Look what’s on the agenda this weekend.

I have just got back from our local nursery where I bought a small tray of the things we found most useful in our vegie garden last year. Tomatoes, basil, zucchini, cucumbers and squash for starters. The little yellow squash were the biggest surprise hit of last Summer. While they aren’t really a vegetable that causes much excitement when we buy them from the greengrocer, fresh from the garden they are melt-in-the-mouth delectable. But today’s great thrill was finding Digger’s Club heirloom tomato seedlings for sale! Hooray! I get their catalogue every season and sometimes splash out on a few packets of exotic sounding seeds but we haven’t had much luck with our tiny little tomato plants that grow from the packet – mostly due to our lack of commitment. Seedlings are very exciting.

This year we are keeping a firm track of our receipts for all that we buy for the vegie patch  – it will be interesting to see if we actually manage to save anything by growing a lot of our own. The expense is always huge at this point – mulch, compost (if only we had some local horses!), seedlings etc., not to mention our longer term plan of getting a rainwater tank installed. Today I spent $55 on seedlings.  Hmm. Mind you, last week I spent $3.50 on a very mangy bunch of basil (non-organic) at the greengrocer (of which half I couldn’t even use) so even just the two punnets of basil I brought home today could theoretically save me $55 or more… I just need to plan to make loads of pesto.

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19 Responses

  1. Annie says:

    Seedlings are SUCH fun. Have a great weekend. I must put some in myself. Gardening…there’s nothing like it!

  2. Lori says:

    ah, it cheers me to see you planting the garden while we’re getting ready for snow! :^)

  3. Judy says:

    Serious. You spent 55 dollars on seedlings! Holy Macaroni! Let’s do a seed savers exchange.

  4. Jedda says:

    Everyone seems to be getting into the gardening mood, we ate our first snow peas yesterday (all two of them!) but very yummy. Our other little hydroponic garden is still a good month away from any sort of harvest. Like you Im all for seedlings, I dont seem to have as much luck with starting from seed.Happy Gardening!

  5. Kirsty says:

    Another good garden catalogue for ordering is Green Harvest ( We order from them. I am most looking forward to trying the spaghetti squash, once it has grown. Good for you, home grown always tastes best. You are welcome to drive out our way and scoop up some horse poo for your garden!

  6. librarygirl says:

    We planted those same Digger’s tomato seedlings (from Bunnings of all places) during Melboune Show week in the school hols. I thought it was a bit early to plant but they are doing tremendously well look strong and are flowering.I seem to have better luck with the big Diggers seeds like pumpkin and broad beans and zucchini than the little fairy dust ones!

  7. Fiona says:

    That looks like such fun, I hope you get some good planting weather. We started ours a couple of weeks ago, and have already enjoyed some good chard, mint and basil. I’m keen to try zucchini and cucumber, and now squash, too. 🙂 It is expensive to set up, isn’t it – I stressed about all the water we bucketed over our tomatoes last year as well. But it has to be better than all those food miles, I hope.

  8. Andi says:

    I’m feeling guilty now. Must get to that Spring planting with the kids.Can’t manage it this weekend. Maybe next weekend!!Good luck with your harvest!!Andi 🙂

  9. Cele says:

    These look beautiful. Its so funny that you are just planting your veg and we in Ireland have just harvested ours and are preparing for Winter. It was -1 here last night. We had hot water bottles to bed.We have planted over winter broad beans yesterday and garlic and onions last week.I wonder how they will turn out.

  10. Amy C says:

    It will be so worth it. Have you tried a worm farm to enrich your soil. This is supposed to work great.

  11. Michelle says:

    I think you’re right – the quality of home-grown fruit and veg always outweighs any saving you might make by buying it at the supermarket. Like fruit trees, which cost a small fortune – it would take at least 10 years of fruit to get close to a return investment on the cost of the tree, sometimes!

  12. Jen says:

    There’s a fabulous book called “The $64 Tomato,” by William Alexander, a man from the HUdson Valley in New York who had a massive garden and after several years calculated that $64 was the cost to grow one Brandywine. It’s a great read, and strangely, makes me even more excited about planting a big garden.

  13. Em says:

    Oh but there are local horses, you just need to ask! Five years ago i lived in Melbourne and got old-Volvo-bootfuls of horse manure (we shoveled it into ikea bags) from the police horse stables behind the VCA and also from Flemington racecourse. Arrive at a nice quiet time and ask and smile and things do work out. In general, the police were calmer and easier to talk to than the trainers etc at Flemington….

  14. Angie says:

    go for high value crops…the things you eat a lot of & things that cost the most. Basil is a great example, I grow as much of it as I can & make loads of pesto & freeze it in jars….it nearly saw us through winter. Salad is a great one to have self seeding in the garden, just spread a packet of rocket seeds around & let the odd one go to seed & you should always have it on hand. Have fun in the garden.

  15. Makayla says:

    Gardens are the best! I love having fresh produce from my garden. I am heading into winter and have green tomatoes sitting on my window sill waiting to turn red. Mid winter tomatoes sound so divine. Also, I have a freezer full of spaghetti sauce I made. I wish I could garden all year. I am in the planning for spring stages now. Good luck!

  16. jen says:

    I planted my toms and basil a couple of weekends ago and the basil I put in the ground has mostly been eaten already. Damn bugs! I’ll be buying more to make some pesto though.

  17. Betty Jo says:

    Don’t forget the sense of satisfaction… priceless.. she says after just finishing a bowl of pasta with home grown spinach in the sauce.

  18. Alisha says:

    If you let one of your basil plants go to seed, you’ll have more than enough to plant for next year and share with a friend or 10. I do that every year, except for this last one since we were on a watering ban and I had to be quite careful what I kept up with. Alas, the herbs all died out.But, now we have a rain barrel to collect water for the garden and flowers.

  19. di says:

    One of my plans for the future (we’re in the midst of renovations) is to get our veggie patch up and running again, and I’ve been thinking about what to grow with our limited space and time for maximum value and enjoyment and harvesting potential.I’m thinking that growing herbs, in particular, will be well worth it financially (for the reasons you outlined above) and also taste wise and cooking inspiration wise (it’s so much nicer to pluck a few sprigs of fresh mint from the garden to add to a salad, for instance). Good luck with the growing!

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