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The recent heat and its efect has cost me a fair bit of produce . The 2 main reasons being ! - NOT PAYING ATTENTION 2- HAVING TOO MUCH OF THE SAME PLANT IN THE GROUND AT THE SAME TIME the answer to # 2 is progresive planting We just dont need 6 large broccilli all maturing at the same time how does everone handle this ????

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I've definitely had my share of this problem in the past - we once had an amazing crop of white squash but after eating them every meal for a couple of weeks they get a bit tired!

The best ways I've found to minimize the feast/famine cycle are:

- Try to focus on perennial plants rather than annuals
- Strive for maximum diversity - I'll try to post a photo soon of our Sydney garden: it had a huge variety of plants all mixed up in one vegetable garden
- With broccoli, pick the heads quite early and then keep picking the shoots - just keep picking before they go to seed, because as soon as they go to seed it's all over
- Design to include a reasonable amount of shade, deep mulch etc., to reduce impact of heat
Christopher are you planting seeds or bought seedlings? If seedlings the obvious answer if available is to share the cost of seedlings with another gardener so that you both get half a punnet of each variety - wish there was a friendly gardener next door myself to do this with and share produce/ seedlings, but don't have any myself unfortunately.

On a monthly basis (at garden visits for example) it could be organised between a core members that usually attend to plant seeds of a specific variety a couple of weeks before which could then be shared. If I (or hubby) attend the next meeting I have done this with some rockmelon - planted them for Vanessa before realising that she had already been given seeds and planted them. I would be interested in this but I am also trying to do it myself...

I am trying to do progressive planting by planting a few seeds of each gardenate variety for that month every two weeks in my old concrete laundry tub right near the back door (so that I remember to water it lol) and planting them out so that there is always a variety of ready made seedlings to plant out in gaps made by harvesting.

In theory as soon as it my tub is empty of seedlings - some take longer to mature than others, celaraic is the longest I think! - then I will plant it out with the next lot of seeds. That is why I started the blog about permaculture/ rotation of crops as at the moment I am a bit short on space for seedlings and have just been planting them willy nilly where I can find any room - some okra is currently planted among my garlic so hopefully before the okra get too big then I will have harvested the garlic...

You can also harvest early/ mid/ late for a lot of crops like beetroot and some crop for longer like okra or tomatoes so wouldn't need these each fortnight but maybe each month... I am trying very hard to be diligent and keep a diary/ notebook of what I plant when so that I can use it as a reference for next year - also hoping that regular blogs will also help me with this.

The other thing that I plan on doing is whenever I have any surplus is to bring it to swap/ share at the next garden visit - hopefully everyone isn't harvesting heaps of the same thing at the same time! As an example, I will probably have excess okra as I have planted four seedlings of red and four of green variety in the garden in the last week which is going to be too much but I want to save seed of both varieties (planted apart for purity) and didn't think it through - our summer would have been long enough to plant them separately - duh!

Look forward to hearing how others cope with this as it is certainly something I am struggling with - over summer sweet corn is usually a big one for me. For seed saving you need to plant as many as you can in a block so nearly 3/4 of a bed in my case and that is still probably not enough for more than a year before I have to find some other person to swap that variety with to refresh my genetic stock - but it grows so well in our summer that I am keen on saving seed from it, as I am from anything that will grow in our hot summer (okra, luffa etc)...
I would love to join in and do the swap thing. (once me garden starts to go go go) I have a feeling that im in the same boat of over planting the same thing. Im gona have way too much corn. (im the only one who eats it in my house) and because i love it so much. I planted in 12 plants........???? hahahaha.
Now would i be on the right lines, to stop over doing it.......to plant seeds, of the one kind, plant 2 seeds, every 2 weeks or 4 weeks, so you have a on going supply. Not 10 seeds all at once?
And i want to get into the whole seed saving way of things......so cool and makes so much sence.
Chris, I don't have the same problem as there's always not enough.. hope this will change since we've finished building our veggie beds just in time for spring plantings.

Maybe you can freeze your broccoli for later use? Some of the frozen veggie packages contain broccoli, so they must be freezable. Might have to blanch them first though.

Vanessa, I think you're fine with 12 seeds.... you only get one or two cobs out of one plant... and most of mine were smaller then supermarket cobs...

I think you'll need to plant at least a hundred plants to save seeds for corn, and only takes the cobs from the middle of your corn patch for seed savings..

Donna, my aim is to be able to grow more then I need to swap with others too, I don't know when that will happen though. But I'd like to join in with the corn seed saving thing after I finish all my supermarket and F1 corn seeds, I believe you might have mentioned this somewhere, but what variety are you saving?
it's tricky isn't it. we just eat in flushes of things usually. I can eat a whole broccoli head by myself no worries :) butter, salt, pepper garlic - yum.
I froze broccoli shoots - works well, didn't need blanching.
I buy miniature early maturing varieties
I used to swap my excess with a friend from work (she has mature citrus trees) but she's just gone overseas :(
i kill things, that helps - I might only get 3 out of 6 seedlings growing to fruition; slackness has its uses :)
i put things in very different parts of the garden and mixed in different guilds so they mature at different times.
i hold some seedlings in broccoli boxes in the shade (my 'nursery area') and then plant them out a week after the first ones go in (sometimes they just bolt - have to coddle them in the nursery).
I use seeds planted/ scattered direct whenever i can - I try to plant seeds every 2 -4 weeks
I try to grow so much stuff that we can choose between the various things that are in glut so we still have variety (doesn't always work! :)
I treat things differently - some tomatoes I let bush up, others get pruned madly etc..
I pull mature leaves off some of the brassicas to give the chooks - this slows them down too
we eat baby vegies as well
I give the glut to our neighbours
I feed the glut to the chooks/ worms/ compost

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