Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

The plan is to grow trees that shade the beds in summer but loose their leaves in winter to let the light in. I know many of you grow stone fruit with variable success. 

Looking forward to reading your words of wisdom before I'm let loose on Daleys' or even any other recommended site.

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I don't grow 'fruit' trees because of their root spread.  Frangipani, on the other hand, works well in tandem with vegetables. Not invasive.

Fig may be worth considering....Mulberry is too topsoil greedy.

What you need -- in my POV -- are plants that root straight down.  Pigeon Pea and Vetiver do that...and the only fruit tree I'm aware of that is like that,  is Agati (LINK).

If you were caught up in the deciduous perspective, it is  a simple matter in our climate to cut back your trees and perennial bushes during the colder months to let light through. They'll re-grow as the weather warms. But that won't prevent the tree from root spread and  invading  the soil at its feet to the detriment of vegetables.

Mind you I'm not a permacultural food forest type...and besides many deciduous fruits are temperate and require a chill factor that we cannot provide.

That makes a lot of sense. Thanks.

Even my sub-tropical peach hasn't lost its leaves yet.  

It may yet happen with the very cold winter ahead...

It's problematical and with climate change the trend is towards warmer winters. Over the last 3 years, the Cherry did not find my yard to its liking. Though the Figs have thrived. At least exotic Figs are one I would recommend, there's 4 common varieties available locally. I will be pruning my Figs soon and will put down the cuttings to see if they root, view to sharing.

Most sub-to-tropical plants are not deciduous, that's the major restriction with what you want to achieve.

Pruning is certainly an option. Stone fruits are tricky in our warm winters, it's a 'suck it and see' type of challenge. The so-called low-chill Cherry I bought from Daleys did not produce any fruit and only flowered on one side anyway. It's gone to a colder home to see what happens. Apricot is another which is not amenable to our winters afaik. I have not had success with any of the low-chill stone fruit (Nectarine and Peach) although I do know people who have huge crops. Depends how you hold your mouth ;-) or so it seems. Fruit fly is a major pest with stone fruit, just to complicate matters.

If you want fruit trees, I suggest you plant your veges in wicking beds. That way the fruit tree roots can do their thing without taking nutrients from the veges.

Not sure any of this helps you much. I would be going with sub-tropical species rather than trying for plants whose chill needs are probably not going to be met here in the future.

I knew I could rely on great words of wisdom ;)

I agree completely.  

The only thing in my garden, at the moment, that has no leaves is my persimmon and frangipani and crepe myrtle.  Keep in mind that citrus trees and some other trees, have their roots near the surface, and do not like disturbance.  

Maybe a Moringa tree might do for shade in summer and semi-deciduous in winter.  I have one growing in a bucket and it is quite tall. 

I have a north (winter) and south (summer) garden. 

My citrus do well in the winter shady garden.  The fruit are slow to develop, but they do okay and don't fall off.  My fig and feijoa refuse to fruit on that side of the yard though.  Greens do well here in summer with some shelter, but not winter.  The southern garden can be defined as ... grow in summer and try to survive through winter.  Those are the only plants that do well. 

The northern side is much better in terms of the range of things I can grow.  Softer annuals tend to fry (like lettuce) in summer but do much better here in winter.  Garlic goes well here where it gets winter sun, as do gooseberries.  

Leaning my yard's microclimates has been a 3 or 4 year journey.  The only deciduous plants I have are a mulberry (out front), pomegranates (both north and south side haven't fruited yet) and grapes - all of which are holding their leaves still.  

Hi Valerie. I am close to the water so have very little chill factor compared to what you would have being further west. I can tell you that I very successfully grow the subtropical varieties of peach and nectarine - have completely lost their leaves now. My pomegranate is also successful but it has not lost its leaves yet and from memory, didn’t until end of June last year. I am trying to grow persimmon but can’t help you with that yet as I’ve not had any fruit. My apples NEVER lost all their leaves.  Mulberries always loses quite early my dwarf one is completely bare.  Figs also lose completely and are doing very well in my garden. Hopes this helps


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