Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Lots of garden activity for us this weekend.

I've bought a guava, a mandarin, two tropical pears (to be pruned small and to increase fruit set), and a persimmon, mostly on impulse. It's funny I used to plan other people's gardens for a living and can't bear to plan my own ;)

So we're rearranging this side of the yard. I'll underplant with pit pit, comfrey, nasturtiums, sweet potato, cassava interplant, possibly pawpaw. It can be the extended chook run - I'm going to run a tunnel across the back fence, behind the shed and into this orchard area so they can use it whenever they want.

The poinciana that comes in from over the fence has got rather big and was shading some of our plants, so we gave it a haircut - which involved climbing on ladders and sheds and things.

Our greenwaste pile in the banana circle is groaning with all of this and the wattle from the front as well. We should probably make a separate wood pile. I could buy a brazier for our new deck (which doesn't exist yet) and we could feed it with garden off-cuts. I'll just have to find a place for a wood shelter out of the rain. Maybe under the house I guess.

The pumpkins are doing well, and more are coming. We still have a lot of grasshoppers so I want to get a pond - but I can't until the pumpkins finish because they're in the way.

I've planted some kennebec seed potatoes I bought from Bunnings amongst the pumpkins. We did it the old fashioned way this time - we dug holes and made mounds or trenches to plant them into.

We added compost, dolomite, organic tomato food and dynamic lifter to the clay and mixed it all up. I wanted blood and bone but forgot to buy any. I like Addy's idea of lining trenches with comfrey - that makes a lot of sense for encouraging shallow potatoes.

The garden seems to be ok despite the rain. I've given it another dolomite.

Things seem to be growing OK - we're eating spring onions, tomatoes, carrot, broccoli, peppers, eggplant (last time - I just pulled the bushes out), pumpkin, pawpaw, turmeric, macadamias, spinach, rocket, parsley, chives, basil, thyme, oregano and sage.

The beans are about to flower, the peas are up (but I've given them more dolomite and potting mix because they're a bit weak - they don't like too much compost), the broad beans are coming, the bok choy and celery are getting big enough to pick and the beetroot is spurting.

I only have one cauliflower in. I still need wombok and silverbeet, and I want some kale.

I finally have fancy basil (I couldn't find any before) - I bought lemon basil, greek basil, all seasons basil, and I've planted them in the vertical planter with the strawberries. I also bought lemon verbena and more mint, because mine is sad. It has its own fancy pot now - so hopefully it will be grateful. I bought fennel and put it in a terra cotta pot: experimental.

We harvested our first big bunch of bananas - there are the dwarf ducasse ones out of the banana circle - because the stem was bending alarmingly and we didn't want it to come over with the ground being so sodden.

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Comment by Scarlett on June 20, 2009 at 18:43
I'm actually dreadfully slack about compost. The main vegie garden is a no-dig jobby with bought compost - 2/3 mushroom compost and 1/3 mineralised cow manure compost, mixed at the landscaping supplies (Apollo Landscapes, Darra) and delivered (there's a ppt of how we did it in the 'resources' section on my page if you're interested). After three years of mulching and no grass there is a good dark top-soil layer over the whole garden now. For ongoing compost I use two worm farms, throw yummy stuff and anything with pests to the chickens, and I chop things up and use them as mulch. Anything that's too woody for these methods goes into the banana pawpaw circle where it rots down slowly and produces way too much fruit for us :) The chooks' dirty bedding goes into the compost bin sometimes, but usually just mulches fruit trees. The compost bin is empty at the moment. I can't turn compost anyway because I have a bad back, and I find I don't have the time to monitor compost. I seem to be getting away with it so far - but we have to buy dynamic lifter and lots of mulching straw.
Comment by Scarlett on May 30, 2009 at 20:25
yes, until the bags rot i've just been moving them onto the next bunch. i could probably take them off given the whole over-wintering thing with fruit fly :) it's a habit now.
Comment by Donna on May 30, 2009 at 13:57
Wow, your garden is doing fantastic, are you still covering your tomatoes for fruit fly?

I plan on getting stuck into things now the holiday is over, still debating with myself to pull out the pumpkin vines - I can't tell if the fruit is ripe but they have had a month longer than the ones out the back - and I want the space back for other things now!!

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