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Veggies from our garden

Some results

 

 

VEGETABLES AND FRUIT

IN THE HOME GARDEN

 

This is a list of all the vegetables I have grown (or tried to grow) in my gardens. Not all have been successful and some have worked better at one time than another.

 

We fertilise our garden beds every 3-4 weeks with Bunnings NPK all purpose fertiliser using 500g to cover all our veggie beds. We also spray Seasol onto the leaves of plants that appear stressed. If any plants start to go a yellowish colour we apply extra fertiliser early to bring them back to a nice healthy green. We have also added blood and bone, liquid fertiliser, home made compost and sheep and cow poo.

 

Want to learn how to cook some of the unusual veggies below? Check out www.letseatmalaysian.com for over 200 different recipes.

 

This page gets fairly regular updates as conditions in the garden change. Please drop by from time to time to see how things are going and if you would like to comment there is now a comment box at the bottom of this page.

 

Fruit and Veggies from our garden

 

Seed collecting

SEED SAVING

 

To save money you should begin saving seed from your garden veggies as soon as possible. Most seeds are viable except those that may have cross pollinated with similar species.

 

Make sure you clean the seeds well, dry them out completely and store them in air tight containers. We use small zip lock plastic bags.

 

 

 

PAGE CONTENTS

 

AMARANTH (WHITE LEAF) | BANANA | BASIL | BEANS DWARF BROWN BEAUTY | BEANS DWARF HAWKSBURY WONDER | BEANS SNAP-BEAN STRINGLESS | BEETROOT | BROCCOLI | BRUSSEL SPROUTS | CAPE GOOSEBERRY | CAPSICUM | CELERY | CHILLI | CHINESE KALE | CHINESE RADISH | CHOKOS | CHOY SUM | CORN | CORIANDER | CUCUMBER | CUCUMBER (APPLE) | CURRY PLANT | EGGPLANT | FENNEL | FRENCH BEANS | FUZZY GOURD | GALANGAL - THAI GINGER | GARLIC | GARLIC CHIVES / CHIVES | GINGER | GOJI BERRIES | GRAPES (seedless white) | HEAD MUSTARD | KAYLE | KHOLRABI and PURPLE KHOLRABI | LAKSA PLANT | LEEK | LEMON | LEMON BALM | LEMON GRASS | LETTUCE (COS) | LETTUCE (LOOSE LEAF) | LIME (KAFFIR) | LIME (TAHITIAN) | LUFFA | MELONS (ROCK) | MINT | OCRA | ONIONS | OREGANO | PAK CHOY | PANDAN | PAPRIKA | PUMPKINS (BUTTERNUT) | PUMPKINS (JAP OR KENT) | RADISH | RHUBARB | ROCKET | SIEW PAK CHOY | SILVER BEET (HERITAGE) | SNOW PEAS | SPINACH (ENGLISH / BABY) | SPRING ONIONS | STRAWBERRIES | STRAWBERRY GUAVA | SWEET POTATO | SUNFLOWER | TAMARIND | TATSOI / ROS BOK CHOY | TOMATOES | TROMBOCINI | TURMERIC | TURNIP | WATER CONVOLVULUS / KANG KONG | ZUCCHINI

 

AMARANTH (WHITE LEAF) / CHINESE SPINACH OR BAYAM

 

Bayam

AMARANTH (WHITE LEAF) / CHINESE SPINACH OR BAYAM

 

Planted : November from seed. Planting failed. Tried again in January in better soil, now germinated but growth has been slow. Our third planting has been far more successful and we have harvested the leaves over summer. Now in autumn the plants are seeding and we hope to grow next year's crop from these seeds.

 

These seem to like lots of nitrogen in the soil.

 

Harvested : Only one good harvest year so far but they produced well through out the summer months.

 

Position : Shaded.

 

Propagation : From seed

 

Not easy to grow. The first planting failed to get going but we are trying again with better soil. 2014 was the best year so far and we managed to get quite a few meals over summer. They have started to seed in autumn.

 

Ease of growing : **

Pest resistance : ****

Ease of further propagation : **

Production : ***

Our recommendation : Fickle, some years are good others very bad.

 

BANANA

BANANA

 

Planted : September

 

Harvested : 3 years and still waiting.

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation : From small plant (Carnarvon banana).

 

So far this is growing very well and the original single plant has become three but no fruit yet. They have suffered a bit during the most recent winter (2016) and are looking rather ratty but they are still growing. No fruit at all so far.

 

Now early autumn 2017 and no fruit......

 

Ease of growing : ****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : *

Our recommendation : Give it a go even if they don't fruit, the leaves can be used in various recipes for Asian food.

Last update of this entry : Mar 2017

 

BASIL

 

BASIL

BASIL

 

Planted : Grown from seed early spring (September)

 

Harvested : From October to April.

 

Position : Shaded in the late afternoon. They appear to resist running to seed if kept in shade.

 

Propagation : Save seeds, dry and plant in spring. Basil will also propagate from cuttings that are kept in water until they develop roots and then re-planted in soil.

 

A garden herb, basil is one of the easiest plants to grow. We have planted it in a position where it gets sun until about 2pm and then shade. It went to seed fairly quickly and then proceeded to spread all over the place. It seems to be used mostly in European recipes which means we only use it occasionally.

 

We grew the basil from seed. Although some of the leaves get eaten by various pests, they produce so many leaves that this is not really worth taking action on.

 

We also tried purple basil (see picture) but this was not resistant to pests and was quickly destroyed.

 

All died off during winter. Re-planted from saved seed the following season.

No apparent serious pest problems.

 

Ease of growing : *****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : *****

Our recommendation : Good to grow

 

BEANS DWARF BROWN BEAUTY

BEANS DWARF BROWN BEAUTY

 

Planted : October (mid spring)

 

Harvested : Mid-Late summer Jan-Feb.

 

Position : Full sun

 

Propagation : Poor. Buy fresh commercial seed.

 

Planted from commercial packet seeds. Grew well and produced enough to feed 12 people. As we planted all 3 bean varieties at the same time these comments refer to all 3 varieties.

 

Ease of growing : ****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : Best to re-buy commercial seeds.

Production : ***

Our recommendation : Ok to grow.

 

 

BEANS DWARF HAWKSBURY WONDER

 

Planted : October (mid spring)

 

Harvested : See above

 

Position : Full sun

 

Propagation : Best to re-buy commercial seeds.

 

Planted from commercial packet seeds. So far growing well but awaiting results. See above

 

Ease of growing : See above

Pest resistance : See above

Ease of further propagation : See above

Production : See above

Our recommendation : See above

 

 

BEANS SNAP-BEAN STRINGLESS

 

Planted : October (mid spring)

 

Harvested : See above

 

Position : Full sun

 

Propagation : See above

 

Planted from commercial packet seeds. So far growing well but awaiting results. See above

 

Ease of growing : See above

Pest resistance : See above

Ease of further propagation : See above

Production : See above

Our recommendation : See above

 

BEETROOT

 

BEETROOT

BEETROOT

 

Planted : early Autumn (March)

 

Harvested : From late September. Attempted to let one plant go to seed but it failed to do so. Trying again this year with more plants.

 

Position : Full sun

 

Propagation: We have not yet managed to propagate these ourselves.

 

The position we chose means it gets sun most of the day and it seems to be going quite well at present.

These plants were bought as seedlings and the first crop took quite a long time to be ready for harvest. We are now trying a second crop with better soil.

 

The original planting had to be spread out as the plants got bigger and it took until September before some of the beets were big enough to harvest.

 

Ease of growing : **

Pest resistance : ****

Ease of further propagation : We have been unable to propagate.

