Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Hi guys,

Well I just finished my major holiday project - built the garden shed.  I was going to also build a rock pathway but as it took 3 days of torture AND I managed to put a drill bit through my thumb, I decided not to be too ambitious.  The shed was the $169 job from Aldi's.  If you bought one and haven't put it up yet, word to the wise:  When they refer to the "short side" it means the side with all the holes drilled into it (short height wise, not length wise).  The swearing involved when I figured this one out... it would make you blush.  All garden tools, nets, fertilisers, sprayers etc have been relocated.

I don't have too much going on in the garden just now.  I am ripping out all of my tomatoes in the back garden - between the mites and rootknot nematode, none are going well.  I've got some mixed heirloom seeds that I am starting and will plant them in the front garden and hopefully have more success.  I'm reluctant to buy tomato seedlings again as I think that's what started the mite saga.  And I've had no nematodes on anything EXCEPT this bought tommy toe seedling.  Marigolds are getting sown in this bed to try to improve the problem.

My sugar snap peas didn't germinate well, only about 1/3 of the seeds.  Have replanted.  Also, the lettuce and spinach that I planted into my wicking pots didn't germinate, nor did any of the flower seeds except the hollyhock.  ALL my brassicas did.  I DO have beetroots, eggplants and cucumbers :)

The brassica bed got planted out today and I netted, partially for shade but also for white cabbage moth. 

I've put a lot of my herbs into the front wicking bed.  I've now got italian parsely, garlic chives, Dianne's perpetual capsicum, spring onions and coriander in the top one shown.  The other one, I sowed beetroot and carrots.  Notice the wire over the top?  Well while my little black fence WAS successful in keeping the chickens out, my cat had decided that this bed was the perfect place to have a nap every day.  I didn't think much would come up but if you look carefully, you can see a whole bunch of beetroot  (right) and carrots (left)

In the front flower patch where the Arnolds blood orange is planted, some melon seeds obviously got dropped and germinated.  They looked so healthy that I let them go to see what they could do.  Yesterday I noticed a tennis ball sized melon which confirmed that it was Cream of Satschwan watermelon and my kids were probably the source of the seeds, spitting them out.  If you look carefully, third brick from the left, you can just see it poking out from under pineapple spine :)

My bees are going from strength to strength.  I could have easily harvested 2 full bars of honey but 1) don't want to be greedy and 2) not set up for processing more than 1 bar at a time so I might have to go back in 2 weeks and harvest another bar.  They were all covering the front of the hive again so gave them 3 bars back in return to give them some more space.  I need to source some more jars as between the honey, jams and chutneys, I run out. 

Well, that's it from me guys.  Happy gardening.

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Comment by Susan on April 8, 2016 at 9:16

Hi dianne,  my kiwi berry is still in a pot as i havent bought the trellis for it to go over.  Despite this, i got  3 little fruit off it backin january.   I'm waiting until it goes into dormancy again and then i hope to have the trellis situation sorted and it can go into the ground.  So far, it would be definitely be something I'd recommend  to plant here.  Mine gets morning sun and is in full shade from 12pm on.

Comment by Dianne Caswell on April 3, 2016 at 18:24

Susan I am so pleased to hear the finger is healing. I know I am nuts about my Plants and Garden so Graham doesn't have to tell me (though he does). The Mustard seed is a very good idea if you ever have a bed spare to grow them.

Do you have a Kiwiberry in yet? If so how is it performing for you and have you had fruit yet?

Comment by Sophie on April 3, 2016 at 18:09
Or Loofer? Lol my seeds are also in my bedroom, happily nuts with you haha, my partner has come to accept. They sell bulk quantities (250g+?) mustard seeds for cover crop at Capala Produce (think you mentioned being near?). I got a freebie passionfruit vine today and the guy said they fruit on the side that has morning sun; pity for me the only place to put it for now will mean pedestrians will get the fruit! Alas hopefully my eden with have such abundance that a fruit missing here or there will go unnoticed!!
Comment by Lissa on April 3, 2016 at 16:46

Why not a choko over the shed Susan?

Re Daleys. :D

Comment by Susan on April 3, 2016 at 12:08

Oh and Sophie, I am thinking about a climber too.  If I get desperate, I'll grow another passionfruit as it is in an awkward position where it will get full afternoon sun but I want to try to grow another Keri berry.  My last one died from a serious case of curl grub.  I keep looking at Daleys for one (Yes Lissa, I know, you did tell me that the Avo was not my last purchase :)

Comment by Susan on April 3, 2016 at 12:05

Thanks Jeff and Sophie.  My seeds don't go in the shed, they sit in a nice little box in my bedroom of all places.  Nice and dry and cool -ish and when it's too hot or dark, I can get them out and dream about what's going in next.  My husband does think I'm a bit nuts :)

Thanks Roger - I agree with those instructions.  I mean, how hard would it be to give a little more detail??  I did hear that about the mustard seeds but I don't have any but I do have plenty of marigolds (not the stinking roger variety though).  I'm hoping they were just an import with the tomato seedling as I haven't had a problem before and will knock them on the head with the marigolds going in.  I'm also building up the bed with home made compost so it should have enough goodies in there to out compete the nematodes.

BTW everyone, the thumb is still bandaged but no sign of infection so hopefully on the way to healing. 

Comment by Roger Clark on April 3, 2016 at 9:17

Susan,

It is always good to hear of your exploits. I can't imagine many members of your gender having the bravery to tackle putting up a shed, and a lot of men, myself included, do not enjoy struggling with the inane instructions that seem to accompany such construction tasks. I also winced a little at your misfortune in your drilling exploits.

On gardening issues, I have tried to tackle the nematode issue by growing a crop of mustard, which is easy to grow, then digging in the crop before it flowers. Nematodes (the nasty ones) are reported not to like hot plants like this. I can't say whether it will prove successful yet as I also practice crop rotation as another method of reducing problems in the ground. and as I am not due to plant tomatoes or other susceptible crops in that bed for another couple of years I will have to wait that long to see the effects of my mustard experiment. Meanwhile I am adding as much organic compost and manures as I can as this is also a way of reducing the nematodes' effect. I have also grown African Marigolds (Tagetes Minulta?) as another way of reducing their effect. These Marigolds (nicknamed inappropriately STINKING ROGER) are very tall growing plant with an insignificant flower and once again you need to cut them up and bury them for best effect.

Comment by Sophie on April 3, 2016 at 8:17
Yes i second the hot shed thing - not advisable to leaves seeds there. I had some biodegradable shopping bags in there and they dissintegrated after a couple of months! Perhaps grow a climber over it?
Comment by Jeff Kiehne on April 3, 2016 at 5:54

With the garden shed they can get very hot so anything that is heat sensitive could be a problem and in wet weather moisture can be a problem fertilizers depending what they are can cause corrosion best kept in sealed containers .

Comment by Lissa on April 3, 2016 at 5:27

Susan - like you I notice sometimes that they are getting a bit overcrowded as they hang around the entrance enmasse at night. I might add some more bars at the ends to compensate.

If they have ever swarmed it wasn't when I've been around. I would say it hasn't ever happened for that reason but who knows in reality.

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