This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Autumn Veg

I'm still harvesting lots from the garden... kale, cherry tomatoes  aubergine/eggplant, beans, courgette/zucchini,  lettuce, herbs. All the potatoes have been dug up or removed from grow bags. There are two items I'm still waiting to harvest - celery and carrots. The celery did much better last year, however, I'm hoping to harvest in October, ready or not.

Left:  Kale Curly Scarlet, Mr Fothergill's seeds. Sown indoor 8 April 2012; planted outside early June 2012. Usually no pests at all bother with this plant, however, this year I've noticed some little green worms eating on it.
Above: Veg for the weekend.
Above and below: This is my first year growing eggplant/aubergine and I've learned that I need to harvest sooner rather than later. Once the plants start turning a lighter purple (as in the above photo) they lose much of their flavour and have started developing seeds so its much better to harvest smaller and tastier! My four plants have done well producing fruits (as shown below).
The fennel have gotten extremely tall this year and lots of flowers. I've not sure how to harvest fennel seed so will have to check the internet.
Above and below: the courgette/zucchini are still going. Some blossom rot of course and some still being nibbled by slugs. Below you can see the prickly bits on the young courgette - I've been caught out a few times when picking - ouch.
Above: carrots in the wheelbarrow have grown slow but I think they're ready to eat. Last year I was pulling October carrots and it will be the same this year.

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.


  1. Have you ever fried squash blossoms? My friend, a Korean, from work came to visit our garden. She loves the egg plant that I take to her. She loved her tour and was quite impressed. She lives in a condo with no yard so she loves the fresh vegetables that I take to work. She asked for some zucchini blossoms that she deep fried. I've never fried them. I love your Kale; the color is amazing. You have such a nice variety of plants that look healthy tastey.

  2. Lovely aubergine plant. It m,ust be great to just pop outside your back door to harvest.

  3. You're getting a great harvest from your garden. I've got some container grown carrots which I haven't harvested yet, they've been really slow growing this year.

  4. It's been a generally slow year for lots of my veg too. However you have done pretty well to get so many aubergines and courgettes, plants that generally prefer warmer conditions than the UK has experienced this year.
    I have in the past saved Fennel seeds. You cut off whole flower-heads and put them inside paper bags so that if they fall off you retain them. I dried mine in the airing-cuboard, which seems to work well - slow, steady heat is best and not a very high temperature.

    1. Thanks Mark for the tips on collecting fennel seeds. I aim to do this.

  5. What a beautiful harvest... it would make a lovely painting!! Also, some good eating, I am sure! Your curly Kale is a gorgeous color, too. I see you are still harvesting tomatoes. Do you still have some green ones on your plants?

  6. I just looked back at your photos and your tomatoes DO have green ones on the plants. I suspect you will be getting tomatoes for a long time, since your plants are in the conservatory.

  7. Hi Kelli,a lot of colour in your harvest! Our aubergines are dark purple and not a long as yours, probably a different type?! The purple Curly Kale is gorgeuos and I have'nt seen that colour before, telling the kids to 'eat their greens' will become a thing of the past!

  8. Good to see you are still getting plenty of veg from your garden - all looking pretty healthy too. My courgettes are just about finished and are looking pretty sorry for themselves now.

  9. Your eggplant look very healthy!
    Hope you can enjoy your carrot soon.