2013 - 2014 Vege garden
last updated 30th March 2014

.....back in March we had Tropical Cyclone Lusy come through, which appart from a few days of heavy rain and powerful winds, the cyclone marked a big change in the seasons.

these little cantelopes were so sweet and fragrant and juicy, possibly the nicest I've ever had. There were a couple of others too but with the heat and the rain they rotted on the ground before we could get them, that's why we collected these two even though they were small. But they were so nice.

a few Lettuces and Broccoli to help us into Autumn and Winter.

Baby Pak Choi with Carrots tucked in between them

Cress to the left Roquette (Rocket) in the centre from the seeds of the last crop, and Celery on the right.

a few Red Rossa Lettuce and a few Curly Lettuce

A random Zucchini hiding under the Nasturtiums

Hubbard Squash

I'm amazed how many Hubbard Sqash grow from one seed, we've had six huge Squashs from this one plant so far.

last of the Zucchinis

we've had such a good crop of Zucchnis this year its been great.

found a Broccoli among the Peas and Zucchinis

they're a bit difficult to see here, but there's heaps of nice Peas

this is some of the damage the Cyclone did in smashing down the Tomatoe plants, but we have still been pulling out a few kgs a day, and there's still more to pick

last of this years Tomatoes, but what a season, so many Tomatoes

finally got a few nice Karelas

a few went to seed also due to us missing them during the Cyclone

wonderful Lettuces

also if you look carefully there's a few Runner beans growing up the wire frame, all the other Beans are finished now.


let us see what we can get going for the next season. I've got a lot to do pulling out old plants and composting and fixing beds for the winter crops of Silverbeat, Cabbage, Wong Bok, Pak Choi, Lettuce and Broccoli that I've got growing in seed trays waiting for a spot in the garden.

25th February 2014

Sooooooooo here in NZ we're just in the change of seasons as Summer comes in its last few weeks and we head in a cooler Autumn. Many of our Summer veges have come and gone the loving memory still remains. In this 5th post you'll see the remnants of the Summer crop of Tomatoes, a few Watermelons, wonderful Beetroots, so many Cucumbers and Carrots, most of the Brassicas have gone, new Brussel sprouts, Broccoli and Cauliflower planted. The new bed is pumping veges out already and has Mung bean plants coming to maturity, Broad beans are there, Runner beans are just flowering, and a few random Squash and Zucchinis. In the old beds the Zucchinis are giving a final crop after I cut back all the dead and dried up leaf and stalks, there's lots happening that should now take us through to mid-winter July in time for me to get things ready for Spring again.

a few of Summer's veges Cauliflower, Broccoli, Sicilian purple Cauliflower, Zucchinis, Runner Beans, Cucumber, a little Pumpkin and Banana Squash.

its been ridiculous, we've been collecting 3 -5kgs tomatoes daily, we even have the freezer full of them

 a few Beans, Zucchini (even a double one), Cabbage head and Lebanese Cucumbers

Beetroot and more Tomatoes

a couple of Zucchinis and Cabbage

after cutting off all the dry and dead foliage the Zucchinis are coming back for another crop

all fresh new leaves

we still keep finding the occasional sleeping giant

here's a few small Black Beauty Zucchinis in among the Nasturtiums

another sleeping giant Zucchini (White Zucchini)

These Brussel Sprouts are looking pretty rough


weeded the Silverbeet bed and thinned them out a bit

the Curly Kale is still going strong, a few Carrots around them and a few Lettuces too

this is the bed where the giant White Radish was. It weighed 8kgs, it was a whopper.

On the right is the Land Cress, really nice and hot and spicy flavour.

In the middle are the seeds from the Roquette (Rocket) from last season. I let it go to seed and then shook the seeds pods over the area and this is what we have so far,
they are just beginning to come up, another week or so and they can be used in salads etc.

To the left are Celery plants.

the bushy green plants are Baby Pak Choi, and in between those lines are different varieties of Carrots. It worked nicely last season so just repeating the success formula

these are Brussel Spouts coming along nicely, with Basil in the foreground

a few Runner Beans hanging on the frame

more Beans and a couple of small Pumpkins

A couple of months ago I found some Comfrey growing in the orchard, so I cut off a whole load of leaves and put it into this bucket with some water, put the lid on and walked away and forgot about it for a bit. Well the end result is the most "aromatic brew" I've smelled since going past the open tip outside Dum Dum airport in Calcutta.

