Monday, November 8, 2010

Grow Your Own is NOT Rocket Science!

I do love to garden, always have, ever since I was just a little girl. My mum always had a lovely garden, filled with pretty flowers. I insisted on a patch of ground myself, to grow herbs in my teenage years (herbs to cook with that is!). I was given a little space behind the garage, that had very poor soil and not much sun, just next to the incinerator! I had mild success!
When I was a young mother myself, (actually I still am!!) I did a gardening course at Bond's Nursery at Terrey Hills and that taught me a little bit more. I do love to potter in the garden when I have the time, for me it is therapy to get outside and get my hands dirty!
I lived next door to a very dear man Kevin, when we bought our first home on the Northern Beaches. He was a LEGEND gardener and story teller and became a bit of a father figure to me, as well as gardening mentor! From Kevin I learnt to compost, rotate crops, grow plants from seed and the importance of good quality soil. I always said the soil in Kev's vege garden and the compost in his bins, was worth more than gold!
When we moved to our second home on the Northern Beaches, I gradually transformed the gardens over time. I have had mild success in my kitchen garden, growing some herbs and veges.
At the end of this month I am booked into a Saturday gardening course with "The Veggie Lady", to learn more about Vegetable Gardening, chooks, composting and companion planting!
I can't wait to learn more and expand my garden, I will no doubt post a story on this day out soon.
Recently, I planted a Magnolia "Little Gem" in my front yard, in some lovely rich organic soil, combined with some of my own compost. After a few weeks of interesting weather, there began to appear a whole lot of seedlings around the base of my new Magnolia.

On closer inspection it appeared to be tomato plant seedlings! They had sprung up from the seeds in my compost. I just left them there to see how they would fare and asked my teenage son who mows our lawn, to try not to mow them down!
Over the next few weeks the tomato plants were thriving, thanks to a mix of sunshine and rain. A further couple of weeks passed and then flowers and green fruit began to appear!

At this time I decided that I would contribute a little effort, to see if I could reap a harvest from these random seedlings. I spent half an hour, weeding out the competing grass and covered the crop with a bird net, not just to keep birds away, but mainly because our lovely big dog Logan, (who also loves to garden!) has been known to eat my tomatoes before!

Just last week about 2 to 3 months since I planted the Magnolia, I noticed that the fruit was now in abundance, not just in quantity, but also a variety of different tomatoes were appearing.

The Cherry Tomatoes were starting to ripen and were ready for eating.

On the weekend I picked the ripe fruit, then weeded out the competing grass and staked the plants, mainly to lift the fruit off the ground to keep it from rotting while it ripens.

We enjoyed a simple Tomato and Feta Salad for dinner Sunday night, and look forward to many more home grown tomatoes over the coming weeks.

So if you have a sunny spot, get a bag of rich organic soil, grab a pot or a patch of ground and plant some tomato plants from seed or a seedling.
For me, Cherry Tomatoes (in particular Tom Thumb variety) have always been the easiest to grow. They yield plenty of fruit and they don't seem to attract fruit fly.
Now is the time to plant your tomatoes, trust me it's not rocket science!
It is both rewarding and fulfilling to grow your own and they do taste amazing!
If like me, you want to learn more, check out my new friend Toni's website, she is an expert!
The Veggie Lady


Anonymous said...

"I love the smell of growing tomatoes...a fond childhood memory." Kristina

Anonymous said...

"My mother-in-law told me that the best tomatoes they ever grew, were from some seeds that fell off the bbq, from grilled tomato, into a crack of dirt down beside the bbq. Definitely not rocket science!" Lisa