Production : ***

Our recommendation : Worth a try

 

BROCCOLI

BROCCOLI

 

Planted : early Autumn (March). Self seeded from original plants in late spring.

 

Harvested : From May

 

Position : Full sun

 

Propagation : From seed

 

Planted : In full sun this has grown quite quickly and we started to harvesting it after about 6 weeks. We have found that the flower heads are more loose than the ones we are used to getting from the shops but it is still quite edible.

Apparently it is possible to eat the leaves but they turned out to be very tasteless.

 

These plants were bought as seedlings. Various pests eat the leaves but the flower heads appear to be unaffected. For some reason the flowering heads were very sparse and not tight as the ones in the shops are. We have had three meals from the plants so far and are waiting to see if they produce more flower heads. The first flower heads seem to be the largest but the plants continue to grow smaller ones once the large ones are cut off.

 

Broccoli is one of the best plants you can eat for your well being but they took too long to grow. We  saved some seed from the first plants and have had no problem growing from seed but we are still having problems with the flower heads being too sparse.

 

As good as this plant is to eat we have given up on it for the moment. The flower heads are never dense enough and they get attacked by too many pests.

 

Ease of growing : ****

Pest resistance : ***

Ease of further propagation : ****

Production : **

Our recommendation : Don't bother

 

BRUSSEL SPROUTS

 

BRUSSEL SPROUTS

 

BRUSSEL SPROUTS

 

Brussels attacked by caterpillars

BRUSSEL SPROUTS

 

Planted : early Autumn (March)

 

Harvested : From October

 

Position : Full sun

 

Propagation: Unknown yet

 

A very slow growing plant.

 

These plants were bought as seedlings. It took all winter for the plants to start to get large and develop the sprouts. It was late September before we were able to do any harvesting.

 

They suffered leaf damage due to snails (see picture) and the tops of the plants were attacked and damaged by aphids. These were controlled somewhat using pyrethrum spray. In the end this proved to be ineffective. Took off the sprouts and re-planted the bare stalks. These regrew from the base and we did manage to get a second crop from the original plants.

 

A second crop was planted from seedlings but they suffered badly from cabbage white caterpillars.

 

Ease of growing : **

Pest resistance : *

Ease of further propagation : ****

Production : ****

Our recommendation : Worth a try

 

Cape Gooseberry

CAPE GOOSEBERRY

 

Planted : Late Autumn (May).

 

Harvested : From October. They fruited again over winter and are still fruiting into spring.

 

Position : Part sun with afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: Planted from a seedling.

 

Grew slowly through the winter and started producing fruit in early spring. The fruit were ready to eat by mid-October. They produce intermittently in the early months of summer but then stop when it gets very hot. They have started production again in mid-autumn.

 

They continued to fruit very well right through the winter.

 

Fruit are delicious with a bit of a sweet and sour taste. They resemble small tomatoes and can be made into jam.

 

We started with one plant but have managed to grow another from seed. The original plant has has grown very large so plant these somewhere where they have room to spread out.

 

They like well drained soil and good watering. When fruiting is over cut down to half height and allow to re-grow.

 

Our initial plant grew very well for about 3 years. This summer it has lost all its leaves and so we have cut it right back. It will be interesting to see if it re-grows of whether it has finally expired. Other plants are already growing from fallen fruit so we have no doubt we will get a lot more fruit from these plants.

 

We haven't had any fruit from these plants for a while now but they are spreading around the garden and we have to pull up any plants that grow in places that aren't convenient. We hope we will start to get fruit again later this year.

 

Ease of growing : ****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : ****

Production : *****

Our recommendation : Very good to grow.

Last update of this entry : Mar 2017

 

CAPSICUM

CAPSICUM

 

Planted : early spring (September). Second planting from seed in January.

 

Harvested : From December

 

Position : Full sun for some and afternoon shade for others

 

Propagation: Keep and dry the seeds until needed. Plant in spring.

 

Initially difficult to tell apart from the chilli plants, capsicum seems to eventually grow into a larger plant. For some time we have been having problems with moth grubs attacking these and the chilli. We are now spraying with Dipel bio-insecticide and hoping to reduce the attacks from the moth grubs. If this works we should be able to leave the capsicums on the plants long enough for them to turn red.

 

The Dipel seems to have worked, either that or the cold weather has rid us of the pests, but now we are finally able to leave the capsicums on the plants to mature.

 

The plants stopped producing over winter and are became little more than green sticks. When spring came round they all started sprouting new leaves again. It is taking a long time for them to get going again.

 

These plants were bought as seedlings. They do not grow as well as chilli or paprika. We have now been trying to grow these for about 4 years and have always found them to be a bit awkward to grow. We will keep on trying different methods until we get it right as they are usually expensive in the shops. If anyone has any good tips we would love to hear them via our new comment box at the end of this page.

 

Ease of growing : **

Pest resistance : * Very prone to attacks by pests.

Ease of further propagation : ***

Production : **

Our recommendation : Worth a try but paprika are easier to grow

Last update of this entry : Mar 2017

 

CELERY

CELERY

 

Planted : early summer (December)

 

Harvested : From April (better growth during winter).

 

Position : Full sun

 

Propagation: Remove stalks and re-plant. Try to get as much of the bottom end of the stalk as possible. Also split bunches and re-plant.

 

We planted this a bit too early and it became a bit woody. It appears that planting it later in summer would have been better and new growth on these plants has been much improved.

 

These plants were bought as seedlings. We are hoping that one or more plants will go to seed to provide us with a means of producing next years crop. It turned out that they simply split into new bunches anyway so production has been on-going and very simple.

 

One benefit of growing your own celery is that when you want just a small amount all you have to do is remove a few stems and let the remaining plants continue to grow.

 

This has done very well over winter. Lots of new growth and more tender stalks. Will propagate by just pulling off stalks and replanting.

 

Eventually the celery went to seed and we ended up with heaps. They grow well from seed but tend to start flowering when the weather gets hot.

 

The latest summer (2014) has proven to be a miserable one for these plants. They all grew to about 6 inches high and then stopped. We will leave them in over winter to see if they get any better but if not they will all become part of the compost bin.

 

One plant survived the winter and we are waiting to see what happens through spring. Meanwhile we have planted more seed.

 

No pest problems evident yet.

 

During 2016 we got several plants growing from earlier seeding. So far they are doing quite well but they never seem to grow the large thick stems that you see in the shops.

 

Ease of growing : ****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : *****

Our recommendation : Good to grow

Last update of this entry : Sep 2016

 

CHILLI

CHILLI

 

Planted : early spring (September)

 

Harvested : From November to May

 

Position : Full sun for some and afternoon shade for others. They seem to do best in full sun.

 

Propagation: Keep and dry seeds until needed. Plant in spring.

 

The chillies have been one of our best crops. Despite the attacks from moth grubs (see capsicum above) we continue to pick chillies regularly. They are one of our most used ingredients and are expensive in the shops so getting so many is a big bonus.

 

Chillies are very easy to grow and we are getting to the point that they are re-seeding too quickly. 

 

They lost most of their leaves by the end of winter. With the start of spring they have all started re-growing leaves.

 

We have found that the chilli plants in our garden produce well for 2 years. They then should be removed and re-grown from seed.

 

Most of our old chilli plants expired this year so we have bought more commercial seedlings. we are trying a variety of different chillies this time and will also plant more next years so that we have a continuous supply. See the BLOG for more on our new varieties.

 

This year (2016-7) the chilli plants have been very weedy. We have still got some chillies but not many.

 

Ease of growing : *****

Pest resistance : *

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : *****

Our recommendation : Good to grow

Last update of this entry : Mar 2017

 

CHINESE KALE

CHINESE KALE

CHINESE KALE

 

Planted : Late winter (mid-August)

 

Harvested : From October

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: From seed.

