AUGUST 9th 2009:
– Crisp Mint (Heirloom. Also known as ‘Erthel’. Upright, green leaves with serrated edges forming a compact head; plant to 45cm high. Unusual and attractive variety with exceptional crisp, sweet flavour. Does not become bitter with warm weather. 45-55 days.)
– Amish Deer Tongue (Amish heirloom dating back to 1740. Thick, compact plant with sharp, triangular green leaves with straight edges & thin mid-rib. Tolerates wide range of conditions. Slow to bolt; heat tolerant. 45-55 days)
– Verstus Savoy (French heirloom dating back to 1859. Medium sized, firm head with coarsely crumpled leaves. Light to dark green coloured leaves. 90 days.) I love savoy cabbages, and this one grew well over winter for me.
SILVERBEET (Swiss chard):
– Fordhook Giant (Heirloom dating back to 1750. Also known as ‘Burpees Large Ribbed’. Large, light to deep green, crinkled leaves to 25cm across, with thick, white to pale green stalks. Heavy yielding. Popular variety. Will continue to produce into cooler weather. Prolific. Vigorous variety able to tolerate extreme hot & cold weather. 50-65 days.) I have grown this over the years and it remains my favourite silverbeet/chard. It is very slow to bolt, unlike some of the prettier rainbow varieties. I tend to grow it instead of spinach.
– White Stem. (Thick white stems with large, flat, round, smooth, green leaves. Popular variety. 35-45 days.)
– Red Verona. (Heirloom. Firm, bright red, crisp heads approx. 10cm diameter. Mature plants tolerate frost. Used fresh in salads to add colour, or cooked. Colour best during cooler weather.) I keep meaning to grow this and never get the seeds in on time. Not this year. They’re in … so grow, damn you, grow.
– Taxi. (Bright yellow, almost round fruit to 10cm across, produced on compact bush. Firm, meaty flesh full of flavour. Blemish free. Easy to grow. Early variety. 65-70 days.)
– KY1. (Australian heirloom. Also known as ‘Scoresby Dwarf’. Medium, red, round fruit with excellent flavour on strong, vigorous, disease resistant plant. Prolific. Ideal for preserves, sauces & pastes. 70 days.)
I have never grown bush tomatoes before, so this will be interesting.
– Red Fig. (Rare American heirloom, named after a sugary sweet which was popular during the mid 1800’s. Historically, they were dried before being stored & used during the winter as a substitute for figs. Small, bright red fruit to 4cm across with very sweet skin. Rich, full tomato flavour. High yields. Eaten fresh or for use in jams & chutneys.) I am looking forward to this one – I love to dry tomatoes so this should be ideal.
– Cherokee Purple. (Heirloom over 100 years old from Cherokee Indian tribe. Medium sized fruit has rose purple skin and brick red flesh, with sweet, rich, smoky tomato flavour. Plant to 200cm. Great for slicing, in salads, cooked or sauces. High yields. 80-90 days.)
– Brandywine. (Amish heirloom dating back to 1885; named after Brandywine Creek in Chester County. Large, red-pink fruits to 500g. Old variety prized for its outstanding flavour. 75-100 days.)
I still have more varieties of tomatoes to set, but these are the start. God knows where I will put them all!
Seeds and cultivation notes from The Lost Seed.
AUGUST 10th 2009:
This morning I set seed for:
– Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck This is an amazing pumpkin, the ancestor of butternut, with a great long hooked neck all flesh, seeds all at one end. Fun!
– Lemon Cucumber. A tangy, sweet, bright yellow cuke, never bitter, high yielding.
– Red Marietta. This is a delightful red and yellow flowering plant that keeps the bugs away from vegies, so I planted out an entire tray full (the first of many, I imagine), and will intermingle with the vegies … save the cabbages and beans, which apparently it tends to kill!
And in the afternoon:
Two beds of King Edward Potatoes. I love these spuds. They are an heirloom and date back to 1902 when, wonder of wonders, King Edward was on the throne in the UK where these potatoes originated. They are lovely, actually quite beautiful, all creamy skins blotched all over with a ruddy pink. I’d never seen them until I came down to Tasmania and saw them in the supermarket (which sells them at huge prices only intermittently – it is actually cheaper to buy seed potatoes and eat those if you don’t want to grow them!). They both mash and roast well, and that’s all I need in a spud. They have gone in early, but the beds are frost free (well, save for very bad frosts, so I will need to keep an eye on them) and the spuds were demanding to be planted. So cross-fingers.
I also planted out two tubs of Royal Blue Potatoes. I saw these very potatoes in the supermarket about 5 months ago, purchased 7 of them, and they have only just sprouted – so into the tubs they go.
I also planted out a couple of rows of Rocket – the first of the spring saladings to go into one of the raised beds.
AUGUST 12th 2009:
Two varieties of capsicum seed set today:
AUGUST 14th 2009:
All Seasons carrots planted today – four rows in one of the raised beds – once the capsicum and chilli are up then they will go in this bed as well.
One small bed of Dutch Cream potatoes. These are new potatoes for me, so will see how they go.
AUGUST 15th 2009:
Celeraic, Sedano Di Verona. I love this stuff. I don’t like celery all that much, but do love this. Nice in mashed potatoes, in soups and stocks etc etc etc. Grows into a huge bulb. Not as pernickety as celery. I can dry this and powder it and it is just so useful.
