My favourite jaune flamme tomato bush has a lot of green fruit on it right now.

I’ve got one spaghetti squash, one butternut type pumpkin, and a couple of tiny potimarrons starting to fruit. I hope they ripen before the cold comes, but I’m not all that sure they will.

spaghetti squash fruit, green and about hand-sized

spaghetti squash in progress

The eggplant are being quite productive, though I could certainly manage a lot more than I’m getting — I’ll plant more next year!

Eggplant fruit hiding under leaves

They’re shy little fellers.

Sunflowers have been and gone, pretty much.

sunflower head, ripe, with seeds showing

I’ll be interested to see if the seeds are edible.

The tomatillos are fruiting but I don’t think I’m going to get very much from them. I’m not sure tomatillos are worth the bother, to be honest. Chillis also didn’t really do very well for me this year but I think that was because of the move etc; I will definitely try again next year with those.

tomatillo fruit

One of very few tomatillos. The fruit forms inside this husk.

And just this weekend, with the help from my friend Emilly and her housemate’s packing boxes, I have extended the garden a whole lot further toward the compost bins…

extended no-dig beds covered in straw and manure

I meant to do this weeks ago, sigh.

… and started a herb garden right by the back door, where I’m going to put perennial stuff like thyme and sage.

Small rectangular no-dig herb bed

I’m leaving them like this for a day or so while I water the manure in, since I think in warm weather it’ll heat up more and rot down faster. In theory.

I’m going to water them a bit more, add a final layer of peastraw, keep watering, and plant them out mid next week I think.

I have lots of greens ready to transplant. No pic though, because I forgot and now it’s getting dark.

I’ve also been picking apples and plums from the trees down the back, and making preserves. My neighbours have also given me some apples and plums from their tree. Mostly I’ve just been stewing them to use as “breakfast fruit”, i.e. something to have with muesli and yoghurt throughout the year, and heat-canning them in the Fowlers Vacola.

a bag of apples and a bag of plums

Apples and pears from next door.

To do this coming month:

  • Pick the green tomatoes and use them for salsa!
  • Make more applesauce.
  • Plant out winter greens and keep succession-planting seedlings
  • Plant out the lemon tree that Emilly gave me
  • Plant other fruit trees: a pomegranate in the front yard and a loquat in the back are first on my list.