 

Planted as seeds and is growing well but the pests just love to chew it to bits. We have now put some under a screen enclosure and they are doing much better. A third planting was also chewed to bits despite the application of Dipel.

 

The pest problems with this vegetable are a real pain as it is very nice to eat and grows well. We have now given up growing this as cabbage white caterpillars love to munch it to nothing.

 

Ease of growing : ****

Pest resistance : Nil

Ease of further propagation : ****

Production : Poor due to high pest rates.

Our recommendation : Don't bother unless you can keep the pests away.

 

CHINESE RADISH

Chinese radish flowers

CHINESE RADISH

 

Planted : Late winter (mid-August)

 

Harvested : From mid-October

 

Position : Full sun.

 

Propagation: From seed.

This was initially an experiment just to see if the radishes would grow. As it turned out they grew very well and now we will allow some to go to seed so that we can try and propagate them ourselves.

Ease of growing : *****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : ***** Save seeds.

Production : *****

Our recommendation : Good to try

Latest update : March 2016

 

For a couple of great recipes for these check out http://www.letseatmalaysian.com/vegetables.html and look for the ones using 'Daikon'.

 

CHOKOS

 

CHOKOS

CHOKOS

 

Planted : Late autumn (May) by buying a choko waiting until it sprouted and then putting it into a big pot. The only reason we put it into a pot is that we are going to move from where we live and we want to take it with us. So far it has taken 1 year for the plant to really get going properly and we hope to get some fruit in spring.

 

Harvested : Still waiting

 

Propagation: Keep the 'fruit' until it begins to shoot then plant.

 

Chokos are climbing plants and the 'fruits' (for want of a better word) and leaves are edible. Just as it was starting to make progress it was damaged by a winter storm and now has to re-grow all over again.

 

We got this plant going again until we experienced a couple of days of hot strong winds. It then shriveled up again and it was thrown away.

 

Ease of growing : *****

Pest resistance : Unknown

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : Unknown

Our recommendation : Don't bother unless you have a position out of the wind

 

CHOY SUM

 

CHOY SUM

CHOY SUM

 

Planted : Late autumn (May). These were bought as seedlings and it has taken quite a few weeks to see some results. We have also planted some from seed and they are even slower to get going.

 

Harvested : From August

 

Position : Full sun.

 

Propagation: Keep and dry seeds. Plant anytime.

 

Snails love eating the leaves and a a huge pest of these plants. In late winter they stated to flower and we allowed them to grow up as we want to get seed from them. The only problem (apart from snails) is strong wind which tends to push the plants down if they are not supported.

 

There are some problems with bolting to seed but overall these are worth growing.

 

Ease of growing : ****

Pest resistance : *

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : ***

Our recommendation : Good to grow

 

CORN

 

CORN

CORN

 

Planted : mid summer (late December) with good results but a later planting in late January did not do so well. Latest planting has been from seed in early September.

 

Harvested : From February

 

Position : Full sun for some and afternoon shade for others. The ones getting afternoon shade did better.

 

Propagation: We attempted to grow from seed we collected but all plants were weedy and did not produce. We will just stick to the packet seeds from now on.

 

We have tried several crops of corn. The first we planted during summer and this was quite successful. The second crop we planted in late summer / early autumn and this was much less productive. Corn cobs that do not fertilise properly produce few corn kernels and are stunted. Results have varied greatly with corn but nothing so far has been as good as the first crop.

 

It appears to be important to help these plant fertilise if they are not Planted in large blocks.  We bought all the corn as seedlings to start with and then tried commercial seed. Both worked well. Kept seed does not work well and produces weedy plants.

 

No pest problems evident.

 

Ease of growing : *****

Pest resistance : ****

Ease of further propagation : *

Production : ***

Our recommendation : Worth a try

 

CORIANDER

CORIANDER

 

Planted : Late autumn to early spring : August - September from seed. 2014 plantings are growing very well. One is in full sun and the other in shade. It will be interesting to see which ones go to seed first.

 

Harvested : September onwards.

 

Position : Full sun and shade.

 

Propagation: Dry the seeds and re-plant as required. The plants produce MANY seeds.

 

Coriander always runs to seed very quickly. The seed we have collected is very fertile and we have more than we could ever use.

 

Ease of growing : ****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : **

Our recommendation : Good to grow

 

CUCUMBER

 

CUCUMBER

CUCUMBER

 

Planted : September (early spring) from seed

 

Harvested : From mid-summer (Jan to March)

 

Position : Full sun.

 

Propagation: From commercial seed.

 

First crop failed but the second did well producing over a dozen cucumbers.

 

Ease of growing : ***

Pest resistance : ****

Ease of further propagation : Unknown

Production : ***

Our recommendation : Worth a try

 

CUCUMBER (APPLE)

CUCUMBER (APPLE)

 

Planted : early spring (September)

 

Harvested : From November

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: Unknown

 

We bought this as a seedling and didn't know at the time that it would be important to manually fertilise the flowers. Like pumpkins and melons the flowers on these plants are either male or female and manually taking the male stamen and inserting it into the female flower helps produce more cucumbers. We did get a few cucumbers out of it before the plant expired but they appear to be rather short lived.

 

They are very nice to eat but poor production means we may not bother with them again.

 

These plants were bought as seedlings.

 

No pest problems evident.

 

Ease of growing : **

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : Unknown

Production : **

Our recommendation : Don't bother

 

CURRY PLANT

CURRY PLANT

 

Planted : early spring (October)

 

Harvested : From December (dies off in winter) Plant took until November to start re-growth.

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: From seed. Grows easily.

 

We use curry leaves a lot in our coking and having a plant that we can take a few leaves at a time from is much better than keeping dried leaves.

 

This is another plant that we bought as a seedling and have kept it in a pot. It is kept well watered and fertilised and has grown steadily. The cold weather all but stopped any growth but with spring the plant has started growing again. We have now moved this from the pot into a permanent place in the garden and it appears to be doing well.

 

If these plants survive they will grow into a fairly decent sized tree. They grow easily from seed.

No pest problems evident yet. It does not like the cold weather and goes dormant but has a growth spurt in mid-spring.

 

Our tree is now about 5 years old and seems to be doing very well. It produces many more leaves than we will ever need and a few new plants are growing at the vase of the original.

 

We have found that pinching out the flowers before they develop encourages more lush leaf growth.

 

Ease of growing : ****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : ***

Our recommendation : Good to grow

 

 

EGGPLANT

 

Planted : Mid-spring / Late winter tried and tried so many times we have lost count.....

 

Harvested : Never !

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: Not a chance....

 

Planted as seeds, waiting for results. Originally we tried planting egg plant seeds taken from egg plants but nothing happened. This time we have bought commercial seeds and are hoping for a better result.

 

Unfortunately the result was the same. Every time we have tried to grow egg plants they have failed.

 

Ease of growing : Too hard

Pest resistance :

Ease of further propagation :

Production :

Our recommendation : Don't bother - having said that we are trying again in 2015-6 - it was another waste of time.

 

FENNEL

 

Planted : 1st try September (spring). 2nd try Let the old plants self seed and grow over winter.

 

Harvested : 1st Crop failed as it was planted too late and went to seed but the second crop did very well.

 

Position : Full sun

 

Propagation : From seed

 

Our second attempt at growing fennel looked like it was going to do well until the hot weather struck and all the plants went to seed. We have tried again over winter and the plants are all looking good as spring is about to start.

 

Ease of growing : ***

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : ***** Self seeding

Production : Pending

Our recommendation : Worth a try

Last update of this entry : Nov 2015

 

FRENCH BEANS

FRENCH BEANS

 

Planted : early autumn (March)

 

Harvested : From late April

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: Save and dry seeds. Plant in late winter / early spring.

