Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Hi guys,

How is everyone enjoying the weather?  Myself, I've quite enjoyed the slightly cooler days and even though we are still in summer, I have been getting out into the garden in the arvo's  a lot more. 

Well mangoes are now being enjoyed in our house.  I lost the first few because I was too impatient and picked them to early.  Left over from my days as a northern Queenslander where mangoes were ready mid to late December.  In total, we had 15 on the tree - Not bad considering it is a meter tall tops!  They have been beautiful.  The variety is a dwarf Irwin bought from Daleys.

My pumpkins are going strong.  So far have 3 pumpkins (one has already been harvested -> spots went yellowy and it fell off the vine anyway) but lots more small immature fruit that I'm waiting to see if they keep growing (I counted 6 that had been definitely fertilised as they were the size of a tennis ball).  I learnt my lesson from the last one that dropped off by itself and am making "t-shirt" nets for the 2 hanging on the fence.  Look at the size of this monster though.

Next are my little squash - Aren't they cute.  They are going into a stir fry with the zucchini and fairytale eggplants for dinner tomorrow night,

And my Zucchini & Cucumbers.  The Zucchs are giving me about 3 fruit per week - perfect for us. The cucumber has been a bit weird.  These are the first fruit on it and it seems to have very few female flowers though tonight, I noticed 3 and fertilised them.My toad skin melons are finally doing well.  3 fruit and counting so far.  I will have to "t-shirt" net these as well.  Lucky my kids keep outgrowing their clothes :)

I finally got the motivation to build another wicking bed.  This time I used a 1.2 x 1.2 m x 0.3 m wooden bed from bunnings and dug a water reservoir into the ground.  

I have been listening to Perth gardening radio podcasts with Sabrina Haan (I think that's her name).  It's quite entertaining and I learn something too.  My beds had been sinking an aweful lot and some of them dry out really badly, particularly those filled with majority potting mix and she started talking about mixing in coco peat with your raised beds to improve moisture retention and provide air pockets.  So I'm going to top up all my beds, one by one as they become empty, with some coco peat.  I already did this to the new bed and filled it with strawberry runners taken from the bed out the front and since this was now empty -> mixed in coco peat.  The soil already looks so much better for it.  Into this bed, I'm planning to try and get one more melon harvest -> full sun and small bed so might heat up enough.    

Well that's just about it from me.  Still waiting for my Pawpaw to ripen and banana's to fatten up - though exciting news, I saw the half leaf on my Lady fingers that means I'll finally be getting my first bunch from those (since the builders knocked the first one over last year just as it sent up a flower spike).  Still getting 2-3 passionfruit and 1-2 lemons per week.  Made fish patties with the lemon rinds and lemon grass (which is going great!) last night - was really good.  Couple of seeds started (beetroot, marigolds, carrots and lettuce) but need to start broccoli and cauli's.  These are in self watering pots in afternoon shade from the tank. See you all next time.

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Comment by Dianne Caswell on February 13, 2015 at 18:16

Great Pics. Your Vegi Patch looks wonderful and very productive. I love Mangos and even when they are a little soft I put them into the freezer , skin on and they taste like a Frozen Mango Weiss Bar.

So pleased to read what you are doing in your garden, keep us informed. It helped to keep us all motivated.

Comment by Susan on February 11, 2015 at 17:32

Thanks Guys.  I agree Florence,  Roots and shoots, available as a podcast and automatically downloads to my phone, the Annette Mcfarlane one is on some other weird format that I put in the "too hard" basket.  I do so like listening to my gardening programs though.  When I was younger, I would have thought "Lame".  How I have changed :)

Comment by Florence on February 11, 2015 at 10:50

Great update as always Susan!  I always mix coco peat into my potting mix for my container plants~  They seem to do okay despite I don't water nor re-pot often enough.  Perth Gardening (Roots and Shoots) is available on Podcast (so does Adelaide), Sabrina is both knowleable and entertainig.  Being available on podcast means I can download and listen to them any time :)  A pity the Brisbane one is not available, although you can download on Annette MacFarlane's website, but the player it loads doesn't seem to like my tablet/phone...

Comment by Lissa on February 10, 2015 at 4:16

Wonderful stuff Susan :)

My zuccs gave up the ghost when the heat set in. Cucumber cropped massively and died off after the rain. I've had a good year for corn and have just put in my third crop in the hope of making use of the last month or two of heat. Okra and Cos lettuce are growing well enough; second crop of snake beans is coming on.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on February 9, 2015 at 21:55

You are doing better than me Susan. I'm managing lots of different greens (including a little lettuce), heaps of chilies, and lemon balm/lemon grass/lemon hibiscus. Oh, and of course My Rozie's bloody paw paws are producing a fabulous crop (*groan*). 

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