To gain some experience of the aroma click HERE to activate "Smell Experience Device"

......the plants love it ........lol

Tomatoes to the left, Beans to the right

this is where all the Brassicas were last season. Now Lettuces round the edge, Carrots and Beetroot still growing down the right side, and in the middle will be the new Broccoli once they are big enough to transplant

This is the Melon bed, there's a few different  kinds if one looks closely; Watermelons, Rockmelons etc

Water Melons growing on the sides of the frame

This little beauty is just about ready

a bit difficult to see, but there's some Capsicum Green peppers there

more Peppers, Chilies and Tomatoes

Peas just coming into flower

some small Telegraph Cucumbers next to the Peas

Hmmmm its a bit difficult to see the Burgundy Okra, you can see the stems maybe....... next pic will show

here's a few Burgundy Okra

Black Capsicum Peppers

Green Chilies

Karela - Bitter Gourds

a wild mess of Tomatoes

We had a couple of really heavy storms recently which smashed down the Tomato plants

a bit of a close up on the Melons, Rock Melons and a few White Cucumbers

more Tomatoes, the Sun was the other side of the shot so there's the haze

Potatoes coming along nicely

more Melons, Rock Melons, Water Melon plants

 a feral Squash got loose and is growing through the Eggplants

Eggplants to the right, just starting to get little flowers on them now, a bit late but that's life eh

This is that new bed. There's a Bean frame at the end that got smashed down in the wind storm a few days ago.
On the right at the end is a small patch of Broad Beans, presently being over taken by some random Zucchinis, and a renegade Squash that is on the loose.
To the left at the end is a block of Mung Bean plants, they wont be long until they start giving their beams
In the middle is Brussel Sprouts (again)
One the right down in the corner is a section of Peas that are just going to flower which turn to Peas
Eggplants directly in front and a few Lettuces around the edge presently under that Squash's leaves

Brussel Sprout plants competing with the Squash at the moment

beautiful fresh leaf growth of the Zucchinis

Broad Beans if you look carefully

looking through the Runner Beans at the Broad Beans

a Bumble Bee doing its stuff

Rock Melons just in flower

here's that Melon/Watermelon patch

the Mung Bean patch

Tomatoes everywhere

more Tomatoes

some Carrots poking their heads through, asking to be picked

nice little Green Capsicum Pepper

 a few more Green Capsicums and Tomatoes

little Rock Melon (Cantaloupe)

 a shot toward the house, its about 7pm and the Sun is still hot and there's a haze over the valley

just to give an idea of how tall those Potato plants are growing

big Beetroot ready to come out

the Green Clements Okra are a little smaller than the Burgundy Okra but they're getting there

 a few Runner Beans on the frame

Here's my new batch of Tulasi (sacred Basil) plants

a few Coriander seedlings, Marigold Seedlings, and some Cress

in the round tray are the Broccoli and Cauliflower seedlings I just sprouted from seed, they will go in the bed in the garden in a couple of weeks

a few Lettuce and Rosa (red) Lettuce seedlings I planted from seed letting them get big enough to transplant into the garden

Some Coriander and a few different varieties of Basil too.

Two older Tulasi (sacred Basil) plants with their purple Manjaris (flowers)

and my old friend the Chile bush faithfully bearing fruits

the kitchen garden, a few Tomatoes, Coriander, Roquette, Basil and other bits and pieces

More Coriander, more Basil, some Purple Basil, Licorice Basil and Clove Basil.........

so that's all for now, hopefully catch us later for the next post.

27th December 2013

Fourth post of the Garden
(.....most of the fourth posting pics were taken by my grandson 4 year old Shyam)

Sicilian purple cauliflower

inside the climbing frame

pumpkins climbing up the walls

Pink banana pumpkin squash

Lunar Squash

Lunar Squash

Black beauty zucchinis

Black beauty zucchinis

Black beauty zucchinis

Stripped Italian zucchinis

Stripped Italian zucchinis

soft white skinned zucchinis

Zucchini bread


newly planted Silverbeet and Brussels sprouts

soft white skinned zucchinis

soft white skinned zucchinis

white radish

white radish

white radish

Stringless pole runner beans

my assistant Shyam

Shyam had an accident with a NZ Christmas tree (pahutakawa) ended up in A&E and the doctor glued the wound closed and put "butterfly stitches" on it.
The gunk around his mouth and nose is front ice cream , he's a kid give him a break lol

Telegraph cucumbers lurking in the long grass lol

he loves to sample the fresh veges, he got me to offer some baby carrots for a snack

he finished the first batch and went back for more

The Roquette behind him is now going to seed, great crop from those
Tomatoes to the left, and Cauliflowers in front

can't get veges fresher then that

eeee what's up doc?