 

We are just trying these out for the first time and they have grown well but have not produced many beans as yet. We put up a small trellis and the beans have been making great use of it. In the end we got very few beans out of these plants, enough for only one meal. We have saved some seeds and will put in more plants next season and see if we can improve on the first rather dismal attempt.

 

These plants were bought as seedlings.

 

For our second season we are trying seeds saved from the first season. So far only three plants have appeared from the seeds. The planting from saved seeds has not worked well as only three seeds germinated. Second crop failed. Giving up on growing these. If we try again it will be from seed rather from seeldings.

 

No pest problems evident yet.

 

Ease of growing : *

Pest resistance : ****

Ease of further propagation : *

Production : *

Our recommendation : Don't bother

 

FUZZY GOURD / CHINESE GREEN GOURD / HAIRY GOURD

 

FUZZY GOURD / CHINESE GREEN GOURD / HAIRY GOURD

FUZZY GOURD / CHINESE GREEN GOURD / HAIRY GOURD

 

Planted : early spring (September) from seed. Failed to germinate. Re-planted in January in better soil and has germinated this time.

 

Harvested : Began harvesting from early April. We have allowed one gourd to grow and age in the hope of producing seed for next year. Gourds to eat are best taken when they are about the size of a zucchini which in fact is what they are similar to to eat. The second season we planted seeds in spring (Oct) but they did not start to grow until late December. Harvesting was from Feb to April.

 

Position : Full sun.

 

Erected trellis as this is a climbing plant.

 

Ease of growing : ****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : ***

Production : ****

Our recommendation : Good to grow

 

GALANGAL - THAI GINGER

 

GALANGAL - THAI GINGER

GALANGAL - THAI GINGER

 

Planted : early winter (June)

 

Harvested : First leaves appeared in November.

 

Position : Shade.

 

Propagation: Re-plant tuber sections.

 

Very similar to ginger. Little happened until January when the first leaves started to appear. VERY VERY slow growing here. It kept growing for about 12 months but never came to anything and then expired.

 

Ease of growing : ***

Pest resistance : Unknown

Ease of further propagation : Unknown

Production : Unknown

Our recommendation : Too difficult

 

GARLIC

 

GARLIC

GARLIC

 

Planted : early autumn (March)

 

Harvested : January.

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: Separate bulbs a re-plant.

 

We planted this from one bulb of garlic and each clove has sprouted. It takes a long time before garlic can be harvested but each clove turned into a head of garlic. Considering the price of garlic and the slow growing nature of these plants we won't be bothering planting any again.

 

No pest problems evident yet.

 

Ease of growing : *****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : *

Our recommendation : Too slow but try if you like

 

GARLIC CHIVES / CHIVES

GARLIC CHIVES / CHIVES

 

Planted : Early spring (Sep)

 

Harvested : From mid-summer (Jan)

 

Position : Full sun

 

Propagation: Unknown yet

 

Seed planting failed so we tried growing this from seedlings. They were eventually successful.

 

Ease of growing : * may have been a dud packet of seeds **** seedlings

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : They just seem to keep growing.

Production : ****

Our recommendation : Worth a try

 

GINGER

GINGER

 

Planted : early summer (December) Second planting in May.

 

Harvested : First leaves from May planting appeared in November.

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: Re-plant root sections.

 

This is another experiment that so far does not appear to be working very well.

 

Initially we just bought a small piece of ginger and put it in the ground where it would be watered and fertilised along with all the other plants. This seemed like it was going to work (see photo) but during the severe heat of summer the leaves burn badly. The plant has continued to struggle on but has not really recovered.

 

We will try this again next season but we will put the plant in a shade house with much better soil.

 

Eventually we dug up the old ginger plant to find that a new bulb (bigger than the old one) had grown even though there was little evidence of anything going on above the soil. We will plant a number of small ginger roots next time.

 

The second planting was with a number of smaller tubers and this appears to be working well so far. After digging up the ginger we found very little had grown. This is obviously going to be a long term item.

 

2017 - We have grown some in a pot with rich soil and the leaf growth has been the best we have seen. Not sure about tuber growth yet though.

 

Ease of growing : **

Pest resistance : ****

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : *

Our recommendation : Very slow but worth a try. You will need rich soil that is not allowed to dry out.

Last update of this entry : Mar 2017

 

Goji barries

GOJI BERRIES

 

Planted : Mid-spring (early November)

 

Harvested : A year after first planting.

 

Position : Morning shade.

 

Propagation: These will grow all over the place from seed disbursed by birds that eat the fruit.

 

We did try to grow this from commercial seed but it didn't work so now we have grown it from a seedling.

 

In the picture the goji plant is the long skinny looking thing in the centre of the circle. You can save a copy of the picture to see it in full size on your computer.

 

The plant needs support of some sort and we are training it on a round wire stand to see how it responds.

 

Over winter it died right back but came back very strongly over summer.

 

Ease of growing : *****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : **

Our recommendation : Ok to try but the fruit is small and birds love to eat it.

Last update of this entry : Mar 2017

 

GRAPES

Our first grapes

GRAPES (seedless white)

 

Planted : September.

 

Harvested : Unknown

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation : From small cane.

 

So far this vine is growing well and after a few months is many times its original size. We have put a frame up for it to climb on and are awaiting more results.

 

In its second season and it fruited quite well. We got around 8-10 kg of grapes. We took the first bunch off a bit early and they were not sweet enough but the rest were very nice.

 

Third year was a bumper crop with more grapes than we could eat. It is best to leave the grapes until they go a slightly yellowish colour, then they are at their sweetest. We lost some grapes that rotted but there were so many produced that it didn't matter.

 

Year four wasn't as good but we still got several kilos of grapes. The vine suffered a setback when the trellis supporting it collapsed and it has now been cut right back pending a bigger and much stronger frame being built to support it.

 

Ease of growing : *****

Pest resistance : ****

Ease of further propagation : Unknown

Production : Unknown

Our recommendation : Good to plant.

Last update of this entry : Mar 2017

 

HEAD MUSTARD

HEAD MUSTARD

 

Planted : Late winter (mid-August)

 

Harvested : First crop was too small to harvest. Later crops have been very good.

 

Position : Afternoon shade for the first crop, full sun for the rest.

 

Propagation: From seed.

 

Planted from seeds. In the first crop only two plants grew. We allowed them to go to seed and re-planted the following year and since then we have had very good results.

 

These are very prone to attack by insect pests.

 

Ease of growing : ***

Pest resistance : *

Ease of further propagation : ****

Production : ****

Our recommendation : Worth a try

 

KAYLE

KAYLE

 

Planted : January (Mid-summer)

 

Harvested : April

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: From seed.

 

This is easy to grow but it is a favorite food of just about EVERY garden pest. We have discovered that planting it next to Vietnamese mint (see left) helps protect it from caterpillars etc.

 

Ease of growing : ****

Pest resistance : None

Ease of further propagation : ****

Production : ***

Our recommendation : Don't bother the caterpillars will eat it all before you do.

 

KHOLRABI and PURPLE KHOLRABI

 

KHOLRABI and PURPLE KHOLRABI

KHOLRABI and PURPLE KHOLRABI

 

Planted : January (Mid-summer)

 

Harvested : From September to April

 

Position : Afternoon shade and full sun

 

Propagation: From seed.

 

Easy to grow if you are patient. Garden pests do attack the leaves but it is the round stem part that you eat so that isn't a huge problem. The purple variety seems to be much slower growing. You will need to keep them well watered in the hot months.

