January 2020 Garden Update

January 2020 Garden Update

Hello everyone! Crazy that we are now already into February! I set a goal this year to start recording the amount of food I am growing from the garden and just keep a visual record for fun! I will do a monthly round-up and let you know how much I have grown and share some of the food I have made with those harvests. Keep reading to see just how much I harvested in January!

Front Garden

Another one of my goals is to grow a years supply of pumpkin which I estimate to be about 1 large or 2 small pumpkins a month. I created a new garden bed out the front in a car space beside the carport. Pumpkins need a lot of space and I just had so much unused space out the front so it was a great solution.

I started off strong with my Lakota pumpkins in the ground around October. I harvested these in January and the vines have pretty much died off now. I have trimmed them back and I’m hoping they will go another round. I also had some Butternut start growing from the compost I put in the bed so that was a welcomed bonus! In some of the empty spaces, I have now planted more pumpkin such as the Kent which I’m hoping to get some decent sized pumpkins in the coming months.

Backyard Garden

Out the back, we built two new Pallet Planters bringing the total to x4 large and 1 small. The larger ones are roughly about 1.2m x 1.2m square and the smaller one 0.5m x 0.5m. I created a video of the process as i often get questions on how we make them.

Pallet 1 – I have Lebanese cucumbers growing and I have been picking them daily in January! This is my first successful attempt at cucumbers because they usually don’t last through a 40degree day. This time I think I had more success because they were in the pallet planter so had a decent amount of healthy soil and I could bring them undercover on hot days.

Pallet 2 – Tomatoes and Basil. Classic companion planting and the bees are loving the basil flowers. I also had a few compost volunteers (rockmelon, watermelon, pumpkin) which i am leaving now that the Tomatoes have pretty much finished.

Pallet 3 – Small pallet has a white apple cucumber growing. I haven’t got anything from it yet but hopefully, this will continue my cucumber harvests through Feb/March.

Pallet 4 – Newly planted with x4 chilli plants, Armenian Cucumbers and some rainbow radishes.

Pallet 5 – I planted some corn seeds in this new planter but our dog kept sleeping in it so I had very little strike rate. I ended up getting some corn seedling on sale at the farmers markets for 50c so I have now planted those and he has luckily stopped using it a bed haha.

Back fence garden – Things are chugging along in the back fence garden. The hot days and sandy soil mean the smaller plants slow down considerably. The fruit trees are all doing ok though and I have a few feijoas on the way!!!! These are my pride and joy and are in their 4th year. Last year I got two baby fruit so I’m hoping for some decent harvests in the coming years. Pretty much a currency over here among the Kiwis ๐Ÿ˜‚

Totals for January harvest

Front garden

  • Lakota Pumpkin 10,238g
  • Butternut Pumpkin 1168g
  • Tomato 221g
  • Sweet Potato 160g
  • Zucchini 745g
  • Total: 12,532g (12.5kg)

Back

  • Pallet 1 – Cucumbers 3089g
  • Pallet 2 – Tomatoes 1144g – Basil 46g
  • Pallet 4 – Chilli 15g
  • Back fence – Tomato 518g – Garlic 99g – Strawberry 100g – Lemon 500g – Banana Capsicum 57g
  • Total: 5568g

TOTAL – 18,100g (18.1kg)

My new carport garden has well outperformed the back but that was all the pumpkins. x8 Pumpkins so far. January I also launched my YouTube channel! I have experienced a lot of technical difficulties being a complete novice when it comes to video and editing but I will get the content rolling in shortly so make sure you subscribe!

Holly ๐ŸŒฑ

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MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
Fertiliser spray gun: https://bit.ly/366nL1t
Retractable Hose: https://bit.ly/2TSC0Bo
More gardening tools: https://bit.ly/32IQmbD

DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my page so I can continue to provide you with free content!

What to do with Lemons?

What to do with Lemons?

