Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

"I is coming boys and girls. Get procreating."

'Tis the best time of the gardening year. This time. The March/April convergence.

Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote
    The droghte of March hath perced to the roote
    And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
    Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
    Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
    Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
    The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
    Hath in the Ram his halfe cours yronne,
    And smale foweles maken melodye,
    That slepen al the nyght with open eye-
    (So priketh hem Nature in hir corages);
( From: The Prologue, The Canterbury Tales
Geoffrey Chaucer (1342 - 1400)

We can return to the garden with hope  as the brutal edge of the Summer heat softens.

"I is coming boys and girls. Get procreating."

I ran out of nursery supplies and ordered in another 150 of my favored 90mm pots. Like some matron in a maternity hospital I'm  in the baby business.

I have a plan...and bassinets.

I'm growing new plants firstly for myself and my own garden. But I'm also planting seed for the school garden and hope to run a regular  plant stall at  the local monthly market.

In that mix is my Vetiver project as the Vetiver Grasses and I get to know one another.

They have not disappointed me and have 'come on' keenly with the passing of the brutal heat.

1 Vetiver slip + Time = 12-15 Vetiver stems/slips [DIVIDED] = 12-15 new Vetiver plants+Time [DIVIDED] =144-225 Vetiver plants... ...and so it goes.

With the horrors of Summer behind me it's all green thumbs up.

 Mother Nature and I are canoodling and my midwifery skills are improving.

With annuals every new garden is  a surprise. you can have several every year. Over Summer aerial activity was light except for the passion fruits which love our soil.Now with many and various beans aloft and Caccucia beginning to thrive I have lift off.

Out and about the Canavalia is spreading. The Indian Shot Cannas  are wrenching themselves skywards along with the Queensland Arrowroot.

Outback is beginning to crowd.

So I cut back with Mr Sickle. Slash the Canna. Slash the Dog Bane.Break off Frangipani branches with my two bare fingers. Swashbuckling here. Lunging there.

Makes for great mulch.

Nothing leaves the backyard. Maybe one day, not even me.

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Comment by Dave Riley on April 4, 2017 at 9:34

Yes, Christa, my dog bane grows all year. Great ground cover as it is. i trim the pathways with a sickle.

I'm growing Vetiver, PawPaw, and succulents like Dragon Fruit inside b my Dog Bane clumps.

At the moment it is the Canna Indica that is surging and the Carnavalia is girding its loins(?).

I wouldn't grow these plants if I could not easily control or remove them.

Here lemon grass dies off in the cold.Not a reliable plant.

Another ground cover I use is Surinan Spinach -- maybe the easiest to cut back and uproot.I don't eat it but it covers the ground.

The Canna has got a bit away from me, but when I uproot it I fall in love the the soil it creates around its roots.

I have a big garden so these plants are 'fill' as well as serving other functions.

The trick with the Vetiver is to plant out the slips (any you may get) and grow the plant to 12-15 stems then divide the lot by uprooting the clump. If you want to keep Vetiver growing there, just replant one of the slips. Any other scenario is too much hard work.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on April 1, 2017 at 20:02

My Dog Bane is growing in full sun with the Lemon Grass. It's on top of the hill so fairly dry although I never water that side garden.

Comment by Dave Riley on April 1, 2017 at 18:46

Dog bane grows as I want. Bushy and keen. Then it blooms and your are in exotica.

I am not intolerant of the smell. But I love its flowers and the easy care plant management. It ground-covers a lot of my garden but I'm experimenting more with Carnavalia.I'm also interested in what I can grow in a dog bane patch. At the mo I have Vetiver, Lemon Grass and Paw Paw growing. But it is allover here and there, and when I plant seedlings I simply rip up the dog bane by hand and 'drop it' .

Replacing its posey with vegetables.

My other standby -- Canna Indica -- is still a work in progress. I cut back the stems for mulch and its roots offer a rich soil reward but I'm thinking I'll be replacing Canna lilies with Vetiver.

Comment by Christa on March 30, 2017 at 12:19

Does the dog bane grow all year round at your place Dave.  It was always straggly when growing in my yard, and I never really encouraged it.  It has quite a smell about it, when the dog's walk through it, they smell for days. 

Comment by Dianne Caswell on March 30, 2017 at 10:20

I also find this a busy time of the year, but think of the rewards good planning will bring.

Comment by Christa on March 30, 2017 at 8:36

Ahhh! the wordsmith is back, followed by the gardener.  Hope you have your galoshes on.  The graveyard is a bit worrying.

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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

GrowVetiver is a plant nursery run by Dave & Keir Riley that harvests and grows Vetiver grass for local community applications and use. It is based in Beachmere, just north of Brisbane, Australia.

Place your business add here! ($5 per month or $25 for 9 months)

Talk to Andy on 0422 022 961.  You can  Pay on this link

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