 

Ease of growing : ****

Pest resistance : **

Ease of further propagation : Unknown

Production : ***

Our recommendation : Good to grow

 

LAKSA PLANT / VIETNAMESE MINT

LAKSA PLANT / VIETNAMESE MINT

 

Planted : Late winter (August) from a cutting.

 

Harvested : Any time.

 

Position : Part sun, afternoon shade. Will be under shade cloth during summer.

 

Propagation: Clumps can be split up and re-planted.

 

This plant does not like the winter in Perth but it did survive and has grown well since the warmer weather started. They also HATE full sun and MUST be placed where they are shaded most of the time.

 

We have tried to save this plant but it is looking like it will die completely during the second winter.

 

Well one plant did survive and has come back well. We will split it again during the warm weather just as a bit of insurance.

 

Sadly in the end nothing we did could keep these alive they all shriveled and died over the hot summer months. Still good to grow if you want to use it in cooking Asian dishes.

 

We have now bought new plants that were planted in very late summer. They have at least survived their first winter and are now growing very well. The plant with afternoon shade is doing better at the moment but we expect that will change as the heat of summer starts.

 

The plants survived a couple of winters now so perhaps we have finally found a position in the garden that they like.

 

Ease of growing : **

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : ***

Production : ****

Our recommendation : Good to grow

Last update of this entry : Mar 2017

 

LEEK

 

LEEK

LEEK

 

Planted : Late autumn (May)

 

Harvested : From October. Started flowering in November.

 

Position : Full sun, late afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: New plants appear to sprout from the sides of larger plants. We are re-planting these to see how well they go.

 

These have been terribly slow growing. They took about 5 months to be ready for harvest.

 

Ease of growing : ****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : ****

Production : **

Our recommendation : Good to grow

 

LEMON

 

LEMON

 

Myer Lemons

LEMON

 

Planted : Late autumn (May)

 

Harvested : First fruit was 2 years after initial planting but was only 2 lemons. The lemons have now been growing for about 5 years and are producing more than enough fruit for our needs.

 

Position : Initially afternoon sun but planted in a large pot so they could be moved. Since this it has been put in a permanent position with afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: Specialist grafting to root stock is usually required.

 

Pests: Leaf miners and aphids. Controlled by spraying with pest oil.

 

Selected a grafted tree of about 1.5 metres high. Planted in a mix of potting mix and sand with citrus fertiliser added. In January this was moved to a permanent place in the garden.

 

Ease of growing : It took 4 years for the tree to start producing well. It is now 8 years old. We have to prune it once a year to stop it getting too big. It is constantly producing fruit.

 

We did have problems with yellowing leaves so we added trace elements to the citrus fertiliser we were already using and watered well. This seems to have made a difference.

 

Pest resistance : ***

Ease of further propagation : Not attempted

Production : After 5 years *****

Our recommendation : Essential

Last update of this entry : Sep 2016

 

LEMON BALM (VIETNAMESE)

 

Planted : Late summer  (February)

 

Harvested : N/a

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: Spreads like English mint but not as invasive.

 

Bought as a small seedling and planted in a sheltered position and we thought the cold weather over winter had killed it, we were wrong! It has now (mid-spring) bounced back to life again and we are waiting to see how it goes over summer.

 

Initially we thought this was not all that invasive but it is starting to look like it will be almost as invasive as English mint. It isn't really a problem as it is easy to pull out.

 

Ease of growing : See above.

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : ****

Production : *****

Our recommendation : Ok to try.

Last update of this entry : Mar 2017

 

LEMON GRASS

LEMON GRASS

 

Planted : early spring (September)

 

Harvested : From December (dies back a bit in winter) Grow more than one clump in order to allow it to recover.

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: Pull up a section of grass with the root attached and re-plant then water well until it is established.

 

Bought as a small seedling, this plant took a while to really get going but now it is a huge clump of grass and is doing very well.

 

Lemon grass is an essential ingredient in Thai cooking. We don't use this very much but enough to make growing it worth while.

 

By the end of winter the lemon grass was looking rather unhappy with a lot of brown leaves but it came back well over summer. When the weather gets hot give the plant extra water.

 

No pest problems evident yet. Snails love to climb up the lemon grass but don't seem to eat it.

 

Ease of growing : *****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : *****

Our recommendation : Good to grow

 

LETTUCE (COS)

 

LETTUCE (COS)

LETTUCE (COS)

 

Planted : early autumn (March)

 

Harvested : From September

 

Position : Full sun.

 

Propagation: Very easy from seed.

 

It took until late Autumn for the seeds to germinate but growth is quite slow. We have now separated the seedlings and are waiting to see how long it takes before they are ready to harvest.

 

Some of the plants we have grown seem to be more dry and a bit tougher than the ones we buy at the shops. Not sure why as they get plenty of water. For some reason only a few plants seem to develop a heart.

 

Some pest problems with a small insect that attacked the leaves. Controlled using pyrethrum spray.

 

Ease of growing : *****

Pest resistance : ****

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : *****

Our recommendation : Good to grow

 

LETTUCE (LOOSE LEAF)

 

LETTUCE (LOOSE LEAF)

LETTUCE (LOOSE LEAF)

 

Planted : early autumn (March) Second planting done in late February. Started harvesting in April.

 

Harvested : From September

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: From seed. Easy to grow.

 

It took until late Autumn for the seeds to germinate but growth is quite slow. We have now separated the seedlings and are waiting to see how long it takes before they are ready to harvest.

 

Plants became larger by the end of winter but suffered badly from attacks by small insect pests. Some sort of leaf miner. Controlled by using pyrethrum spray but leaf damage was extensive. See photo to the left.

 

Ease of growing : ****

Pest resistance : ***

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : ****

Our recommendation : Good to grow

 

LIME (KAFFIR)

LIME (KAFFIR)

 

Planted : December (Summer)

 

Harvested : It will take 4-5 years before these are big enough to harvest leaves from.

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

This was planted from seed and is VERY slow growing. Citrus are usually grafted on to root stock so we are waiting to see what happens. Kaffir limes are grown for the leaves that are used in Asian cooking.

 

The three plants that have grown from seed are now about 3 years old and are still too small to start harvesting leaves from.

 

They have been attacked by leaf miner and we have responded with pest oil that seems to have worked.

 

At about 3 years old these small trees are finally started to show real signs of growth. They will be of limited value for the next couple of years or so but after that we expect to be able to harvest leaves as we need them.

 

Ease of growing : ****

Pest resistance : ****

Ease of further propagation : Not attempted yet but as we grew these from seed that is at least one option.

Production : Takes about 3-4 years for the trees to become viable.

Our recommendation : Slow growing but a must have for Asian food

 

LIME (TAHITIAN)

LIME (TAHITIAN)

 

Planted : Late autumn (May)

 

Harvested :

 

Position : Afternoon sun but planted in a large pot so can be moved. Later it was planted in the ground with afternoon shade.

 

Selected a semi-dwarf grafted tree of about 1 metre high. Planted in a mix of potting mix and sand with citrus fertiliser added.

 

Seems rather unhappy with the cold weather. Lost most of its leaves. Recovered well in spring. Re-planted in a new location with good soil and is now doing very well.

 

Like the lemon and kaffir lime this has also been attacked by leaf miner and has also been looking rather sickly. We have given it citrus fertiliser and more water and are waiting for results.

 

This was planted at the same time as our lemon tree but has been much slower growing.

 

Just before winter 2014 it got very yellow and sick looking so it was pruned back hard and given trace elements in addition to citrus fertiliser.

 

The tree did bounce back over summer but is starting to look a bit sickly again now that the cooler weather is setting in. Yet again it all went haywire over winter. We just don't seem to be able to get this plant going. It is still alive but has never produced anything despite baing the same age as our lemon tree which is now full of fruit and 8 feet high!

