Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

It's official - I suffer from an addiction.  I need to cut myself off from Daley's fruit nursery site.  I have just added to my growing fruit list

a) 10 x sugar baby and 10 x redlands joy strawberries

b) a red Muscadine grape (Noble) to match my green muscadine (adonis)

c) Keriberry to add to my raspberry collection (Heritage, bicentennial & atherton)

d) Walnut - Placentia.  Apparently low chill to fruit in subtropics.  This is on the "notify me" list.  This will also end up outside the yard in the park behind my place with the soshanii pecan

e) Low chill cherry tree - this I bought ages ago but still waiting on delivery (due jun/july)

To top matters off - I just recently discovered they have an advanced tree section.  Dammit - They have a mature Jaboticaba and Grumichama.  It would have been worth the extra money and the trip to the nursery for those if I hadn't already bought them.  I'm going to keep an eye out for a mature Jackfruit - the one tree I promised my husband we would grow.

Seriously people - I have NO space left.  What am I going to do? 

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Comment by Lissa on April 29, 2015 at 6:14

Ah, the kids will change their mind.

Comment by Susan on April 28, 2015 at 17:58

I would love to Lissa re property next door.  My kids have all assured me they want to live next door when they grow up :)  With the pot idea, it is just too much effort for me but I think it would work nicely.  We would never have enough fruit to sell while the kids are at home Dianne - we are most definitely fruit bats in this house.  Dave, I would love to espalier but it is mostly too late now for my trees.  Nevermind, mine are nearly all dwarf's anyway so won't grow huge.  The few non-dwarfs are either outside my yard or are being kept trimmed - the lemon doesn't seem to mind and my custard apple looks great despite no fruit yet (too young).  I also don't seem to have any problems with possums and bats and I put that down to the fruit trees not being too tall and having a dog and a cat. 

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on April 28, 2015 at 16:25

In the big houses in UK and Europe it was fashionable to have an 'Orangery'. With lots of gardeners, shifting huge pots with citrus trees in them was possible and probably without any fancy lifting gear. OH and S would have a fit these days. Citrus while more or less mediterranean in origin are frost-tender so they had their oranges and their snow as well.

Comment by Lissa on April 28, 2015 at 16:13

Now there's a nice little invention waiting to be made.

Comment by Dianne Caswell on April 28, 2015 at 13:56

Most of my citrus are in semi shade and do quite well I do rotate them every few weeks to get there share of the sun and keep the greenery growing equal on all side. There is no problem with planting in bags a plus could even be that when you want to rebag bigger you could just cut the bag away. I do bag garden as well and find it most successful.

Pots and bags could be put on a home made trolley with wheels so you could wheel around when ever you want to.

Comment by Dave Riley on April 28, 2015 at 13:11

Yes. That's true Elaine -- they fruit on last year's growth. When small 'tis possible to keep track of what grew when.

Just a thought though...While I'm not a Permaculturalist  food-foresty type person, I've been interested in the assessment of shade in the sub tropics.That maybe, the plants, especially annuals and such, can tolerate more shade than we give them credit for.

When the seed packet says 'full sun' -- maybe there is significant leeway given the quantity and quality of our 'sun'. I know 'day length' is a significant biological factor  but espalier, for example, tries to undermine some of that sentence by exploring the axis of the layout and nearby structures. Then there is soil temperature which is variable as to what's growing, soil type, whether beds are elevated or flat, water content, etc.

Then there are evergreen and deciduous trees as well as the option of cutting trees back....and using creepers.

In a traditional cottage garden the polycultural mix is engineered for height. Its' an art form.

So what I'd be interested in is the option of having fruit trees in pots and moving them about: how feasible is that? In our climate (aside from Dianne's wee citruses) what possibilities are there? I mean with a serious hand cart pushed about  on a lawn or soil, is mobility of an orchard feasible? Is the effort worthwhile? And since pots can be so heavy in themselves, is bagged trees(using bigger and bigger bags) worth considering?

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on April 28, 2015 at 9:55

Mangos I believe fruit on 2-year wood so trimming them is a tricky art. Mulberries no worries there, prune away, ditto with Figs. Two of the best value trees in fruitdom.

Comment by Dianne Caswell on April 28, 2015 at 9:32

Hi Dave, I have Oranges, Lemons, Mandarins, Limes, Tropical Apples and Plums Espaliered. They are all miniature fruit trees and all of my citrus are in pots. Some on Spiral Forms, other on walls and fences. Due to space it is the only way I can grow so much fruit in my garden, they are all fruiting and thankfully the Possum is not eating them YET. I also Topiary some as balls on sticks type. It is fun to do and you can gain so much space.

Comment by Dave Riley on April 28, 2015 at 9:07

Espalier. What a wonderful art and hobby! (Although under-explored in sub tropics) Also I gather that if you try to keep your fruit  within reach -- no more than 2 metres off the ground -- they are too close to the ground for possums and such, maybe bats too. Not that I'm a great fruit grower, but I keep telling myself to keep em down...and the house roof line (low set) is my marker. The advantage of espalier type activity is that trees like mango and mulberry fruit on the new growth.I kept my Bowen Mango at 2 metres for years and harvested it annually.

I suspect that trimming to size may suit a lot of sub tropicals because the light and sun issue is less relevant than in temperate climates.

FYI:"Urban Permaculture: The Micro Space"

Go HERE to watch the full clip.

Comment by Dianne Caswell on April 28, 2015 at 7:13

Oh Susan, You are a Naughty, Naughty girl but I love the way you think. I am at the moment preparing an area as my Blueberry Patch, I am checking PH and sun etc. everyday to make sure the Bushes I am waiting on from Daley's are going to behave and bring forth lots of berries. You just keep planting you will be able to sell fruit and nuts at the Rocklea Markets in a few years.

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