Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Wow, how warm was today?  This winter has barely seen me slow down.  I hate the cold - coming from subtropical north queensland I would always dream of when the days turned warmer.  There was about 2 weeks of "cold" and since then, the weather has mostly been gorgeous.  Unfortunately, that means those feral fruit fly haven't stopped in my yard.  They are only attacking the trombonccino at the moment so that's ok - I just snap of the bottom and the rest is fine to use. 

Being August, I started the long job of pruning the roses.  I started with the inside fence roses today, pruning followed by a good covering of the composted gold from my chook pen -> worms galore!! and then a little bit of rooster booster and mulch.  I have another 12 roses to do on the outside fence but that can wait a while. 

When I was in Melbourne, I went and visited the diggers store and finally bought myself a paper pot maker.  I am intrigued by the idea of low root disturbance that they claim to offer.  I'm not using newspaper cause, let's be honest, who actually gets newspapers anymore :P.  Rather, I've found A4 printing paper to be excellent substitute and as a teacher, I have an inexhaustible supply. :)  Last weekend and this weekend, I got off my butt and made a whole heap of pots (some are 1/2 toilet rolls).  I am trialling using screened cheap potting mix with coco peat vs cheap composted cow manure and coco peat.  The cow manure is easier as it is very fine already so don't need to screen it.  Since I'm using much less potting mix than what I would in my self wicking pots that I used to start seedlings in, I'll be saving money plus if they transplant much easier, I'll be using less effort.   I've been loving it so far cause it's a job I can do at night on the kitchen table.  I make my pots, go outside (street lights are bright enough so I can see) and fill up my pots in trays, bring back inside and sit down and put in my seeds.   Last night I did 40 pots and seeds of corn, cucumber, tomato, spinach, silverbeet, some melons (even though I KNOW they won't do well in my yard) scabiosa, cosmos and sunflower flowers.

My front garden is looking pretty good at the moment.  I have my lettuce, red veined silverbeet, pak choi and perennial leeks going well.  I just love this silverbeet, it is so pretty and we should all grow beautiful things.  They are a mix of bright lights from Mr Fothergills (and I just only got the reds germinating by chance) and green harvest Magenta sunset.  I'm hoping they hold up reasonably well into the heat. 

Speaking of pretty things, I have never planted calendula before.  Last winter I bought a punnet of seedlings and had one puny plant stay alive and produce a magnificent display in winter when not a lot of flowers are stunning in the garden.  This year, I bought a packet of seeds and they have not failed to impress.  I have many of these gorgeous yellow to orange blooms scattered around my yard.  They are just so cheery. 

Another beautiful thing I'm growing is these blue berry tomatoes.  This photo does not do their colour justice - they are a dark bluey purple colour ripening to a deep red with blackish shoulders.  They are not the best tasting but are also very prolific so I think I will commit to growing 1 or 2 plants every season for the novelty and the fruit can go into sauces. 

Okay guys, my computer is being a pain and not lettting me add any more photos so I'll be back to edit later. 

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Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 4, 2019 at 23:00

Oh and before Dave steals my thunder, welcome to Sprinter! It's the 5th season on the Brisbane gardening calendar. 

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 4, 2019 at 22:59

Your patch is looking as wonderful as ever Susan.  Might I request a pic of your paper pot maker?   Now... could I also be so bold as to suggest that you have Red Veined Sorrel, not silverbeet?  LOL. Your pootah was clearly distracting you by that stage!  

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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.

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