 

One day I am going to get fed up with this lime and pull it out.....one day....

 

One day has arrived and I finally got sick of watching this pathetic plant struggle to survive. It is now an ex-lime tree.

 

Ease of growing : *

Pest resistance : ***

Ease of further propagation : Not attempted

Production : After 6 years we gave up.

Our recommendation : Too difficult

Last update of this entry : Sep 2016

 

 

LUFFA

 

Planted : Mid-autumn (April)

 

Harvested :

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation : Unknown

 

Seed planting failed.

 

Ease of growing : Unknown

Pest resistance : Unknown

Ease of further propagation : Unknown

Production : Unknown

Our recommendation : Don't bother

 

MELONS (ROCK)

MELONS (ROCK)

 

Not deliberately planted so no way to know when the seeds got there.

 

Harvested : Only produced 2 fruit. Took about 4 months.

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: Save and dry the seeds. Re-plant as required.

 

These were not deliberately planted by us but have sprouted anyway. So far we have had three plants come up but the melons they have produced have all been very small. They seem unable to ripen in cold weather.

 

Ease of growing : **

Pest resistance : ****

Ease of further propagation : Unknown

Production : *

Our recommendation : Don't bother

 

MINT

 

Mint getting out of control

MINT

 

Planted : early spring (September)

 

Harvested : From October (dies off a bit in winter)

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: It just keeps growing. This is a plant you need to keep under control as it wanders.

 

Mint is very invasive and has to be kept under control. I am not really sure why we bought it but it just seems to be a traditional vegetable garden plant.

 

These plants were bought as seedlings. No pest problems evident yet.

 

It dies back in winter but takes off like a rocket in spring and has to be controlled.

 

Ease of growing : *****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : ***** Might as well be a weed.

Our recommendation : Good to grow but keep it under control

 

OCRA

 

OCRA FLOWER

OCRA

 

Planted : 1st - January (mid-summer) 2nd - October (mid-spring) 3rd - October (mid-spring)

 

Harvested : Not enough planted to harvest as we are trying to build up seeds. First fruiting occurred in April. Second planting was very good and we harvested from January to late March.

 

Position : Afternoon shade. Second planting in full sun.

 

Propagation : From seed. Second planting from home grown seed was good. Third planting from home grown seed failed completely. Will go back to commercial seed next season.

 

Ease of growing : ***

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : ***

Production : ****

Our recommendation : Worth a try.

 

ONIONS

 

ONIONS

ONIONS

 

Planted : spring (October) also a second batch planted in Autumn (April). During the second growing season we have planted a couple of different type starting in early winter (June).

 

Harvested : First trial From February.

 

Position : Full sun

 

Propagation: Re-plant bulbs in the first year then collect and dry seed in the second year.

 

When we planted our first onion we had no idea that they were biennial. his basically means that during the first year the original bulb splits into several sections (ours was 8) and produces 8 new onions. The following year any of these onions that are planted will produce flowers and eventually seed. This we have now collected ready for next year and we will report on how well it turns out next summer.

 

No pest problems evident.

 

Ease of growing : *****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : ***

Production : ****

Our recommendation : Probably not worth it

 

OREGANO

OREGANO

 

Planted : early spring (September)

 

Harvested : From November

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: Dig up sections of plant with roots attached and re-plant and move to a new site.

 

Once this gets established it goes crazy and spreads out in every direction. Oregano is another traditionally European herb and we don't make much use of it.

 

These plants were bought as seedlings.

 

No pest problems evident yet. The main problem we eventually had with this plant is that it spreads out too much. Probably best kept in pots. In the end we hardly ever used it and pulled it all out.

 

Ease of growing : *****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : *****

Our recommendation : Good to grow but has to be kept in check as it is invasive.

Last update of this entry : Nov 2015

 

PAK CHOY

PAK CHOY (being held by my twin Dorothy)

 

Planted: early summer (December) through to mid-autumn (April)

 

Harvested : From late January

 

Position : Afternoon shade and full sun. The ones with afternoon shade did MUCH better.

 

Propagation: Collect seeds and re-plant as needed. Can be planted all year.

 

If you let a couple of pak choy go to seed they will produce enough to keep you going for as long as you like. We are getting so many plants sprouting now that we have far more than we can possibly eat.

 

They seem to like a bit of shade during the afternoon as when we had them in full sun they didn't do as well.

All our pak choy have been grown from seed. They seem to be happy enough with the colder weather but they are much slower growing and seem to go to seed quickly.

 

Pests include caterpillars and snails. Growth is so prolific that this has not been a major concern.

 

Ease of growing : *****

Pest resistance : *

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : *****

Our recommendation : Good to grow

 

PANDAN

 

Planted : Late summer (February)

 

Harvested : Basically you just take leaves as you need them.

 

Position : Afternoon shade. Inside during winter.

 

Propagation : Small plants grow from the parent.

 

A well established plant was put in a large pot with good quality potting mix and NPK fertiliser.

 

The pot has a reservoir of water to keep the roots well watered. The reason the plant was put in a pot was the fact that they hate cold weather.

 

We got this plant at the Sunday Canning Vale markets for $45.

 

We found the leaf tips starting to go brown in late autumn so it was brought inside over winter and placed next to a big window. It has flourished and almost doubled in size.

 

Pandan leaves are used widely in Asian cooking.

 

We have been trying to propagate this from the off-shoots that grow on the side of the main plant. So far we have failed miserably.

 

It got to the point where it was too large for the pot it was in so we cut out the centre section and it is still doing well. It has been inside again for the colder months.

 

Ease of growing : *****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : Pending

Production : *****

Our recommendation : Good to grow.

Last update of this entry : Sep 2016

 

PAPRIKA

PAPRIKA

 

Planted : First planting Mid-summer (January) Second planting Early spring

 

Harvested : First planting from April Second planting from Mid summer

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation : Save and dry seeds.

 

Once established these plants do well and are very productive for their size. They can be used as a substitute for capsicum in cooking. Like chillies they seem to produce for about 2 years before they need replacing with new plants grown from seed.

 

The leaves are attacked and eaten by some pest but we have not identified it yet.

 

Ease of growing : *****

Pest resistance : **

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : ****

Our recommendation : Good to grow

 

Butternut pumpkin

PUMPKINS (BUTTERNUT)

 

Planted : early spring (September)

 

Harvested : From January

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: Save and dry seeds. Re-plant in spring.

 

It seems as though all pumpkins are prolific in both leaf growth and pumpkin production. Most of the pumpkins that have grown in our garden have come up as a result of seeds being put into compost holes as kitchen waste.

 

Pumpkins love to spread out along the ground and they also love to climb and we have found them happily producing very large pumpkins high up in trees that the vines have climbed.

 

These are another vegetable that produces separate male and female flowers so they also benefit from manual fertilisation. Although the larger pumpkins (see below) died off in the cold weather there is still one butternut vine growing but it is not flowering so no pumpkins are being produced.

 

Eventually the cold weather killed off all the pumpkin plants. Subsequent planting from saved seed have worked well.

 

No pest problems evident yet.

 

Ease of growing : *****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : ***

Our recommendation : Good to grow

 

JAP pumpkin

PUMPKINS (JAP OR KENT)

 

Planted : early spring (September)

 

Harvested : From January

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: Save and dry seeds. Re-plant in spring.

 

Everything we have written about the butternuts (above) applies equally to the JAP (or Kent) pumpkins.

 

It is just as well that pumpkins can be stored for a long time as they produce far more than we can usually eat. The cold weather has pretty much knocked the pumpkins on the head with the vines withering up and the last pumpkins staying very small.