Artichoke, Green Globe. Hope they do OK from seed.
Beetroot, Crosby’s Egyptian Flat. A new variety for me. I love beetroot to death, although I am one of those people genetically unable to metabolise its bright red dye, which makes for an interesting life. 😉 I sowed this direct into the raised bed … thought about setting it in pots first, but couldn’t be bothered. In previous years I have grown Bull’s Blood and Cylindra, both of which did well for me, and I will likely plant one or the other of them again this year.
Beetroot ’seeds’ are actually chunky little embryos – each ’seed’ set will have a little colony of seedlings grow from it. No matter how carefully you space out the ’seeds’, you will always have to thin out later.
Cape Gooseberry – Golden Nugget. Just because, why not?? I don’t grow enough gooseberries.
AUGUST 16th 2009:
– Galeux D’Eysines. This is an heirloom French pumpkin that dates from the 19th century and I love it to bits – huge thing, covered in warts. It tastes lovely, too. The only downside is that it does not store well – the seeds will gradually take over the entire pumpkin. You put it on the shelf weighing 6 kilo and looking great, and 2 months later it is still looking great but weights only 1 kilo and is a mass of seeds and almost no flesh. LOL
– Turkish Turban. An amazing heirloom pumpkin that dates from 1817. Love these to bits. I grow them for their decorative value, although they are good eating. They are great swirls of green and orange and white on a turban shaped gourd – they last at least two years gracing up the kitchen. 🙂 (Set in greenhouse not on heated tray.)
MARIGOLDS – another tray set. The first tray is already up and sprouted. (Set in greenhouse not on heated tray.)
SILVERBEET (Swiss chard)
– Fordhook – one of my favourites, slow to bolt. I sowed this direct into a gigantic pot.
AUGUST 17th 2009:
BASIL – direct into pot.
AUGUST 22nd 2009:
And more celeraic and fennel.
AUGUST 24th 2009:
Beetroot, Bull’s Blood. Sown direct.
Bush Tomato, Deutscher Fleiss, Heirloom European, small to medium fruit produced in trusses, crack resistant (thank God, I do do tomatoes what do drugs), good for cooler varieties. 80-90 days.
Bush Tomato, Siberian. Heirloom from Russia. Rich, egg shaped fruit, high yields, good for cooler climates. 40-70 days.
Tomato Climbing, Evergreen. Heirloom, green, medium to large fruit, mild delicious flavour. Use in salads, fried, pickled or for green tomato sauces. 72-80 days.
SEPTEMBER 2nd 2009:
HONEYDEW: Collective Farm Woman. Ukrainian heirloom variety once feared as lost, but found again cultivated on a collective farm, hence the name. Smooth, round fruit 18-20cm across with yellowish white, highly fragrant & sweet flesh. Early to mature. Ideal for cooler climates although well suited to all areas. 80-85 days
Blenheim (for the palace!!). Heirloom dating back to 1881. Medium, thin skinned fruit with excellent flavour. Does well in cool, short season climates. 80-90 days.
French Charentais. Heirloom first introduced in 1787. Small melon to 1kg with sweet, thick, deep-orange, flesh, and small seed cavity. Flesh has deep, aromatic, flowery aroma. Sought after variety. Disease resistant. Best suited to cooler areas. 90 days.
Prescott Fond Blanc. French heirloom dating back prior to 1850. Highly attractive, flattened, heavily ribbed fruit with warts & bumps. Salmon orange flesh with grey-green skin turning straw yellow when ripe. Rich flavour when harvested ripe. Highly fragrant. Approx. 8 fruit per vine. Drought tolerant. 100 days.
The carrots are up. The warthog pumpkins are up. The fennel is up.
SEPTEMBER 4th 2009:
Long Island Improved. Heirloom dating back to 1890 & the main commercial sprout until the introduction of hybrid varieties. Produces 50-100 sprouts, 3-4cm across, per plant. Compact bush producing over a long period. 80-110 days.
Common Heirloom; native to the Mediterranean. Perennial. Pale green / silvery leaves on medium sized bush. Hardy once established. Culinary and medicinal uses. Attracts bees to the garden.
Black Beauty: First introduced to the European market in 1930. Dark green, glossy fruit, 15-20cm in length and up to 5cm diameter. Popular variety. Creamy-white flesh. Produces early. Prolific. Good variety either cooked or frozen. 50-63 days. Must remember to pick these 7 days after flowering!
Italian heirloom. Delicious, rich, nutty flavoured, pale-green fruit with slight ridges. Popular variety. May be used like regular zucchini, or picked when 15cm long with flowers attached and fried whole. 60-70 days.
SEPTEMBER 20th 2009:
Blue Mini Popcorn, about 30 pots into greenhouse.
Also a few days ago – direct sowed mint and Amish Deer Tongue Lettuces and radicchio into garden bed.
SEPTEMBER 26th 2009:
Three orange Sweet Potatoes set into glasses of water in the greenhouse.
Apple trees now coming into leaf.
Quinces are flowering.
OCTOBER 12th 2009:
More pumpkins: Triamble, & crookneck. Popped outside instead of in greenhouse. Popped some greenhouse pumpkins out in the weather to harden up.
More Rockmelon: Delice de la Table and Prescott Fond Blanc. Popped outside instead of in greenhouse.