just to show the height of the pumpkins and zucchinis

the carrot patch

huge tomatoes still growing

huge tomatoes still growing

huge tomatoes still growing

huge tomatoes still growing
Basil growing in with the Tomatoes good companions

another Sicilian Cauliflower just getting its colour

Green Brocoflower, cross beteen Cauliflower and Broccoli

Snowball Cauliflower taking shape

The new cucumbers in front of the Burgundy  Okra

Shyam's favourite Pea patch

Cucumbers hiding in the grass

some of these made a wonderful Raita tonight

Lebanese Cucumbers companions of the Tomatoes

White Cucumbers

Baby Telegraph Cucumbers

Baby Telegraph Cucumbers

Established Cucumbers growing up the frame
Watermelon down the front

Cucumbers and Burgandy Okra

Broccoli, with Radish and Lettuce, and Tomatoes

Curly Kale, Radish, Lettuce, Tomatoes, and Silverbeet

Red Radish

could hear the rumble of thunder as the clouds moved in

a few Apples coming to the orchard

the Bamboo blowing in the wind

Shyam took all these pics of this fly, I just included a couple lol

Then he found another bug

and then another bug

soft skinned white zucchinis - they make fantastic zucchini bread, and zucchini scones and zucchini cakes

yellow Squash

oooops more Zucchinis - I'm sure they hide

Italian Zucchnis - I nearly fell over these ones hiding under the leaves across the path

yellow Zucchinis

Curly Leafed Kale

Liquid Seaweed mixture


Tomatoes, next to the Carrots

Shyam bean spotting

about three or four kgs

The thunder rumbling in a few drops of rain while the Sun still shines on us - Divya snan

looking toward the Kaimai ranges, across the Uretara river

The new bed filled with grass clippings and sprinkled with Garden Lime, just need a bit more compost and then the topsoil and we're in business.
I have a whole load of tiny seedlings waiting in seed trays to take their place in Krishna's service. They'll be in the next posting in a month or so.

see you again soon

love from Shyam and me

Third posting of the Garden
17th December 2013

Blue Ridge Kale

yours truly in the garden

the new bed to be, half filled with grass cuttings

Lebanese Cucumbers

Lebanese Cucumbers

The Tomatoes are coming along nicely

Broccoli and Tomatoes


Savoy cabbage just forming its head

These are amazing stringless runner beans

Savoy cabbage

the peas

last of the white radish (Muli) the rest found their way into salads and parathas

last of the white radish - now a giant

Bush beans

 A view of the garden

soft skinned white Zucchinis

Curly Kale with Lettuce growing in their shade

right hand side is Zucchinis with Bush beans growing among them
left side is Curly Kale with Lettuce growing in their shade
and yes that is my belly sticking out into the pic lol

old Silverbeet & Swiss Chard

new Silverbeet and Brussel sprout seedlings

Zucchini loka

12th November 2013

Second post of the Garden

its all starting to happen, as the weather gets better. This front one is the Zucchini bed

lots of Zucchini flowers, we've already had a few 5-6 inch zuchs out so far......

despite the abundance of foliage there's still lots of air-flow and pathways for all the bees and hover wasps to do their pollination thing

lots of broccoli coming on, and as you can see we've had a few. The one's we collected were much bigger than the shop ones' and tastier too. No sprays used here

you may have remembered from the previous pics this was the bed with the square of carrots in the middle,
they are still there and growing nicely but they've had some gaps filled in with the huge Lettuces, and now the Curly Kale is coming on in the center

in between the Zucchinis in this bed I put some Bush beans (Dwarf beans) apparently they help each other, great companions

back to the Broccoli, we've even had some leaves, wonderful stuff

Lettuces stuck between the Broccoli and the Zucchinis

we've had so much out of this bed its been unbelievable. The Pak Choi is now ready to come out as its going to flower, I've been thinning them out and using heaps, had several shopping bags FULL of the Pak Choi. What to speak of these Lettuce down the front, and I've pulled some out and relocated them in the new bed. The Carrots are a long way off still, the Carrot tops look pretty good but in the ground are only one and half inch Carrots, I pulled a few just to have a look and show little Shyam, they are really tasty already though.

first of the Beet root

I just love looking at all these amazing veges

This is the Red Champion Radishes, a little bit peppery, not too hot, Shyam loves them

so easy to grow and such abundance......