 

We have had no pest problems with any of our pumpkins.

 

Ease of growing : *****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : ****

Our recommendation : Good to grow

 

Horse radish

RADISH

 

Planted : Late winter-Late summer

 

Harvested : Continuous

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: From seed. Very easy.

 

Planted as seeds. Good results. Quick to grow, few problems and a good harvest.

 

Not many people are aware that radish leaves are edible. Not only can you eat them but cooked in the right way they are very tasty. A good addition to your vegetable garden.

 

Ease of growing : *****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : ****

Our recommendation : Good to grow

 

Rhubarb

 

Rhubarb

RHUBARB

 

Planted : early autumn (March)

 

Harvested : From June

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: Unknown yet

 

We bought them a seedlings and they have had great leaf growth. This is unfortunate as it is the stalks that are the edible part - the leaves are poisonous. So far we have had five harvests from these plants, removing the largest stalks and leaving the smaller ones to grow. It will be interesting to see how many harvests we can get using this method.

 

The leaves do get nibbled a LOT especially by fuzzy bear caterpillars but it does not seem to cause any problems for the plants as long as you manually get rid of the caterpillars.

 

One of the plants seeded but did not produce many seeds.

 

We still (now 5 years on) have 1 plant of the originals left. We tried to re-grow more from seed but to date this has not been successful.

 

Well I spoke too soon, we were away for a couple of weeks and one of the sprinklers failed and the poor old rhubarb has paid the price.

 

Ease of growing : ****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : *

Production : ****

Our recommendation : Good to grow

Last update : March 2016

 

Rocket

ROCKET

 

Planted : Late spring (Nov)

 

Harvested : From January to April

 

Position : Full sun.

 

Propagation: From seed.

 

Planted as seeds. These grow easily and quite quickly. Rocket is not universally popular due to its strong peppery taste but it is a good addition to a salad if you like the flavour.

 

Needs to be kept under control as it will take over the veggie patch if you let it.

 

Ease of growing : ****

Pest resistance : ****

Ease of further propagation : ***** Grows like a weed!

Production : ****

Our recommendation : Good to grow

Latest update : March 2016

 

Siew pak choy

SIEW PAK CHOY

 

Planted : Late winter (mid-August) planted from seed.

 

Harvested : November - February

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: From seed. Very prolific seed generation.

 

Planted as seeds. These grow easily and quite quickly. We allowed some to seed and got more seeds than we could ever use.

 

Ease of growing : *****

Pest resistance : ***

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : ****

Our recommendation : Good to grow

 

Silver beet

 

Silver beet

SILVER BEET (HERITAGE)

 

Planted : early autumn (March)

 

Harvested : From September to April

 

Position : Full sun

 

Propagation: From seedlings.

 

So far these have been very disappointing. They were planted about 5 months ago and have grown VERY slowly. So far we have not been able to harvest any and are waiting patiently to see if they improve. We have moved these to a new position to see if they improve.

 

This (along with the start of spring) seems to have finally got these plants to grow properly. Silver beet has an earthy flavour and isn't one of our favourite leafy vegetables.

 

We have one plant that just keeps on growing. All the others have given up the ghost but we are leaving the last one alone in the hope that we might eventually get some seed from it.

 

Pests include snails and caterpillars but damage is minimal.

 

Ease of growing : ***

Pest resistance : ***

Ease of further propagation : Unknown

Production : ****

Our recommendation : Good to grow if you like to eat it. Personally I think it is like eating dirt ...

 

Snow peas

SNOW PEAS

 

Planted : Late winter (August)

 

Harvested :

 

Position : Full sun

 

Propagation: Unknown yet

 

Our previous efforts with snow peas have been a complete failure but we are trying again.

 

Last time we tried seedlings but now we are using seeds and so far they are looking good. We will report once we have more information.

 

Ease of growing : *

Pest resistance : Unknown

Ease of further propagation : Unknown

Production : Unknown

Our recommendation : Seedlings (not good) Seeds (also failed)

Latest update : March 2016

 

English spinach

 

Baby spinach

SPINACH (ENGLISH / BABY)

 

Planted : Seedlings early summer (December) / Seeds early spring (September). Seed again in January.

 

Harvested : As yet not enough have grown to harvest.

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: From seed.

 

Very poor results. These were probably planted at the wrong time and despite the healthy appearance of the one in this photo, the rest were spindly and miserable.

 

These were bought as seedlings but it is an experiment we are unlikely to repeat. We have now bought some commercial seeds and are trying those to see if there is any improvement.

 

Pests include snails and caterpillars. Susceptible to heat, should be grown in a shaded area.

 

When we finally got a couple of these plants to flower and seed we found the seed pods were very spiky (similar to double Gs). We have planted from seed and plants have started growing.

 

It doesn't matter what we seem to do with these plants they just do not seem to grow well. We have now given up trying to grow them.

 

We have now tried a different variety called baby spinach. This was planted from commercial seed and has done very well (see the second photo). Although it was called baby spinach it has bigger leaves than the English spinach we tried.

 

This new variety has done very well. It was planted in late winter (August) and has been harvested from October to December. We will let some go to seed to see if we can propagate them next year.

 

The second set of results below refer to the baby spinach.

 

English spinach / Baby spinach

Ease of growing : * / *****

Pest resistance : * / ****

Ease of further propagation : * / Unknown

Production : * / ****

Our recommendation : Not worth it / Good to grow

 

Sprint onions

SPRING ONIONS

 

Planted : early spring (September) from small commercial plants meant for eating.

 

Harvested : From December. We have harvested seeds (September-October) from the first plants and have re-planted some. It is now mid November and the seedlings are starting to appear.

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: Unknown yet

 

This was one of the first plants we put in to the garden and it has grown well. No problems through the heat of summer and no noticeable pests. We don't use it that often but it is handy to have when needed.

 

We originally planted spring onions that we bought from the supermarket. They grew quite happily. As they are about to flower (September) we are hoping to collect seed for next years crop.

 

Ease of growing : *****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : ****

Production : ***

Our recommendation : Good to grow

 

Strawberries

STRAWBERRIES

 

Planted : Mid spring (early November) from small commercial seedlings.

 

Harvested : Almost right through summer and into early autumn.

 

Position : Morning shade

 

Propagation: They spread out on their own.

 

This is a test to see how things go.

 

During autumn and the strawberries have spread out and are still producing fruit - somewhat to my surprise. There hasn't been a huge amount of fruit but they have done quite well considering we started with only a handful of plants.

 

There have been a few minor pest problems with slugs getting to the fruit but nothing we are that concerned about.

 

The plants survived winter but produced very little the following summer. Perhaps it is necessary to re-plant each year.

 

Ease of growing : *****

Pest resistance : ***

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : ****

Our recommendation : Good to grow

Last update of this entry : Mar 2017

 

Strawberry guava

STRAWBERRY GUAVA

 

Planted : Mid spring (early November) from small a commercial plant. ($12.50)

 

Harvested : Pending

 

Position : Morning shade

 

Propagation: Unknown yet

 

This is a test to see how things go. As it has only been recently planted we have no useful info yet. It has survived summer now we shall see how winter effects it.

 

So far so good. It has survived winter and is growing well.

 

Ease of growing : Pending

Pest resistance : Pending

Ease of further propagation : Pending

Production : Pending

Our recommendation : Pending

Last update of this entry : Sep 2016

 

Sweet potato leaves

 

Sweet potato tubers

SWEET POTATO

 

Planted : late summer (February)

 

Harvested : Leaf first taken in April. Tubers harvested in September. Small tubers re-planted at the same time.

 

Position : Full sun

 

Propagation: Re-plant tubers.

