Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Maybe there’s a simple explanation - I hope so.

Now the conventional wisdom as I understand it is that you place plants in groups with similar water/fertiliser/pH/light needs.

This makes sense to me but then I am not trained in either Horticulture, Chemistry or Permaculture. Two wonderful years of studying Botany and 50 years of sporadic food gardening are my only claims to ‘fame’.

Recently I ventured into hydroponics. I bought a ‘naked’ kit from a guy at Childers. Grew some lettuces and tried one or two other crops. Eventually sold the kit. So: in the blurb which came with the kit, the author suggested that the (for example) Lettuces would take only the nutrients they needed. The excesses nutrients could be tipped on other plants when nutrient-change time came.

If it is so that plants only take what they need, how does it happen that (for example) a nitrogen-rich fertiliser is applied to a fruiting plant, that plant will grow lots of leaves and produce few fruit? If the explanation of the hydroponic nutrients is correct, then why doesn’t the fruiting plant just ignore the excess nitrogen?

And since I do not know anything useful about Permaculute - what are the ‘guilds’ I have seen mentioned? Is that plants whose needs are similar or a diverse mix of plants which can account for all the available nutrients?

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Definitely the latter, a diverse mix of plants which can account for all the available nutrients, but with a twist, the plants themselves should provide each other with the required nutrients.

Can't have a city with just bakers as you'll run out of flour rather soon.

Excellent, thank you Jake :-)


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