Saturday, 8 February 2014

Gardening in the Heat, Again.

During my recent break (see previous post) The Boys faithfully watered the garden.  It was extremely hot and so i am thankful not to return to a burnt out tangle of veggies.  In fact, i returned to abundance not only of veggies but also the grass.  We had to mow it several times.  I spread the clippings out to dry and this morning i covered up the newly weeded beds with the dried grass to keep the moisture in.

The one thing they did forget to do was harvest and so i arrived home to many giant zucchinis, stacks of lettuce on the brink of going to seed and yummy tomatoes.  What i am finding in this heat is that the sun seems to burn my skin on contact.  I have red hair and fair skin and it almost hurts to be out in it.  Sunscreen does nothing for me.  The UV must be particularly high.

Apple Cucumbers - i remember coming home from school and having these with a sprinkle of salt for a snack.  I haven't been successful with Lebanese or Continental and I'm waiting for a break in the heat to plant my seedlings for another attempt.  

My neighbours benefited from this pile.  I have new renters in the place next door.  They moved in while i was away and so my first introduction was to stand on their doorstep and say "Hi, I'm Lynda from next door, please take some zucchinis off my hands.".  

One way I've used them up is to throw a heap into a pot of homemade stock with pumpkin and potato.  Though Hubby did say that it tasted slightly different from my normal soup i told him it was the coconut cream i added rather than normal cream.  
When my Irish camping neighbours left they for some reason didn't want to take any food home (dont know why as they only live 5 minutes from me and so it was only an hour away).  I scored 16 eggs (huh, like they were going to go off in an hour). Australian Farmers Direct delivered only a few days before i arrived home another dozen.

Cant believe it but this was my first baked custard.  It was very simple and used up 6 of my egg glut.  I think i would have like to jazz it up for make it into bread and butter pudding but my Hubby has fond memories of the slabs of baked custard they served for school lunches back in Yorkshire when he was young and i was trying to be faithful to his memories.  
Tom's tutor arrived for a lesson and was served the above soup and custard while she went through his spelling.  She needs a little fattening up.   As usual, she also left with more zukes.

I have some massive beefeater tomatoes coming on at the moment. 
One thing i have noticed is that if the tomato plant is struggling it kills off the shade leaves first before the fruiting ones.  I did have some fried leaves but once i removed them all i noted that what was left was some healthy stems and the fruiting leaves.  Amazing huh, how it protects itself.

I always seem to harvest when i don't have a container and so i do what my mother did.  She used her apron and i use the front of my shirt.  Got to love the purple/pink and red contrast.  

Some of that excess lettuce, eggs and the above tomatoes became tonight's dinner.  I mixed a left over piece of kabana when i cooked the tomatoes and the hole from the egg-in- bread became a giant crouton.
The capsicum plant seems to love the heat.  
My latest piece of decor - onions from Jessie waiting to be planted.
My sister stayed over last night and being both early rises and expecting another hot day, we got out into the garden to do some overdue weeding.  The corn was finished and i stupidly realised that the beans i planted at the base of them were not going to climb up.  They were dwarf beans. DOH! I'm wondering why she couldn't see that there were beans all over them.  I mentioned that the now finished corn needed to come out.  Shock horror to find that not being a gardener the beans were considered weeds and pulled out as well.  She seems to love clearing the beds and having bare soil on display. All neat and tidy.  I rescued some rogue free tomatoes that were in there.  I watched a little bit closer after than but i am very greatful for the help.  We were drowned in sweat by 9am.

Keep cool guys. There is more hot weather on the way.  I'm finding that early morning watering seems to work best, though if its really a scorcher, i have lightly sprayed the back wall of trellises to take the heat out of the brick wall in the evening.  I have also strung up rope between the beds and hung shadecloth (like sheets on a washing line) to filter the north west sun.   The lettuce bed is also completely covered with shade cloth, which i think is 70%.

Tom is currently reading out loud out of a book written in 1940.  Its a series of reports and letters from the middle east at the beginning of WWII.  He's just about to get to the Australian and British forces entering Tobruk so i had better go pay attention as he is finding all the detail fascinating and keeps looking over to see if I'm listening.  How many feet the trenches were etc, which direction they came from (shows me the map) and on and on and on......   This 24 hr a day preoccupation with military has the house almost permanently sounding like a battlefield.  Its tiring but having had my rest I'm now able to deal with this with patience and understanding.  Sometimes being a good mum, means having to leave for a little while.

Thanks for visiting Living In The Land of Oz


  1. Wow you certainly have a bumper crop, I would like to grow apple cucumbers I dont have a lot of luck with cucumbers my Aunty gave me some last year out of her garden and they were delicious. The boys did a great job of watering then. Its great Tom loves to read to you and it sounds like in great detail which would be very informing you would learn a lot. Good on him. Ive been missing your posts while you were away

  2. Thanks Sharon, I sometimes wonder whether i should keep blogging. I have a few tight followers that i treasure but the numbers keep clicking over from unknowns. I wish they would comment so i could establish friendships or perhaps reciprocate and read their blogs. I learn so much from others. I do however, enjoy the writing process and the photos. I think you do too. Maybe we are frustrated writers at heart. Yes, they did do a good job of watering. This reading thing is new as he has a book report to do. I dont mind and we often, when it gets really technical and laborious to read, swap over and i read for a while. I have learnt an awful lot about wars from Tom. Perhaps more than i would like. I just read Matthew Reilly's Ice Station and it had lots of military hand to hand fighting and various weapons that ive heard Tom mention. Im trying to get him interested in reading that together but as always he is resistant to new things. It has to be his idea.

  3. My worms gave up six litres of worm pee today which was diluted in the watering can and spread all over the beds. Hope the veggies enjoy their morning tea. I had already given everything a light watering so the tea would soak right in.

  4. What a great crop you came home to. I love the way you cook your egg inside the hole in the bread. I must have a go at that. The sun is shining here today but it's quite cold and we've had a lot of rain. Not as much as some poor people down south, thank goodness.
    Love from Mum


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