some of the first Tomatoes in are now about three feet tall (one meter) and lots of flowers

when one first looks at this bed it looks a little chaotic, there's lots of different kinds of Brassicas (Savoy cabbage, Cauliflower, Broccoflower, Sicilian Broccoli (purple), but if you look closer too there's heaps of Beetroot around the edge and a couple of varieties of Lettuce too, and a line of Carrots all around the edge, they're all looking after each other.

in this pic one can see the Lettuce to the left, the Beetroot leaves with the red vein, a Flame Lettuce to the right, some Brassicas, and if you look carefully there's some Carrot leaf showing too

in the front is the Cucumbers finally starting to climb the frame. In between the Cucumbers are Tomato and Nasturtiums, all very compatible together

Here's a view showing the whole thing with the new bed down the front, we'll take a look there in a bit.

yes Gaura Gopal I found a use for that container, filled it with grass clippings so I can mulch a few places

looking at the Okra close to the fence and more Tomatoes just down in front

Little Okra by the fence, and you can see the Peas on the other side of the fence, climbing up, these are really nice and sweet, Shyam eats the entire pods as well as the peas.

a few close ups of the Peas

many of the Runner Beans are between two and three feet tall now, little nodules are there where the flowers will come in the next few weeks, and from them the Beans

the bed center right is Shyam's favourite its where all the Roquette (Rocket - Arugula) is growing

another climbing frame

far left in this bed is Cress, quite spicy, very nice (too hot for Shyam lol), then we have some Lettuce, and then the Roquette (Rocket - Arugula), and to the right the Daikon (Muli) Radish and Red Champion Radish

just to give some size comparison, and I don't have delicate little hands either lol

Silverbeet and Swiss Chard with red stalk

Flaming huge Lettuce - or was that huge Flaming Lettuce

a few little Zucchini just putting out female flowers with the Zucchini under it

these Lettuce are so sweet tasting

 a few Marigolds to attract the benefic bees and wasps who are doing such a good job pollinating
We get swarms of bees coming over from the wetlands heading to the orchards, sometimes so many you can hear them coming and see the massive swarms as the bees fly over

over the fence we have all this Gorse and those white Umbrella plants, they are a relative of the Carrot family (not so good for my keeping pure breed Carrots), but they attract many different Hover Flies, Wasps and Bees, so they are really good to help with Pollination (and cross - pollination) lol

The Gorse also attracts lots of birds for the seed, but they stop off for a snack in the garden too cleaning up any Cabbage white butterfly caterpillars, snails and slugs too.
Plus there's a couple of rather hungry Hedge hogs who come visiting in the evening when I do the watering.

still lots of room, but I think I'm done with expanding

The Zucchini bed spilling over

down in the front are a few varieties of Pumpkin to climb up the frame and do their think
in the blue contain is a tiny tiny Formosa Papaya tree growing

a couple of Beetroots

here we have some small Celery plants, some more small Broccoli, and down the left some small Lettuce

Some small Tomato plants, and Curly Ridge Kale, and a line of Silverbeet. BUT in this bed too are over 250 Pea plant seeds (peas) and Red Champion Radish which hopefully will start to surface in the next week or so.
They are all companions and will help each other grow, give support, and with the Marigolds tucked away in the corners we might attract some good bees too.

close-up of the Cucumbers, Tomatoes and Nasturtiums
you might notice a small Lettuce between the Cucumbers near the bamboo at the bottom

as the weather gets a little warmer its prompted to germinate the Karala (Bitter Melon), a few are now coming through. I planet them way to early in the ground, we are learning.....

Karela and a friendly Nasturtiums and Marigolds

I've got a few things growing up on the balcony too..........

Coriander to the left, its not Holy Basil, just Sweet Basil despite its paying obeisance, some Parsley, then more Coriander

Tulasi (Holy Basil) coming back to life after winter

Buckwheat on the left, Cress, and then all the Tomatoes, a few varieties, same with everything ALL grown from seed

a view of the garden from outside my office from the balcony

same view but looking more toward the wetlands and bird sanctuary

a few different kinds of Capsicum and Chilli plants coming up
If you look real careful in the larger round pot on the right there's tiny tiny Peppermint just coming through
Some more Tulasi coming through too

more Coriander and Parsley
under the plastic is more Karela seeds germinating

more seeds trays for seedlings later on to replace some in the ground now

a few other seed trays, and some of last years Tulasis that made it through the winter and some that didn't

a couple more Tulasis.......

