Wednesday, 26 June 2013

My June Garden

Winter is a Gardener's Delight

We have already passed the shortest day of the year on the mid north coast of New South Wales and now each day gains 1 minute of sunshine each afternoon.  This is a wonderful gardening season with so many vegetables and fruits in season.

Look at these gorgeous cabbages, simply bursting with colour and flavour.

They are growing in a bed with other brassicas - broccoli and cauliflower.

Here are broccoli plants, so easy to grow and when you cut the main head, other smaller stalks will grow, much like broccolini so you get longevity from each plant.  

We will be harvesting broccoli for at least the next 6 weeks, the slimmer buds will last another month after that and are just as delicious.  We also have seedling plants grown from seed to start in another bed to ensure continual broccoli for the next few months.

On the right is one of our cauliflower plants in the same bed.  The lovely white cauliflower heads are yet to appear, these plants have been growing for 6 weeks and we will start harvesting cauliflowers about 4 - 6 weeks from now.

This lemonade tree has been in the ground for 2 years.  It produced 3 lemonades last year and this year has many more.  I have picked one and they will be ripening for the next month, with one or two ready every week.  Then it will be pruned before Spring to encourage strong branches.

This Kumquat tree was purchased last December and it is already bursting with fresh, sweet, edible Kumquats.

What an abundant Kale patch!  Kale is so versatile and so easy to grow. You could plant it in a pot and pick the leaves as needed.

Who said you can't grow tomatoes in winter?
We live halfway between Sydney and Coffs Harbour and grow beautiful red tomatoes all year long in front of a north facing brick wall that gets sun continually all day long.

The lemon tree has a magnificent crop of lemons this year.
Our lovely Cavendish bananas are nearly fully formed and will be perfect for eating in approx 8 weeks' time.

This is our baby bok choi patch.
Note the use of plastic PET bottles to help them get established.  These plastic bottles stay on the fledgling seedlings for 2 weeks to help them grow and protect them from the chickens.

You can pick individual leaves from the pak choi or pluck the entire vegetable for cooking.

Spinach is a staple in our garden.  Grown all year long it is a very useful and easy to grow vegetable.

Celery as well is great in Summer for salads and wonderful in winter for soups and stir fries.
Pick the stems and leaves as needed.  Also wonderful for growing in a pot.

 This is a loquat tree my husband planted and this Winter is the first time I have tasted one!  It is an evergreen tree and the fruit is yellow and sweet.  You eat the skin as well as the flesh which surrounds one or two semi large seeds.  An absolutely delicious delight.

Here are fledgling broad beans.  About 30cm high now, they will crop in another 8 weeks.
We have started off more seeds to ensure this vegetable is available for the next four months.

Here a bee is collecting pollen from the Thai basil plant (also known as holy basil)  
to take back to the hive.  Thai basil grows abundantly in the warmer months and dies back in winter. 
 It is yet to die back but our Winter has so far been quite warm.
  It rejuvenates in Spring and the leaves burst forth from the naked plant stems.  

Sorrel and lettuce grow all year around and are an invaluable addition to any garden.

Sorrel on the left and various lettuces, iceberg, red oak and green coral lettuce grow with spinach and celery.   We plant marigolds to help deter insect pests and place golf balls to deter the white moths from laying their eggs on the leaves.

These are the highlights of our winter June garden and it is so rewarding growing these gorgeous vegetables, watching the fruits grow and ripen on the trees and enjoying the wonder of nature.