This year’s tomato harvest has been an absolute ripper and apart for the late onset of a few familiar diseases, the plants have been remarkably resilient. Tomato relish and baked tomato sauce are our favourite ways of preserving them, but nothing beats a freshly picked, truly vine-ripened tomato.
The constant rains have not only assisted in giving the garden a real growth burst, the rain also causes some of the tomato fruit to split open. This can allow disease to strike so it’s important to keep a close look out for split fruit and either cook it up, bin it or give it to the chooks.
The rain has also exacerbated the mould on my zucchini and rather than spray them I just remove infected leaves and put them in the bin. My dwarf beans have been amazing and on one day I collected over two kilograms of beans from a space one metre by one and a half metres.
It’s decision time though because April is when you need to clear out the patch for your winter greens and alliums. I’ll be leaving my tomatoes in the ground until Anzac day when I usually begin planting out my snow peas, garlic , onions and greens.
In the meantime I’ll be digging in my beans, ripping up the zucchini and generally get busy tidying up the garden. I have a huge job where I experimented with the three sisters method. It’s like an amazing thicket of crazy beans twisting and twining themselves around the dry corn stalks with trip hazard pumpkin plants desperately trying to find some sunlight.
Planting Guide: Plant out – Spinach, snow peas, shallots, rocket, parsley, asian greens like pak choy, mizuna and gai choi, lettuce, leeks, kale, garlic, chive cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, beetroot and broad beans.
If only I had space for it all.