Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

There is a lot of interest in growing potatoes successfully.

Personally I have tried for years to learn to grow potato substitutes (yams, taros, arrowroots) but the simple fact is I just don't like them in comparison to the spud and they don't particularly like my yard. Tried growing things in tubs but it hasn't worked well.

Quite a few of us managed to get along to the POTATO GROWING WORKSHOP with Lyle the other day and I know I learned a lot and will try to now incorporate it in my own garden in the hope of getting some good crop in the future.

My main problem is I've already planted up my three raised beds and only devoted a small area to potato growing. Never mind, others are planting bigger areas and using an interesting variety of spuds.

Can we make some small effort to record our successes and failures here in one spot?

Can you tell us what you are planting and if possible add photos of your progress through the season?

Here's my puny effort with shooting store bought spuds, variety unknown - wish I had gone to the workshop before replanting the bed. I will hopefully fit some more in as other crops finish but it will be tight.

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Last year I created Maori/Melanasian mounds and my spuds went much better than I imagined. Inside each mound, like a volcano, I inserted a terracotta watering  vessel (in these mounds I found the terracotta wine coolers more useful than garden pots as they are deeper)...and top these up occasionally.This year I have sweet spuds in most of these mounds but have replicated the design  using ridges elsewhere with a few tweaks. One ridge I've built on a backbone of rotting tree trunks a la Hugelkulture(as an experiment). I'm ready to plant out some more but have to find (or make) some more seeding spuds.

I also grew that spud crop in part shade...

I'm tuber obsessed. Just started harvesting Jerusalem artichokes and had some for lunch with butter. Oca are coming up albeit slowing...and I've divided my Qld arrowroot extensively. On sand, I expect I can be indulgent with tubery things. It's the root veg that don't thrive.

Looking at the image, Lissa, I see your spuds daisy chain-ing a pawpaw. Am I right? I find pawpaw roots very invasive of nearby space and I wonder about the pairing.

Melanasian farmers, such as in New Guinea,  simply pile up a load of soil and mulch each year and plant it out with tubers. That was gonna be my ruling perspective but I have kept last year's mounds as they were.I later made sure i threw down a lot of waste paper and brush and leaf cuttings between the mounds as a water sponge and weed suppressant.

[But hey! This week a bush turkey has discovered my garden and when chasing the bird out of the garden each day, the mounds give it an unfair tactical advantage.]

I'm very impressed with the logic and wish my whole garden was so contoured.Maybe in time I can build up mounds inside my beds...but mining the chook pen for soil (aka: chook pooed sand)  turns it into the Grand Canyon.

The soil at the Green P in Deagon -- the whole of Deagon's 'mud' flat actually -- is very heavy and there's many clay patches. We've even dug clay for pottery and sculpture in that neighborhood, and Lyle lives local too. So I'm suggesting local adaption back home may be in order.The Green P is also drowned in compost. Beautiful soil for growing veg....

I've run out of space to plant stuff so the spot with the self sown pawpaw is it I'm afraid. The soil in the bed is very deep and rich so hopefully they get along ok. The pawpaw will eventually be very useful and I didn't really expect any success with the spuds. Time will tell.

I never did get to that fruit shop to buy Oca. No space now anyway.

"Space" is a state of mind...


It does eventually run out Dave. I have been walking around the whole yard today trying to figure out where to put the seedlings I bought today. I did fit them in but they were mostly flowers which don't take up much space and come and go quickly.

Spuds need more specific "space". Sunny. Good rich soil. Some room to grow.

Edible flowers I hope Lissa LOL

Allysum - I think they are edible but they are there for the bees. As I was planting them a bee was trying to get at them.

Snapdragon - just because :)


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