"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Autumn gardening

I awoke yesterday to a completely misty morning - how refreshing that was after the heat of the past couple of weeks.

Even the plants in my garden looked relieved and revived.

This is my rosemary bush with the mist dripping off the end of the leaf spikes...

My Black Pearl chilli plant is ready to harvest...

And I figured that it was the perfect day to plant out my sprouting broad beans.  A week or so ago I popped them into a seedling tray, so that I could give them some TLC whilst they were sprouting - I didn't want the heat to cause any damage before they had even had a chance to start along their intended course in life :-)

Broad beans in the front and newly planted
pea trays in the background

They seem to love their newly prepared possie - they have been relegated to the recycled bath - it is one of the few spots in my back garden which gets sun in winter, and I reckon that their roots will have plenty of depth to spread.  Also, having them in the bath will prevent my having to irrigate the entire back garden (not that it is that big) for the sake of a couple of area's which are planted up with winter crops.  Have to save water where, and when, I can :-)

Broad beans have been planted at the back
and the peas have been sown at the front

But, reading other blogs (from the northern hemisphere) where everyone can't wait to get their gardens started for the new season, I realised that I am very fortunate.  I can grow crops all year round - we don't get frost, and if any snow falls in Cape Town, it is mainly on top of Table Mountain.

So I still have the last of my tomatoes, mealies (sweetcorn), aubergines, green bush beans and radishes to harvest, and I have newly planted broad beans, peas, lettuce, spinach, carrots, onions and garlic all popping their cheeky little heads above ground.

I'm relieved that I don't have to wait until August / September to get back into my garden - don't know what I'd do with myself if that happened :-)


  1. Hi Dani

    I know what you mean - I would be very sad if my garden was inaccesible for that long. We are indeed very fortunate living in the Cape! Your crops look great! I'm new to the veggie planting and am loving it :)

  2. Christine - don't think I would stay sane if I was deprived of my garden in winter.

  3. No frost, wow. The only good thing about frost and freezes are they do kill some nasty bugs. If we didn't get a freeze we would be overrun with destructive nasty plant eating bugs.

  4. Jane - no frost, but we do get a very nasty North Wester which blows in winter. Pests - yeah - on going problem...

  5. Wow, look at that rosemary "bush", ours rarely gets more than knee high and I have never had one that flowered...really neat to see yours. We also grow a black pearl pepper that looks very similar to yours...just not as big.

  6. Mr H - nice to know we have similar plants growing in our gardens across the world :-) Wonder why your growth is stunted?

  7. I'd hoped to grow a few things this year like tomatoes and peppers, but don't know if I'll get that done or not. I sure have a lot of other stuff I need to do and if I am going to plant this would be the time to do it.

  8. David - Toms and peppers sound good - won't take you long - just toss the seeds in some fertile soil, and water 'em :-) Plenty of time for your other stuff too...

  9. Nice, healthy looking plants you have! Our tomatoes are fruiting and the pumpkins are flowering and as we don't usually have really cold nights for another 6-8 weeks we should have some nice crops off them. I need to plant peas and carrots soon so they are off to a good start and survive the colder weather.

  10. RobynK - thanks. Yes, aren't tomatoes the most rewarding of vegetables to grow? I reckon they have the longest season of all the veggies I've planted.


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