 

Our first attempt was a dismal failure. Planted tubers but nothing happened. We have now tried again and this time the tubers have sprouted and have done very well.

 

Many people aren't aware that the leave of sweet potatoes are edible. Not only edible but very nice. DON'T CONFUSE SWEET POTATOES WITH ORDINARY POTATOES. ORDINARY POTATO LEAVE CONTAIN TOXINS.

 

We started growing these plants specifically for the leaves but later on we harvested some of the tubers.

 

Ease of growing : ***

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : ****

Our recommendation : Worth a try

 

See our new Veggie Garden Blog page for more on sweet potatoes.

 

Sunflower

SUNFLOWER

 

Planted : August (late autumn)

 

Harvested : Mid-late summer (Jan-Feb)

 

Position : Full sun

 

Propagation: From seed.

 

The first plants were rather stunted and the flowers were small but the second planting resulted in huge specimens.

 

Ease of growing : ****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : ***

Production : ***

Our recommendation : Good to grow

 

Tamarind

TAMARIND

 

Planted : December (early summer)

 

Harvested : Unknown

 

Position : Full sun

 

Propagation: From seed

 

This was basically a happy accident. We had some tamarind candy that included a few seeds. We saved the seeds and planted them and it wasn't long before they germinated and small plants grew up. These are usually grown in the tropics so it remains to be seen in they survive the winter. (They didn't).

 

If they do grow to trees they will have to be pruned as the trees can grow to be vary large.

 

Ease of growing : ***

Pest resistance : Unknown

Ease of further propagation :Unknown

Production : Unknown

Our recommendation : Not worth it.

 

Tatsoi

Rosette bok choy

TATSOI / ROSETTE BOK CHOY

 

Planted : Early winter (June)

 

Harvested : From August

 

Position : Full sun

 

Propagation: From seed

 

These took a long time to get going but now spring is around the corner they have all taken off and some are bolting to seed. This we don't mind as it will give us next years crop.

 

Snails do attack them but seem to prefer pak choy so damage has been light. Once the pak choy had gone the snails switched their attention to these with great vigor!

 

Ease of growing : ****

Pest resistance : ***

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : *****

Our recommendation : Good to grow

 

Tomatoes

 

Tomatoes

TOMATOES

 

Planted : early spring (September) Have planted both seedlings and from saved seed. Both seem to do well.

Harvested : From December

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: Save and dry seeds. Plant in spring.

 

We had mixed results with our tomatoes. We Planted in early spring using a mixture of seeds and seedlings. For some reason it was the cherry and grape tomatoes that did very well while the larger varieties were very poor.

 

We probably planted too many too close together and then failed to thin them out. The leaves eventually got a disease of some sort and the plants died off in mid-summer. Even so we estimate we got 20-30 kg of tomatoes before cropping stopped.

 

We are currently trying a cold weather crop but they grow very slowly and don't seem to flower much so growing in cold weather seems to be a waste of time.

 

Pests that caused a problem were moth grubs (the same ones that attack our chillies and capsicums.)

 

The second season tomatoes were planted in early spring but in December they seemed to suffer from some sort of wilt disease. We still got a good crop but it could have been much better.

 

The third tomato season has been the worst yet. Disease has struck again and most were pulled up and thrown away.

 

Out 4th tomato season has started without any help from us. Seeds from our home-made compost are germinating in the garden. They produced reasonably well and we seem to have much less problem with small grape or cherry tomatoes than we do with larger varieties.

 

This year (2015-6) we have reverted to commercial seed to see if it resists pests any better. This year turned out to be much better with less pest problems and no sign of plant wilting. We did use tomato dust so maybe that helped.

 

Ease of growing : ****

Pest resistance : **

Ease of further propagation : *****

Production : *****

Our recommendation : Essential

Latest update : March 2016

 

Trombocini

TROMBOCINI

 

Planted : early spring (September)

 

Harvested : From late November

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: Save and dry seeds. Plant in spring. (Seeds failed to germinate)

 

An unusual type of zucchini that is not easy to get. Yet another male/female flowered plant that benefits greatly from manual fertilisation.

 

These cropped fairly well considering we only had one plant to start with. The plant lasted all through summer and has only just started to die off (April).

 

The eating qualities of these are superior to zucchini and their storage life is much longer. They will cross pollinate with zucchini but seeds in the resulting 'fruit' will be sterile.

 

We hope we do have one true bred 'fruit' and we are hoping that seeds from it will allow us to start new plants next season.

 

Purchased as a seedling. No pests noticed. Definitely not a cold weather plant.

 

Ease of growing : ***

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : Unknown

Production : **

Our recommendation : Good to grow if you can get seeds or seedlings

 

Turmeric

 

Turmeric

TURMERIC

 

Planted : Early winter (June)

 

Harvested :

 

Position : Afternoon shade.

 

Propagation: Re-plant tuber sections.

 

This looks a bit similar to ginger - except for the colour - and we are wondering what will happen with the tuber. We are trying to grow it for the leaves rather than for the tuber.

 

Winter seems to have killed this off.

 

Ease of growing : Too difficult

Pest resistance : Unknown

Ease of further propagation : Unknown

Production : Unknown

Our recommendation : Not worth it

 

Turnips

TURNIP

 

Planted : Late winter (August)

 

Harvested : From October

 

Position : Full sun

 

Propagation: Planted from seed

 

These seem easy to grow and do very well. While not a fan of turnips myself, they can be incorporated into various Asian dishes that use some form of radish.

 

So far there seem to be no pest problems.

 

Ease of growing : ****

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : Unknown

Production : ***

Our recommendation : Worth growing if you like them.

 

WATER CONVOLVULUS / KANG KONG

 

WATER CONVOLVULUS / KANG KONG

 

Kang kong flower

WATER CONVOLVULUS / KANG KONG

 

Planted : Planted  in early spring (September) from seed

 

Harvested : These took a long time to grow and we only started harvesting in December. Another crop (planted in January) grew faster and we started harvesting in late March. If the leaves and stems are taken and some leaf and root left behind they will readily re-generate. The latest crop has been by far the best. Some was planted in full sun with good soil and was watered regularly. They have done very well this time and we have harvested several times.

 

Position : Afternoon shade. When switched to full sun this did particularly well as long as it got enough water.

 

Propagation: Unknown yet

 

They need a lot of water as the name suggests.

 

Ease of growing : ***

Pest resistance : ****

Ease of further propagation : Unknown

Production : ****

Our recommendation : Good to grow

 

ZUCCHINI

 

ZUCCHINI

ZUCCHINI

 

Planted : early spring (September) with good results but a planting in early autumn (March) failed. The first year we grew these from seedlings and the second year we are trying them from commercial seed. (Saved seed failed).

 

Harvested : From late November to March

 

Position : Afternoon shade and some in full sun.

 

Propagation: Save and dry seeds Plant in spring. Saved seeds have not worked well. Commercial packet seeds seem to be best.

 

We have had a number of different zucchini plantings now. The first consisted of only 4 plants and they produced very well over summer. We planted a second lot in early autumn and they produced just three zucchini before the plants started to die off. Definitely not a cold weather plant. Later plantings have done very well in full sun.

 

Bought as seedlings, no pests noticed. Overhead watering does tend to encourage mildew on the leaves.

 

The second type of zucchini (see second picture to the left) has grown well  and is harvesting from mid-November but the flavour of the zucchini is not as good at the dark skinned variety.

 

For whatever reason our zucchini plantings in 2014 were is complete failure. The plants all grew well but did not produce a single zucchini. We have no idea why this is but we will still try again next year.

 

Ease of growing : ***

Pest resistance : *****

Ease of further propagation : *

Production : ***

Our recommendation : Good to grow

 

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