12 DAYS ON……..

An update on the herb & veggie ‘patch’.

Most of the new herbs and leafy greens I planted 12 days ago are doing well (with the Asian lettuce varieties doing the best).   Finally, the French Beans and Tomatoes are beginning to grow, but I think they could do with a little sun.   The Tuscan Kale was planted months ago and I use a couple of leaves fairly regularly – one Kale plant is plenty for me.

I’ve only seen one male Superb Fairy-wren in the last week and he didn’t stay long enough to get his photo taken.   He was in full mating colours of Blue.  I suspect the rest of the fairy-wrens are nest sitting.

I continue to get visits from the female House Sparrows gathering nesting material.   I pick the dead parsley stalks and put them all in the one pot so they can gather what they like.

The aim, (apart from a new hobby), is to grow enough for a salad in Summer & leafy greens all year round.   I don’t have room for a whole lot of flowers these days, but I might buy a couple later in the year.   If I don’t get around to food shopping, mostly online these days, I can still get something out of the garden to eat.   I use an enormous amount of mint and parsley all year round anyway.   If I buy a large bunch of these 2 herbs, I find I waste half of it, so best to grow it on my balcony and cut as I need it for dinner.

26 thoughts on “12 DAYS ON……..

    1. New plants nearly always grow well with fresh organic potting soil which is supposed to be very fertile for about 3 months, but to be honest, I can’t remember which of the larger pots have the new soil and which have the old soil (which I mixed to bring the soil back to a neutral PH).

      I should see some good results around Christmas I think, but I’ll be using the leafy herbs well before then of course. The Asian lettuce mix could almost be used today. Amazing.

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    1. Amazing what you can grow on a balcony, Ted. This is the most potted plants I’ve ever had so it will be interesting to see how I manage through the hot summer months. I can move those long troughs in the centre to a shelf and on top of the air-con outlet, so if it gets too crowded, there’s always room to move the central plants elsewhere.

      A pepper plant can get quite big actually. I had one last Spring, but it took too long to fruit for my liking 😀

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    1. So do I. LOL Peggy. But seriously, literally, overnight, the baby spinach and rocket have put on a spurt of growth. It’s quite an extraordinary position I sit in most of the day. I literally watch the plants grow. I notice each small leaf and how much bigger it has grown since yesterday. 🙂

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    1. Mint grows like wildfire for me, but I have to say, it didn’t seem to grow much when I lived on the south-east side of the city with a very dark shady balcony. My neighbour and friends used to say I had a green thumb, but I don’t. I just give my plants, through trial and error, the right soil, water, light etc. My neighbour used to plant pots but was never really around to maintain them.

      I also prune my herbs often to keep their compact shape and I think they like a good ‘haircut’ regularly.

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  1. The curry plant was a new one to me. Most of the others I’m at least familiar with, even if I don’t favor them for cooking or eating. I do understand your point about it being more (or at least as) economical to grow as to purchase. Especially with things like parsley and cilantro, I often end up using only half, which really is a waste.

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    1. I hate wasting food, Linda. I no longer buy a bunch of English Spinach unless I’m making Spinach soup for the freezer. I’d much rather harvest a few outer leaves as they grow. 8 small plants in a punnet from the plant nursery is enough to gather outer leaves for dinner and they grow so quickly, the cut leaves are quickly replaced for the next meal a couple of days later.

      I’ve never had much success growing Coriander (Cilantro) – always goes to seed before I can use it. And growing it is not enough to make my favourite Indian chicken curry.

      I thought about trying to dry tomatoes this year depending on the crop, but a dehydrator would take up too much room on my tiny galley kitchen bench. It would waste too much electricity (expensive here in Australia) if I dried tomatoes overnight in a low oven temp.

      My younger brother makes fresh cheese, aged cheese, pickles, chutneys and bottled veggies from the excess in his garden, but he has 10 acres and very rich soil and recently bought a dehydrator to dry food.

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    1. Thank you, Eliza. The new organic potting mix I bought has enough high nutrient levels to get any plant off to a good start, then I have to start some liquid fertilizer in the watering can once every few weeks. I occasionally use Osmocote tiny pellet fertilizer sprinkled on top of the soil. The parsley liks that product particularly well.

      I wish I could grow a lemon tree as I used lemons most days and they are horrendously expensive most of the year in the supermarket. With my brother living too far away and my Father (in his new nursing home with his retirement unit sold), my source of free lemons has dried up. One year I froze lemon juice in ice block trays when lemons were cheaper, but not recently. I really don’t understand why lemons are so expensive. They’re only a fruit tree.

      I don’t see my 2-3 close girlfriends often enough to make use of their free lemons. That’s one of the disadvantages of living in the western suburbs (where rent is cheaper).

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      1. The price of food in Australia is ridiculous. About 10 years ago, I compared prices with an American friend and she was staggered at the difference in prices. She bought organic fresh food for about 1/4 the price of organic Australian. I don’t have an organic shop on this side of the city, but before I moved here, I chose to pay the higher prices and buy organic – partly to support our local farmers (who are in dire straights with the current drought, despite being the end of winter), partly taste and my intolerance for chemicala etc. Sad that fresh Australian-grown produce, which is excellent I might add, is fast becoming unafordable for us pensioners and low-income earners. Part of the reason why I try to grow some. Maybe it’s not profitable for our farmers to grow Lemons? Who knows! I’ve cut my meat consumption down by about 85%. Luckily I have enough nutritional knowledge to be able to eat vegetarian a lot of the time, but other pensioners are reduced to eating a white bread sandwich for dinner sometimes. Same with electricity prices. I need heating in Winter and Air-con in Summer partly because of my Heart condition, but also because I can’t tolerate the heat. The price of electricity here is appalling too.

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  2. The garden looks great, I think I will follow your lead on kale and try and grow one in a pot, we never seem to use a lot, although it is good added to curries, it holds its texture a bit better than spinach. Enjoyed seeing the little sparrow.

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    1. Kale seems to grow easily enough, although mine might just be right soil, right conditions and I didn’t even realise it. I think you should grow just one plant and see if it lasts for ages for you too. Actually, Kale is even worse to buy than spinach. The bunches are far too big and you feel like you have to eat it every night of the week to use up the whole bunch.

      My baby spinach has grown even more in the last 24 hours and at this rate will be ready to harvest some in a matter of days (not weeks). Some of these miniature leafy greens grow like magic.

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    1. Thanks Terry.
      Seems you don’t get very long in your growing season at all. On the other hand, I love your snow, mountains and freedom to view the wilderness and get out in a truly natural environment.

      Will be interesting to see how the new plants I’ve never grown before pan out.

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