Planting the Front Veggie Patch

We had a big day in the front garden planting out the beds.
In the larger of the two, I decided that it was going to be entirely for potatoes.  I choose two varieties which I like; Pontiac and Desiree.  I learnt a lot from last years crop near the chook house.  I learnt to dig down about 20 cm, and to fertilise the trench first before placing the potatoes in the bottom.  This helps the spuds to get off to a roaring start.

You can see Ben helping out by adding a 20 mm layer of cow manure to the bottom of this row.

I also learnt last year that the seed potatoes with only one eye performed better (more and bigger potatoes) than the spuds with two.  So as I had chitted the seed potatoes for about a week, I removed any shoots in excess of one with a quick twist.  I choose the biggest and strongest shoots.

Ben then planted the seed potatoes, eye facing upwards, about 25 cm (10 inches) apart.  We then backfilled and watered well.  We planted five rows in this bed and completely filled it.  Once the first shoots appear, we will mound them up and mulch heavily with the remaining lucerne straw that I saved.

On to the smaller bed.  As it is at the front and has lots of space around it, I chose to plant two varieties of pumpkin this year.  Queensland blue for its storage properties, and Butternut for its taste.

I cheated this year as I wanted to get an early start on the season, so I bought seedlings from the nursery.

These should be massive.  What possessed me to take a picture of just the label is beyond me, but when the plants get a bit larger, there will be more photographic evidence!  With care, they should start running all over the front yard and give me lots of pumpkins for harvesting mid Autumn.

As no further frosts are likely, I decided to get in some capsicums (bell peppers),

and some long yellow capsicums.  I chose not to plant these near chili bushes this year because last year nature presented me with a gift.  It cross-pollinated the chilis and the long yellow, to make a very hot yellow capsicum!  A big surprise when I bit into one in the garden whilst foraging at lunch time.

These are Kim’s favourite capsicums.  She uses them in salads and stir frys during the warmer months of the year.  With nine plants, there should be a bumper crop.

Once all the planting was complete, I watered the original veggies patch and pulled out two purple cabbages that had started to go to seed and gave them to the big chooks who thought they were delicious.  I still have three white and four purple cabbage heads swelling well, so we still plenty left for coleslaw as it starts to heat up.
Speaking of warm weather, I did a bit of Barbeque maintenance today and discovered that the flame dampener had totally rusted through over winter.  I will have to pick one up before lighting it up.  Hopefully I can get the part locally, but if not, I am sure a local metal fabricator can bang one up.
We never did get to visit any sustainable houses as the closest were over 50km away in either direction, and Kim was a bit fatigued, so I just worked around the garden.
Well dear reader, that is my day/weekend in the garden.  Did you spend time in yours?
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  1. says

    I’m excited for you as you plant and plan for your warm weather months! So strange for me to see you planting peppers as I am cleaning up my summer plants and heading into fall, here in the eastern USA. Do you get powdery mildew where you live? In the hot and humid weather here, our squashes suffer in the late summer from it. I couldn’t plant my pumpkins that close together because the mildew would sweep through them like wild fire!

    • says

      It is strange for me as well, Sue! I am also in the eastern US and my first thought was, “How is Gavin going to keep those peppers alive through the winter?” Lol

      Gavin, I know your seasons are opposite of ours, but that is never my first thought for some reason. Lovely garden. It looks like you should have a bountiful harvest. Thanks so much for sharing. We were not able to have a garden this year, so I am gardening vicariously though you!

  2. says

    Absolutely, if you check post youll see those bantams of mine have finally started acting like chickens and starting eating greens from the yard. Still slow on the kitchen scraps but we’ll get there. I dont have room for pumpkins so im “encouraging” another gardener at work to put some in for me. I do love your beds. Craig Castree in Werribee had an open day today but you can catch it on Vasili’s Garden. Im still getting capsicums off last summer’s bushes. Amazing. I think my Brussel Sprouts are just growing leaves and no heads. Im told its too hot now. Its a great time in the garden, isnt it. So much possibility. Cheers Gav.

  3. says

    That looks great. I love following people from other regions of the world, as we are harvesting in fall you are planting in spring and I’ll be able to live through you all winter when I can’t garden.

    You’ve planted so many potatoes it’s great. I didn’t plant potatoes this year as I only have limited space and can’t plant everything. But we went to the farmers market yesterday at the end of their day and we bought a 20lbs barrel of new small potatoes for only $5. I’ve never gone at the end of the day like that but now I will never go early again, all the farmers were marking down prices like crazy some (like the potatoes) where slashing prices in half!

  4. says

    We too had a busy day in the garden but the focus has been more on the pond and then cleaning out the goat shed and moving wood. The latter did not get finished (barely started) sadly but still I am pleased with what we achieved this weekend.

    We still have months of potential forsts here (crazy since we’re so close really) but I plan to use my soil blocker and to start planting pumpkin seeds and the like in those to get the head start too. Last year they were small and barely ripe although I am glad we managed a harvest being our first season. Pumpkins can also cross pollinate but I believe the 2 you have are from different pumpkin families. Next time you visit remind me to dig out the Diggers catalogue for you that mentions it. Interesting reading. :)
    Can’t wait to see your new garden come into its own. :)

    • Anonymous says

      butternut won’t cross pollinate with anything else.. but you are right pumpkins will generally all cross pollinate although cross pollination is only a problem when you are saving seeds to plant again… and you’ll still get pumpkins from the new seeds, but it’ll be a weird pumpkin that isn’t true to type… generally still very edible

  5. says

    Oh your beds look so neat and tidy, and I am sure you will have a bumper crop. Thanks for the heads up about capsicum and chili crossing. we went to the local sustainable house, but didn’t learn much and found it full of salespeople wanting to sell their wares. I think next year year we should have a virtual sustainable house tour where we can each share what greening projects we have managed during the year, and blog hop instead of using petrol to go around looking at the houses. What do you think? I don’t want to load more work on your shoulders, but think you would be the perfect person to host it!

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