Potato and Eggplant Crop

A few months ago we found some unused potatoes in the cupboard that had turned green and started sprouting.  Instead of throwing them away as they’re no longer edible, we stuck them in the ground in our veggie garden.

And today I dug them up as most of the potato plants had wilted and died off and this was what was hiding beneath the surface. Okay, they’re not your usual store-bought sized potatoes but still – the kids will enjoy them I’m sure.

And not to forget our six aubergine/eggplants that we planted as seedlings are finally bearing fruit – so guess what’s included with dinner tonight – yum.

Veggie Garden – Attempt #3

After our first veggie garden and how well it went, we were very keen on getting another one going again. However, not long after finishing the planting of our second veggie garden, we got Shadow.

Dina got a rebate back from the Tax Man so we decide to use some of it and build a proper enclosure for the veggie garden, and subsequently make it bigger too. So off Dina went with her dad and bought the materials and my dad joined them later to spend a few hours building a 1.5m (5 ft) tall diamon-mesh fence with a wooden gate for access.

This morning my dad and I went to buy some compost and various seedlings to plant. We hung the gate, planted the seedlings and now we have another veggie garden growing nicely.

Hopefully the dogs (and the kids) will stay out and the veggies will grow nicely. Not too long from now we should have some corn, lettuce, broccoli, spring onions and spinach, green beans, tomatoes and green peppers to eat. Yum!

Veggie garden update – the secret to peppers

So, it’s been three months now since we first started our veggie garden. Our watermelon plant has taken upon itself to try and escape along the garden, down the driveway and out onto the street – but I have plans for it. The cherry tomato plants have grown so thick and heavy that they’ve fallen over (using wooden dowel supports I put up to help them when they were smaller). They’ll have to stay that way until we’ve taken all the tomatoes we can. The corn are almost finished now, seems they only produced one each.

As you saw last month, we finally had some delicious corn and more peppers. I’ve specifically left a pepper or two from the first batch of fully-grown peppers since I wanted to prove to my mom that the different coloured peppers aren’t different species but the same green peppers that are cultivated for much longer to get their colour.

Well, I don’t know what it’s like overseas, but here in South Africa green peppers are a standard price but yellow, orange and red peppers are on average at least 50% more expensive than green peppers (sometimes even more). It always irked me that they were so much more expensive – just for different coloured (and sweeter) peppers.

But now I’ve seen first hand how much more work goes into these peppers. They need to stay on the plant (like mine) for at least a month, or more, longer than the green peppers. And it seems like it’s turned (almost) completely yellow overnight – not gradually as I had expected them to grow.

I’ve added a photo below (I haven’t picked it off yet) as well as a photo showing off one of our (picked six already with four more growing) egg plant fruits (bringel). We gave four of them to my folks and hopefully get to make some Moussaka this weekend with the other two. Oh, and there’s a handful of our cherry tomatoes as well!

Veggie garden update – fruits of our labour

On my previous blog posts about our home vegetable garden I said I’d let you know what the fruits of our labour look like. Well here it finally is. We’ve picked off one or two cherry tomatoes already but the rest are all still green – but there are LOADS of them so we should have quite a few when they all ripen.

The lettuces and spinaches have served us well, but no photos since we never picked the whole plant/head just a few leaves at a time. We’ve had a few peppers already (probably half a dozen in total) and below are two that I picked this morning, along with three of the corn cobs. I just had to take photos of them to share with you.

Just look at the size of these suckers. The pepper a good 4.5″ (11.5 cm) long and the corn a 7″ (18 cm) – not bad I say for some home-grown veggies, eh?

Veggie garden – one month later

If you remember, about one month ago we started our own vegetable garden in our back-yard. We’ve been working hard to tend to it each night for the last month. Making sure it gets water each evening, taking out the odd bits of grass that have pushed their way to the top and making sure they don’t get trampled on by the animals or eaten by snails.

And the result of a month of tender-loving-care? Well feast your eyes on the photos below.

The eggplant (aubergine) plants have had an extra growth-spurt, almost overnight. The corn is growing nicely and it husks have started growing so it won’t be long before we’ll have some corn on the cob. We’ve already had some of the lettuce leaves in a home-made salad. The pepper and tomato plants have started flowering so we should have some fruit from them soon – there’s already a little tomato on one of the plants. The watermelon plants we’re steering into the open area (as they’re creepers) but no fruit on them just yet.

Unfortunately, Max (our golden retriever) did get in one day and trampled two of our green pepper plants, but I’ve managed to get them to grow again (albeit a little slower than the others right now). We also transplanted the herbs (peppermint and parsley) into smaller pots and put them on the windowsill in the kitchen, next to the basil and they’re growing better now.

Hopefully in another month (maybe longer) I’ll have another follow-up blog post for you with more news and pictures 🙂

Home-made Vegetable Garden

My parents have successfully been growing their own vegetables in garden pots at home, since they don’t have an actual garden. And since they managed to grow them so easily, my brother was keen on having their own garden too.

So last weekend, my dad went over to my brother’s place and helped them create a vegetable garden in a section of their garden. Dina, suggested we should have one too. Little did I know the amount of pain I’d be in afterwards.

We decided that an 8 sqm (24 sq ft) area would be big enough for a vegetable garden with a large enough variety of vegetables to be planted. It sound like such a small area, well it is a small area, except if you struggle for 3 hours to remove the grass. Who knew that grass roots were so resilient and tough!

So after pain-staking 3 hours of work, this was the result of phase 1:

Now that the grass and remaining roots have been removed began the easy job, for my dad, planting the various seedlings bought. We now have mielies (corn), green and purple lettuce, peppers, cherry tomatoes, rhubarb, aubergine (eggplant), spinach, watermelon, parsley, basil and peppermint.

So this is what phase 2 looked like – looks good, doesn’t it?

And then just one more final touch to keep Max from walking all over the plants and crushing them, a little protection was needed:

So, hopefully in a few months time we’ll be able to reap some fruits vegetables of our labour and I’ll post some more pictures and an updated post.