Bridget's Vege Patch in December 2011

Bridget's Vege Patch in December

Get tips and ideas about what to grow in your vegetable garden this December.

I bet you thought that we had forgotten about you... no no no, its just life slightly got the better of us. You know the deal, kids, work, house and all those other things that seem to eat our precious time. Now here we are looking down the barrel of Christmas, my favorite season I must admit, the decorations are always up come the 1st of December in our house.

Our Free Range Chickens

Free_Range_Chicken_Area Our_Chooks
The_Chooks
Chicken_House

Our New Additions

You will remember that we talked about our desire to keep chickens. After a fair bit of research into council regulations, breeds, and chicken care we have finally realised this dream. We are now the proud owners of 5 chickens. (One for each member of the family) 3 are Brown Shavers named Rocky, Red and Pinkie and 2 are Plymouth Barred Rock named Zebby, and Chook. Brown Shavers are notoriously prolific layers and Plymouth Barred Rock are also a well recognised, slightly more boutiquey layer. Chickens generally lay eggs between 20 and 22 weeks of age, so our wee Plymouth Chicks wont lay until around Christmas, however we are eagerly awaiting our first eggs from the older 3 girls any day now. We will keep you updated through Facebook of their progress.

The chicken coop or rather free range run has also created more veggie garden for me as I have created a garden in front of the fenced run. This is a great place for my pumpkins which can grow along the fence, as well as a few extra beans, tomatoes and some wild flowers, so it all looks very country cottage.

The Main Vegetable Garden

obviously there is an abundance of choice for your veggie garden at this time of the year. your planting choices should be based on what your and your family's preferences are, but to get you started, here is what I have done.

Tomatoes

I have planted two main varieties of tomatoes this year including Sweet 100 (a cherry sized tomato) and a heirloom mid sized variety. In our family we prefer the smaller varieties as we mainly use them for salads and sandwiches. Remember to pinch out laterals which grow from leaf axils. Also remember to check if the varieties you choose require staking, most do, however there is an increasing number of dwarf varieties that do not.

Corgette (Zucchini)

These are high yielding plants so you really only need on per average sized family. Corgettes grow quickly and fairly easily. Once they start producing you really need to pick fruit every day. Things to watch out for is the onset of powdery mildew on the leaves. If you do start to see this you can easily obtain a anti fungal spray from any gardening store, or alternatively spray slightly diluted blue milk to the leaves twice a week.

Lettuces and Bok (Pak) Choy

Keep these rotating, they will grow quickly so pick lettuce leaves often to avoid them bolting. Bok (Pak) Choy do grow quickly and are super yummy in stir fry's or wilted in garlic oil

Cucumber

Again as these vines are high yielding, on per family is usually enough. Cucumbers do take up a fair bit of space so try not to plant them within 1.5 m of anything else.

Eggplant, Capsicums and Chillies

These are all similar in their growth habit. A sunny aspect is important for these and I would tend to plant 2-4 of each, room permitting of course. In the past I have had an abundance of capsicums and chillies, but this will be my first season growing Eggplant, so I'll keep you posted.

Beans

I have opted for dwarf varieties this year, for no reason, just because they looked nice and healthy as seedlings. A combination of green and butter (yellow) is always nice.

Sweetcorn

I always love having sweetcorn in my garden. It just tastes so good. Usually you get 2 cobs per plant so I plant in succession 6 in October, 6 in November and 6 in December, this always gives us a good constant supply, and the bonus is that corn keeps well frozen fresh.

Don't forget the most important rule, to feed your veggies every month with something like a Living Earth liquid compost and make sure that you water through the dry periods.

Dwarf_Beans Corgette_1
Broccoli Young_Plum_Tree

Any question will be answered, so please don't hesitate to email me bridget@aucklandlandscape.co.nz  or post a comment on our facebook page.

ST. JOHN’S YARD:

88a Merton Road,
St Johns, Auckland
09 951 4089
stjohns@aucklandlandscape.co.nz

Mt. Roskill YARD:

52A Frost Road,
Mt Roskill, Auckland
09 951 4089
mtroskill@aucklandlandscape.co.nz

TAKANINI:

163 Airfield Road,
Takanini, Auckland
09 951 4089
takanini@aucklandlandscape.co.nz

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