Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

This weekend, I was supposed to be heading to Bali. Obviously I'm not. So, rather than let the time go to waste, I'm getting organised to the months ahead. We were also supposed to be going to Japan in May, but that's a post for another day.

I was already receiving a delivery of mulch and fertiliser this weekend from the local scout group. So, rather than waiting until I get back from Bali, I have been sorting through my seeds, to look at what I can plant on the weekend. I have some more seeds on the way via mail order but don't think they'll arrive until next week.

This weekend I will plant my one precious tomato seedling. I was hardening a punnet for planting but a savage attack by a possum two nights ago means I'm down to one! There will be some lettuce, pak choi and beetroot as well as planting out a couple of small eggplants. I am also going to create a frame to plant some malabar spinach. Wish me luck!

What's your next planting?

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I had bought some seeds a few weeks back with planting in mind. I had thought i'd go to the Caboolture markets and get seedlings but instead I got some great Long Leaf coriander seedlings from the much smaller Bribie Mkts on Sunday.

What I like about being coastal is that when out and about, the wind (mainly south eastery at the moment) blows  bugs away from you as viruses don't have wings or jet engines.

So outside -- in 'god's good air' as my mum always said -- is healthy lifestylism.

We were planting a Vetiver hedge today on the shoreline and I could not keep my hat on. That's the sort of quarantine I appreciate. The 'sea air' is its own sanatorium.

I did get seedlings from Bribie and Bunnings: tomato, broad leaf coriander (aka Saw Tooth Coriander/ 'Culantro' in Spanish or 'chadon beni' in the English speaking Caribbean) , more thyme, some sweet peppers(a very nice one from Bunnings: Dragon Roll Pepper[ aka 'Shishito Pepper '-- I highly recommend it]), parsley, spring onions and mange tout.

Since I am currently reducing the number of beds I have in production I thought I'd check the seeds I intend to plant:

  • a range of radishes
  • pumpkin- Red Kuri
  • Tomatillo
  • Heritage Corn
  • Egyptian Spinach
  • Chinese (Leaf) Celery
  • Florence Fennel
  • Coriander
  • Culantro

I've also divided Chaya, Okinawan Spinach and Samphire which I'm bringing on. I have some cabbage seeds but I may not proceed with planting those as purchased whole cabbages are always better than my own.

We are trying to be ruled by our preferred menu. Mine really. The other half eats what I put in front of her. For now, we are on a pumpkin kick. 'Tis another variation of our squash addiction.

Nonetheless, Jerusalem artichokes have come up again this year -- much to my surprise. And I have plenty of Ground Apple -- Yacon.

Sounds like a veritable cornucopia. I'd forgotten about sawtooth coriander. I must add it to the list.

Seedlings are my preference as I haven't had a lot of success with seeds but they are very expensive and not always great quality. I did try at the Mt Gravatt Markets a few weeks ago but there was virtually nothing, though I did get a healthy okra plant for only $2.

I've got some radish seeds on the way and hope they will arrive today. 

Seed you need temperature control to get best results as each seed has a preferred temperature  and if only starting seeds do not need a lot of nutrient one method just uses sand and sawdust in a flat planter  and when big enough transplant into segregated pots .When i planted out onion seed last year to get seedlings i even boiled up the potting mix to kill any weed seed just water with a weak fertilizer solution that has micro nutrients.The problem with some purchased seedlings is they have many in one pot and root get so tangled  that causes damage to separate.

I planted Egyptian Spinach a few years ago and it went to seed, now it comes up everywhere! Plus Amaranth, you only need to plant it once and you have plants forever.

I'm sorry you aren't flying off to Bali, it would have been lovely at this time of the year. The Cheese Making Tour to France has been cancelled as well as our GV, so we will be planting out some Mint, Lettuce & Baby Cucumbers (to Bottle later) seedlings and moving Tomatoes in pots that are not getting as much sun as we hoped. We will also take this time to finish our clean up around the potting area.

If I hold my tongue right and cross my fingers, my husband is going to make me a potting shelf that folds up flat against the side of the house. He's making a start today so it should be ready this time next year ; )

I should also say that I'm sorry to here your Cheese Making tour has been cancelled. Our Japan trip has now been cancelled too so I'll be looking at alternatives once things have settled. If it is an organised trip in France, can you share a link so I can do some reading? Thanks.

Sucks about your holidays, sounds like you've got the right attitude though! I need to get planting too - hoping markets still on this weekend and that I find some time to get these seeds in the ground! Broadbeans and salad greens going in by priority. Am reading Jackie French's Backyard Self Sufficiency which is a great resource with some great list of things to plant and sow

I love broadbeans. I need to get a trellis going and have a plan to 'liberate' a rio offcut from building skip next door, over the weekend. Our markets were sorely lacking last week and I expect there will be even less this weekend so have decided to social distance for now.

Thanks for that tip Sophie on the Jackie French book. I'll take a look.

building skips have all sorts of cool stuff :)

I am itching to sow winter brassicas. Broadbeans and peas have been in the bed since late Feb and growing well. I was going to remove the pumpkin plant at the plot but discovered lots of babies.

Planning winter greens: silverbeet and spinach.

Salad hanging pipe gardens to be recommissioned is this weekend's job. 

Also prepping the ground for garlic and onions. Carrots will be next. Rhubarb and herbs in the pipeline too when I figure out the space/location. 

With 'you know what' there's never been a better time to prep. 

Sounds like it is going great at yours Valerie!

Have you noticed there are no more frozen peas left at the shops and not even pea seeds at Bunnings??? Looks like beans it is this year for us!

I wondered about the pumpkins too - haven't had any success this year; not sure if they will form any properly at all but may as well leave in. Otherwise might think about harvesting the female flowers like mini squash...

Thanks for the ideas too - I do need to get garlic in this year. Any tips? and also onions & leeks

How will you protect your brassicas? Hope you and yours are well

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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

GrowVetiver is a plant nursery run by Dave & Keir Riley that harvests and grows Vetiver grass for local community applications and use. It is based in Beachmere, just north of Brisbane, Australia.


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