Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does my garden grow? It grows very well thanks. The origin of this nursery rhyme goes back to Mary Tudor, daughter of King Henry VIII – also known as Bloody Mary. If you are interested in reading the full ghoulish history you can click this link.
Actually my blog today is nothing to do with Kings and Queens, but I feel like Queen of the Garden when I wander around and see the vegetables I’ve nurtured from seed turn into delicious organic produce, destined for my dining table.
In the last two years I’ve started to grow my own vegetables, from heirloom seeds. These seeds come from stock that previous generations harvested and saved. And they will be able to be used for generations to come, unlike hybridised seed which you would generally purchase from your garden centre year after year.
I love tomatoes. Last year was a terrible growing season for them so I cheated and bought one already a foot high from the garden centre. It doubled in size, but I got about 10 tomatoes off it altogether, and then it died. So I panicked a bit this year and sowed heaps of heirloom seed. I planted them out in pots: Beefsteak, Mini Orange, Ponsonby Red and Cherry Dot. They have absolutely bloomed with our very warm summer, and I have so many trusses of tomatoes ripening on the plants that I’m collecting up jars in readiness for making homemade pasta sauce for winter with the excess.
I planted two of the seedlings in a 1m2 raised bed, basing my space requirements on last year’s tomato plant growth. I also put in a couple of cos lettuce plants, capsicum, perpetual spinach and a scatter of purple carrots. The tomato plants now totally swamp the garden, and I’ve had to cut them back so the other things will continue to grow.
The thing with heirloom seeds that I didn’t realise is that they take up a lot of room. The plants are still thriving, and producing more flowers daily. I think next year I will be more aware of this and plan the crop better, although you can never have enough tomatoes