That's the end of this update, I'm looking forward to how the garden develops over the summer, which is just around the corner now

Thanks for having a look, Haribol



First post of the Garden

22nd October 2013

Spring is here and I've been making an effort to put a vege garden together, here's a few pics

I've been growing everything from seed, here's a few plants outside my office on the deck

 a few more to replace those coming to maturity in the next month or so

two of last year's Tulasi plants that survived the winter, and my last years Chili bush

the raised bed at the back was the first one established along with the Broccoli bed next to it.
....in the front is the Zucchini (Courgette) bed, with a few Nasturtiums and Marigolds to attract the bees once the Zucchini flowers are there

some of the Zucchinis are just beginning to get flowers

front bed has a few different types of Zucchini and Bush (dwarf) Beans and a few Brocoflowers (cross between Cauliflower and Broccoli)

This is the back bed with Lettuces around the edge a square of Carrots in the center and Curly Ridge Kale and Broccoli
in between the Lettuce there's Beetroot too but they are still very small

Silverbeet on the left, Beetroot with the red stems on left right side is Swiss chard with red, white and yellow stems
down the center are bush beans little heart shaped leafs

these were the first Broccoli planted from seed, getting ready...still on the small side at the moment.

next to the Broccoli bed we have another Broccoli bed just recently planted
around the edge different kinds of Lettuce, and down the right side more beetroot

here's the first Tomatoes we planted on the left and some smaller ones on the right, with their friends Basil and Sage to help growth

here's a few Pumpkin seeds that are just coming through

these were all planted from seed too rows of Lettuce on the far left with a line of Carrots next to them then Pak choi (Chinese cabbage) then more
Carrots then more Pak choi then another Lettuce, more Carrots and more Lettuce, then a Ruby Red Lettuce which is slower growing where the dark mark is

on the left Red Radish, next to them Daikon White Radish (Muli) then tiny little Red Lettuce, and the bright green is Roquette (Rocket)
to the right of them some smaller Green Lettuce and a funny gap where the Parsnips are meant to be, only one came up so far...
then on the far right are Land Cress

here's a close up of one of the Red Radishes

from this angle you can see the Ruby Red Lettuce between the Radish and the Roquette

here's the climbing bean frame, the Beans are coming along nicely most of them are just reaching out to climb the strings.
We have a pheasant (bird) who came and ate the tops of some of the Beans so I have replacements for the gap growing outside the office

this bed is a mixture of many different kinds of Brassicas. Some grow wide like the Savoy Cabbages, some grow high like the Brussel Sprouts and some
bear their fruits on a stalk like Cauliflowers (there are Green Cauliflowers, Purple Scicillian Cauliflowers and White Snowball Cauliflowers
Down the edge there are different Lettuces, there's also a line of Carrots on either side and Beetroots too.
In the pots are Celery, Rosemary, Mint and Peppermint to keep the white cabbage butterflys away.

here's a couple of different kinds of Peas climbing up the wire

This side are Okra (Lady fingers) (Green Clements and Red Burgundy)
and a line of Tomatoes down the middle and between them and the grass are Lettuce (only planted yesterday)
You will have noticed I have many of the same veges in different stages of development.......hopefully that will keep them all coming

here in this verticle frame are Karela (Bitter melon), only just coming through.....

This side of the vertical frame are Cucumbers and Tomatoes, with different coloured Lettuce in between them on both sides, should look nice in a month or so.

This is it so far tucked in the corner of the orchard

a view from the other end of the Brassica bed, everything is really small still

some small Pumpkin's coming up and more Cauliflowers in the seed trays

The wooden Kiwi fruit bins cost $10 each, so I used some whole and cut some up to make raised beds

I just love looking at these seedlings. Soon I have to start thinning them out to make room for them to grow more. Some will be used and some replanted in other places.

look at these beautiful little Lettuce hiding under the Broccoli

some of the first Beetroots getting nice and round

that's my seat over on the right a great place to sit and chant or have a breather between doing things

here's another shot of the Lettuces, with the Carrots and the Curly Blue Ridge Kale, and Broccoli

close up of those tiny Carrots

close up of the next generation of Beetroots....so tiny

The Runner Beans or "Beanstalks" as little Shyam, my helper calls them

flaming Peas again

close up of the Okra, with the Tomatoes in front

Karela (Bitter melon - Bitter Gourd)

Karela just coming through

here's another one

the view over the fence is amazing

the wind just picked up and suddenly all these clouds are here

The orchard

the amazing Jasmine bush

wow the clouds are really here now, mee theenks its gonna rain...save me watering the garden

A view across the valley showing the bird sanctuary and wetlands the Uretara River and a few cows too.

Hope you liked the pics, I'll try and do an update in a month or so see the difference........see yer later