Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

With the above-ground beds settled in and some plants growing reasonably well, time arrived to tweak the arrangements to allow more plants to climb comfortably.

One of the many surprises we found with the beds was that we did not allow enough room between them to walk around. Duh. The beds are just wide enough to make stretching over to plants growing in the back row almost impossible. One bed less and some walking space would have been good. Anyway ... how to get some trellises into the beds and still be able to reach the plants growing on them?

Answer - a trellis at the end of each bed allowing some stretching-space to reach the plants and their fruit. So, 6 small trellises - made out of what, attached to what?

Star pickets are close to ideal in many ways but they are fearsomely expensive and there were not enough on hand to make even half the trellises so I needed a more economic solution.

Recycled plastic garden stakes presented themselves as fairly economic (dearer than wood but much cheaper than star pickets), wouldn’t rot or split. What I found having used these stakes to hold up tomatoes was that they bend. Even leaning them against a wall results in bent stakes. And they don’t want to straighten, either. So I had a pile of these things and wanted to use them to do something without having to buy too much more stuff. And that something had to stop the stakes from bending.

The Warehouse (Sams) has some interesting and useful stuff among the junk. Bamboo is a great material and I like using it including the very small diameter stakes from the clump growing in the back yard. They stock some made-up bamboo trellises at $8 each. I needed 6 so figured that was a reasonable outlay to make use of the bendy plastic stakes which were otherwise doing nothing.

Zip ties - god bless the inventor’s little cotton socks - what would we do without them? And a lot of other 20th century items like shade-cloth! Anyway ... without the zip ties making the trellises would have been more difficult and time-consuming. With the zip ties - zip, zip, cut - done!

Between the two of us (and how much more difficult would it have been to struggle with the whole job by myself!) we had 6 trellises made in maybe an hour. Carry them down to the beds and figure out how to insert them in between the above-ground beds. We managed that, they are a bit wobbly here and there and bristle with zip ties.

The Curse of the Recycled Plastic Stakes strikes again ... bang, bang in with the small sledge hammer. The stakes are going into the wet ground a treat. Step back and admire handiwork - oops! stakes are bending here, bending there. Thought I was banging them in at a great rate, instead the stakes went in a bit and then just bent.

They are not even neat never mind gaudy but they are up and stay up despite the wind sweeping up the street and whipping everything this way and that. So far all of my structures have stayed up however ungainly some of them look so I hope the trellises are going to stay up too.

There’s late Rockmelons, Blue Lake beans, Crystal Apple cucumbers and Tomatoes to keep the trellises company for autumn.

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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.

Place your business add here! ($5 per month or $25 for 9 months)

Talk to Andy on 0422 022 961.  You can  Pay on this link

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