Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

I actually got some seeds from Bunnings (Lettuce, onion, spinach, garlic chives, and some flowers) and 200L of potting mix ($3/25L bag!). I have no idea about what I'm doing with the seeds (just chose what I like, mostly the Mr Fothergills brand) but I at least got started and I'm just hoping my ability to follow the instructions on the packet is ok :-)


I took the dog for a walk to the creek behind my place, and once he'd finished swimming, I filled up the few pots I have with the cheap potting mix I bought and planted the spinach, garlic chives and flowers. I was hoping to find butterfly and bee-attracting flower mixes, but none of the packets mentioned that. So I compromised with some mixed cottage flowers... at least they're colourful even if they don't do much good for my local bees and butterflies.


Now I have rosemary, mint and basil from previous plantings ages ago, along with what I planted today. Over the next few days, I'll be hunting around for more pots (thanks for the replies from those who responded!) and planting onions, perhaps a sprouted garlic if I can find one in the kitchen (if not, how can I make them sprout faster?) and the lettuce tape.


I finally got dirty and then sat outside with a glass of white wine. What a way to spend the afternoon!




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Comment by Scarlett on April 29, 2011 at 10:54

yay Daniel! good on you :)

i reckon gardening is one of those things, the more you do it the better you get, and although it costs money to start out, in the end (once you're good at it and you have the gear) it repays you heaps more than you've forked out (but initially it might seem like you will have the most expensive tomatoes in the world...). but don't be discouraged! i hope you bought some rocket - very rewarding. and parsley. and lettuces. you can pick all of those every day. bush beans are good for pots too. try silverbeet over the cold months (needs a largish pot for each plant). sprinkle some carrot and spring onion seeds amongst your lettuces - those three will grow very happily together. chives is good for pots too. vietnamese mint is good in a pot in a saucer of water. broccoli boxes from the back of fruit shops (the polystyrene ones, the tall skinny ones are best) are excellent for growing vegies and herbs in containers. just poke lots of holes in the bottom (about 20 cent piece size, about 8 holes). big tip: buy the expensive potting mix. it's worth it. the results will be ten times better. you need about one 25l bag per big polystyrene box. You could grow strawberries in one too. Also if you buy open pollinated seeds, sometimes also called 'heirloom seeds' you can let the best plant go to seed and replant them (or let them fall into the pot and come up themselves next time) - so no money spent on seeds :)  

Mr Fothergills has some open pollinated and heirlooms varieties. Hybrids are the other type of seeds - they are the cross of two different parents, they grow more vigorously, but their babies won't be the same as the parent, so you can't keep the seeds. If you want to plant small seeds like lettuce at good spacing, hold your hand high over the pot like you're sprinkling pepper, or mix with sand and sprinkle that - good cos then you can see where the seeds are. Water with a gentle stream of water - a fine spray on  a watering can or hose nozzle is good, and hold it far away - otherwise the seeds all end up in one spot. But if they do, when they have two sets of leaves you can lever them out with a chopstick and replant them at a good distance apart. Lettuces should be about one hand length (yours) apart. Some sugar cane mulch in pots that don't have seeds in them will help.  IF you have a spot where they get 3-4 hours of morning sun and then they're in the shade, where you have to walk past them everyday, near a water source, that's an ideal spot. Good luck! and i'm sure there will be something in the flowers for the bees :)

Comment by Lissa on April 25, 2011 at 6:56

That's what it's all about hey Daniel :D

Gardening, growing things and just getting a bit dirty just makes people happy! And the glass of wine at the end while you admire your efforts is a great reward.

Comment by Joanne Chung on April 24, 2011 at 13:09
I just plonk the garlic right into the ground.. it shoots within the week.  These garlic shoots are 3 weeks after planting... now I just wish everything else is as easy as this... 
Comment by Vanessa Collier on April 24, 2011 at 12:03
Starting and then remembering to keep planting seeds is always the hardest part, for me at least!  Hope they all come up for you.   This rain is great for seeds.
Comment by Daniel on April 24, 2011 at 11:56
Thanks, Elaine! :-)
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on April 23, 2011 at 23:23
Four-five inches, that sort of distance.
Comment by Daniel on April 23, 2011 at 20:56
Ah, so I don't even need to wait for the green bit to sprout out of the end of the clove? Great! How close together can I plant each clove?
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on April 23, 2011 at 20:27
A great way to spend an afternoon! You've got to start somewhere and anywhere is good :-) The Garlic will sprout when it's ready, just put the clove into the mix, pointy end up and just covered with soil. It won't really sprout until it's in the ground anyway, so the sooner you get it in, the sooner you have a plant.

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