What to do with lemons?! Lemon and citrus season is in full swing and if you are lucky enough, you may be struggling to use up all your produce before it goes to waste. A great problem to have! Below are a few of my favourite ways to use up lemons. I love how the lemon season coincides with the flu season and lemons are a fantastic natural remedy, packed full of vitamin C for colds and flu! Nature really is amazing. If you have a ton of lemons, below are some great ways to preserve your lemons so you can use them throughout the year.

Fresh off the Tree

One of the best ways to extend your harvest is to leave them on the tree for as long as you can. As soon as you pick them they will start to ripen and deteriorate much quicker than if they remain on the tree. I love fresh lemons especially walking out to my garden and picking a lemon and cutting it up for a fresh cup of hot lemon water or in summer, iced lemon water! This is also the best way to get the most vitamin C as once you cook or dehydrate lemons, the Vitamin C levels reduce significantly. But there is only so much fresh lemon I can eat…

Gifting or Swapping

Gifting or trading your excess lemons is a great way to make friends with your neighbours! Your friends, family and work colleagues may also love some fresh lemons if they don’t have a tree at home. This can open up some great conversations and people may even start bringing and gifting their own excess produce.

Dehydrated Lemons

It’s winter and I love a hot water lemon drink in the morning to warm up! The only thing is that often I put the remaining half a lemon in the fridge and it will end up at the back of the fridge until it gets thrown out ๐Ÿ™ So if I want lemon for my tea I pick a small one and put it somewhere front and centre so I can see it! This is why I love using dehydrated lemons because you can use a couple of slices as needed. Dehydrated lemons can also be used in baking, cake decorating, or finely chopped to add some lemony flavour to your cooking. They rehydrate once they get wet so they work quite similarly to fresh lemon but have a more caramelised flavour.

Lemon Zest

Zest the skins and dehydrate. Place in a jar and use in cooking and baking to as some lemony flavour!

Lemon Juice

You can then juice the lemons and freeze into ice cubes. Once the cubes are frozen, place into a container or freezer bag and label. These can be used in cold drinks, cocktails, cooking, baking and added to boiling water for a delicious hot lemon tea at just the right temperature! (can you tell I like lemon tea).

Citrus Cleaner

Ok, so you have now used the zest and the juice of the lemons, what do you do with the remaining flesh?! Place all the lemon scraps in a jar and fill with White Vinegar. Place in a dark spot in your pantry and leave for two weeks. You can then strain the liquid off and add the same amount of distilled water and you have a natural all-purpose cleaner. This is a great way to get the most out of your lemons with as little waste as possible.

You can also simply throw a few slices into your jug/kettle and add a few dashes of white vinegar and water. Simply boil the jug and then let it sit for 30mins. Rinse and clean. This will help remove the limescale and calcium build-ups on your jug.

Baking

Lemon slice, lemon meringue pie, lemon cheesecake. I’m not one for baking recipes but I have been doing some trial and error lately!

Roasted Lemons

In winter I like to make a roast vegetable salad because it’s a little bit more of a winter warmer but not too heavy. I chop up my root vegetables (carrots, sweet potato, beetroot, potato etc) along with some wedges of lemon and oven roast with oil and herbs. This is a great way to use up those half lemons in the fridge or some lemons that are getting too ripe. Once the vegetables are roasted I serve in a bowl of chopped up greens and top with feta cheese, pumpkin seeds, and aioli dressing. The roasted lemon wedges can then be squeezed on top and they add beautiful mellow caramelised lemon flavour.

Lemon Butter

Lemon butter or curd is heaven in a jar! This is a super luxurious and delicious way to use lemons and can also make great gifts! Enjoy on toast, pancakes, meringues or add to the centre of lemon muffins for a delicious surprise.

Other ideas

There are still so many different ways to use lemons that I haven’t tried yet. Here are a few below:

  • Marmalade
  • Lemonade!!
  • Preserved Lemons

Let me know what you use lemons for in the comments below!

ย 

MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
Fertiliser spray gun: https://bit.ly/366nL1t
Retractable Hose: https://bit.ly/2TSC0Bo
More gardening tools: https://bit.ly/32IQmbD

DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my page so I can continue to provide you with free content!