Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Thought I'd try my hand at this blogging thing. My garden is always a work in progress - has been a straight ornamental garden, fitted in where the previous owners couldn't think of any landscaping features to add, with beds often filled with builders' rubble; then was a native garden, morphing into a habitat garden, then a basketball practice area, now is on the way to being a food garden, but with plenty of flowers, preferably perennials, not necessarily native.

Currently, there is a main vege patch, with herbs where they fit in all round the place. Our family's vegetable consumption runs mainly to the standards - potatoes, carrots, broccoli, peas, beans, zucchini, pumpkin, sweet potato, asparagus, perennial leeks, and I try to grow as much of these in the space as possible, in season. Not much in the way of leafy greens - they just don't get eaten, and I'm sick of growing beautiful lettuces just to have them end up on the compost heap, and as for rocket and mizuna, way will they eat that.

The best bits, from my point of view are the fruit trees - in ground and in pots, and the perennial fruiting shrubs. I gather from other peoples' comments and gardens that this is a pretty common obsession. Susan's collection is awesome. At present, there are bananas, pawpaws, a dwarf mulberry, two mandarins, an orange, a lemon, a dwarf avocado, a tropical peach, some pineapples, strawberries and a pepino in the ground; and five figs (can't have too many figs, all dwarf black genoa) a blueberry, another dwarf mulberry, another avocado (Wurtz), a loquat, a persimmon, and a mango in pots. There is also a Tropic Sun custard apple in a pot, hanging on to life by the skin of its teeth.

Plans for the future include putting in stuff like pigeon pea for mulch, since my biggest need is for plenty of organic material in the hungry McDowall soil, and we have pruned the few native trees left to within an inch of their lives in trying to supply mulch from on-site. I try not to bring in mulch from elsewhere, but I suspect I may have to resort to doing that as the area under gardens increases. Also, it will be good to try out some of the ideas I've seen on the BLF site, like Dave's mounds, and Susan's wicking pots on the fence.

Hmmmm This blogging is a bit addictive. Better stop now, but when I work out how to put photos in I'll probably add some.

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Comment by Lissa on September 4, 2015 at 7:07

PS Once you open your blog to edit you can't see the comments below (including the instructions).

If you open this page on two different tabs on your computer you can nip back and forwards to follow the instructions.

Comment by Lissa on September 4, 2015 at 7:03

Good first blog Barbara :) Photos of the things you talk about would be a definite benefit.

To add photos to your blog here - go to Options (top right), click, from the drop down menu choose Edit Post (this will open up the blog for editing, oddly enough).

To add your pics click where you want the pic to go within the blog.

On the left you will see Post Title, Entry, Addthere are some icons to the right of Add- hover your curser over each to see what they do -  second icon in is a little picture frame (hover and it will say Image).

Click on this to add your photo from your computer (Browse).

Comment by Phil on September 3, 2015 at 21:38

Believe or not this lemongrass is self sown! It's on the western side of the property which is sheltered by the neighbours house. Not that this seems to stop the plant growing well elsewhere at my place. I have a Mediterranean micro climate (hot & dry - poor soils) which is relatively sheltered. Another plant which goes crazy here is aloe vera. 

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on September 3, 2015 at 20:25

Your East Indian Lemongrass must be in a better spot than mine! I've many small plants hoping they grow on to bigger things but over winter they are very slow growing.

Comment by Florence on September 3, 2015 at 20:06

Yes, it is an obsession.  Not growing veggies right now, but plenty of fruit trees in pots :)  You have a good collection there ~ Keep blogging and looking forward to photos :)

Comment by Susan on September 3, 2015 at 18:54

Nice to meet you on Sunday Barb.  I'm glad you had something to look at.  My mulching needs are covered by the park behind me.  I just wait for the council to mow and then gather it all up.  For my garden beds though, I use bought Lucerene or sugar cane as I don't want to run the risk of weeds.  How is your custard apple going?  Has yours ever flowered.  Mine (unknown variety but was bought from daleys as a grafted tree) has yet to fruit after 6 years in the ground and I'm getting impatient enough to go find a tropic sun.

Comment by Phil on September 3, 2015 at 18:00

Just a warning about Lemongrass (East Indian variety) - it is weedy....

I'll be cutting this back this weekend for mulch.

PS - Your garden sounds great

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on September 2, 2015 at 14:18

Dave's right about the lemon grass. It grows well here.

Comment by Dave Riley on September 2, 2015 at 5:22

Another mulch option is lemon grass. Worth a couple of harvests each year.-- such as now when other sources aren't available.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on September 1, 2015 at 21:24

Good to hear from you Barbara!

To add photos, go to the top menu bar just under the masthead. Select 'photos' then on that page, hit 'add' and it's fairly straight forward from there.

Good mulch plants are sugar cane you can grow it easily at home; Queensland Arrowroot has benefit of some edible tubers; Vetiver grass; other people's lawn clippings; rough coir bought in bales.

Important note about adding photos:

Always add photos using the "From my computer" option, even if you are on a mobile phone or other device.


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