Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

This heat wave, plus empty water tank, has put great stress on my productive garden! We have been hand watering and mulching like mad, but today I noticed 2 of my little caulis have turned pink - the bigger ones seem to be coping. So some damage control measures had to be taken, and hubby was pressed into labour. In a few minutes, he erected a frame over the brassica bed, and threw an old shadecloth over it, stapled on and voila!

During the last 3 weeks we've been trying to prepare for spring plantings (where's spring? It's summer!) - we got heaps of green mulch from our tree trimmings, and Derek built a compost/soil bin, where he put in mushroom compost, cow manure, some bought soil, and the green mulch - he's experimenting with a homemade compost activator, and to his delight, it seems to be hastening the process of composting, and we now have lovely black "soil" ready to enrich the vege beds.

The worm farm is doing well too, producing a litre of liquid worm castings every second day.
I have started sprouting some seeds, only the bokchoy and rosella have emerged. No sign of okra, so yesterday, put in more seeds and crossing my fingers!
We are still eating well from the garden - caulis, broccoli, wongbok, celery, snowpeas, lettuces, tomatoes, kangkong, kale, leeks and of course, still enjoying custard apples.
Potatoes are thriving, and some of the greenharvest potatoes have made their appearance - I still haven't planted the kipfler, as they haven't sprouted yet!

Today I bandicooted from the potatoes planted about 6 weeks ago (supermarket ones) and pulled out one pontiac, could feel lots of little ones, so we may have a success story here!

Another happy story - the "sick" dwarf lemon has come to life! We got it out of the pot, did a bit of root prune, and put lots of manured compost in the bottom of the pot, and put the lemon back, filling up with more compost. It's been fed constantly with liquid worm castings and the leaves have grown back, and there're heaps of flowers!

There's lots of work in the next week, as I want to get the cucumber, bitter gourd and snake beans going. Still trying to decide whether to sow direct, or plant the seeds in small containers and transplant...

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Comment by Florence on August 26, 2009 at 21:16
Yeah! Where did spring go? My peas where planted very late in the season, so they are only seedlings and I was so worried that they'd burn under this heat! My newly germinated tomatoes seem to have collapsed too :(

I see your hubby's an experienced 'infrastructure manager' like Donna's Ashley ^____^ my bf is at apprentice stage, but he's getting there :)
Comment by Donna on August 26, 2009 at 19:40
Haven't tried it myself but have read that egg cartons are good to use for seedlings.
Comment by Scarlett on August 26, 2009 at 19:12
looks fantastic, i love your quick compost.

you could try newspaper containers for the seeds planted where you want them to grow? or jiffy pots (especially non-peat ones,i.e. not "jiffy" brand, you can get them, not sure of the brands)

i know - where is our spring!? i don't like it at all :( my rainwater tank is empty too...
Comment by Addy on August 26, 2009 at 18:05
Yeah, we certainly are lucky to have in-house infrastructure managers! My sister says Derek does all the hard yakka, and I get the credit!
Comment by Donna on August 26, 2009 at 17:07
Forgot to say I love the shadecloth - we are lucky to have hubbies who are 'infrastructure managers' (my hubby has given it a title lol).
Comment by Donna on August 26, 2009 at 16:59
Sounds great Addy! Ten days ago I planted direct a guild of corn, snake beans (to climb the corn) & rockmelon they are all starting to come up.

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