One allotment – just eight square metres

It never ceases to amaze me how much food you can grow in just eight square metres.

I have two allotments that size, but one is given over to sweet potato and swedes. This is what I grow in the other one and it supplies me with all the greens, beans and beetroot, I can eat.

I harvest this small bed of silverbeet once a week then give it a good liquid feed. My reward is another harvest a week later. By growing the leaves this fast it seems to beat the caterpillars. You can see how healthy the leaves are.

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Silverbeet

Flat leaf parsley seems to be fashionable these days but I still prefer the curly leaf. I think it has a stronger flavour. And I grow lots of it. Can’t do without it when I’m cooking. I like to keep a jar of these lovely green leaves sitting on the kitchen window sill too. I think a jar of freshly picked herbs really livens the place up.

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Curly parsley

I’m picking this curly kale in the same way as I harvest my silverbeet. Harvest once a week and then give it a liquid feed. More ready for the pot a week later. I don’t want to speak too soon, but by picking the leaves quickly, and nice and young, they don’t seem to be troubled by caterpillars.

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Curly kale

Asian greens do really well in Brisbane and I like to keep a few plants of Tatsoi for stir fry, or the young leaves do well in a salad. Such a pretty plant.

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Tatsoi

Just a small bed of beetroot (below) but I still managed to pick two at the weekend. I like them pickled. It wasn’t worth going all out with the pickling for just two beet which I intend to eat within the week so while they were boiling up in the pot I heated up a small jug of vinegar and pickling spices in the microwave and added the cooked beets to that. They soon absorbed the vinegar and I tried them a few hours later with my salad. Nice and tasty. You can see there’s a bit of damage to the leaves, but that didn’t affect the beet itself.

Incidentally, you can see in this shot just how close I grow my veggies and that’s why I have to keep the soil well fed and topped up with liquid feed during the growing season.

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Beetroot

Four different varieties of young lettuce in this shot, next to my tiny garlic bed to the right of the picture. I planted about 20 cloves in April. They should be ok to harvest in October/November.  The white alyssum flower is to attract the good bugs.

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Young lettuces

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More pretty lettuce leaves

You can just see the marigolds to the left of this pic. I grow them for the good bugs.

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Still MORE lettuce

I’m dabbling in brassicas a bit this year, despite the challenge with caterpillars this seems to bring. This is one of my four broccoli plants surrounded by nasturtium and alyssum. Not sure if that will help. As a back-up I’ll use an organic spray but for now we are doing fine.

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Broccoli

I have just a few dwarf beans. I planted climbing beans earlier this year, a much better idea in a tiny plot, but they did no good at all. Even the dwarf beans struggled but these few plants are doing better.

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Dwarf beans

Happy gardening.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. MrsYub
    Jun 10, 2013 @ 09:44:53

    Everything looks so good! Aside from the variety of veggies they are, one could hardly tell we are entering into the winter months! Mine not so good…left a few of the seedling sproutings too late, and so things are slow.
    My Mum has some Tatsoi growing in her wild garden, and I thought it was a type of spinach! This is why I love your blogs! Because I pick up tid bits 😀

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Jun 11, 2013 @ 04:59:37

      Thank you for visiting Mrs Yub. I am pleased with the way things are growing at the moment, which is good as this is my best growing season.The bugs in Brisbane don’t seem so bad in these cooler months and it’s so pleasant to get out in the garden. I did cheat a bit because I started planting a bit late so I bought a few seedlings from Bunnings, and some allotment holders were generous with their seedlings. Once they got started I planted seeds too, for a follow-on crop. All the lettuces and Tatsoi are from my own seeds. I had never met Tatsoi, or the other Asian greens until I came to live in Australia.

      Reply

  2. samsallotment
    Jun 11, 2013 @ 04:24:59

    What wonderfully healthy looking veg. Well done.

    Reply

  3. narf77
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 05:15:33

    A gorgeous healthy garden Jean 🙂 Steve grabbed some of our own curly leaved parsley to make “Licker” last night. Apparently this white sauce with parsley in it is a U.K. thing to pour over pies and mash. I only have his word for it, but maybe it was just a Northern thing? ;). You are right about the parsley, it has more flavour than the Italian flat leaved stuff.

    Reply

  4. zaczarowaneogrody
    Jun 13, 2013 @ 07:56:26

    Your plants not only for consumption, they are specific works of art.

    Reply

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