Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Welcome to the patch!

The broccoli (off to the right) is STILL getting chomped by the little mices- they even ate a hole through that net to get in! I have now bought rat sak - I'm over it.  At least they have left the cabbages so far alone, the broccoli will grow side shoots if they are left alone but the cabbage are a one shot crop.  

Middle bed has peas, beans, beetroot, lettuce and carrots growing strong.  Beans and peas and lettuces are being abundantly harvested - fingers crossed the mice don't find them. 

Wood bed right at the back has rhubarb  and perennial leeks (you can just see the corner of it).  I had one plant of rhubarb survive summer and replanted 2 more that are currently going strong.  The perennial leeks were in a full sun summer bed and really struggled over the hot months.  I moved them to this bed because it gets full sun in winter but is mostly shaded (dappled light) in summer.  They are looking fantastic - could be the cooler weather - could be the new spot ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ We'll figure that out in summer. 

Right bed has tomato's growing.  I have mixture of black cherry and black cherry roma that I saved from market bought tomato's (second season I've grown these),  San Marzano from diggers (bought when I went to visit their store when I was down in Melbourne for the summer) and Cathie, I have a large heirloom tomato that you bought seeds to a garden visit once. 

Speaking of tomato's CHECK IT OUT!!  My little front patch of tomatoes is going rank and here is my first big 'un!

This next bed has climbing beans, new lot of peas and the Choy sum growing.  Found some seeds from Johnson's seeds so planted in 3 new seeds (seedlings just visible to the left of the bean tower).  They don't take up as much space as broccoli and while I haven't got the flowering stems yet, I've broken off some of the leaves and they are quite nice. 

New bed emptied of manky old tomatoes yesterday, refreshed with compost, worm wee, coco coir and some sand (worms galore in there but very gluggy so need to improve drainage - all the beds are getting this treatment at the moment once they empty) and planted up with cucumber (might be too early), carrot, peas and bean seeds plus some seedling red shallots.

2 more beds out the back not shown have next lot of broccoli/cabbage/cauli's in it and the other, the manky tromboncino/eggplant bed.  So I am all fulled up out the back.  The middle bed from the first photo will be 1/2 emptied as soon as second bed of  pea/beans become productive.  In it I plan to put the first lot of corn.   I successively plant (when organised enough) because I only have a small amount of space and none of my beds can be unproductive for very long.   

In a side note, I am trialling "Who flung dung" mulch on my garden beds.  Previously I've used lucerne or sugar cane but I have had far too many problems with the Surinam Cockaroaches  which LOVES the stuff. Fairly $$$ - about $23 for a bag.  BUT a) does 3.5 of my beds b) looks great c) fertilises the soil as it breaks down.  Everything is looking exceptionally healthy so I'm happy so far.  Still using sugar cane mulch everywhere else - just not in the beds.

First lots of strawberries coming in the pots.  I've had about 4 so far and they are doing real well.  You can just see a red one middle back of this photo.   They too have "who flung dung" mulch instead of sugar cane this year as well. 

Here is my mid week harvest.  

What to do with all those tomatoes/caps/chilli's I hear you ask?  Well I've been making a LOT of tomato based sauces (so much tastier than the bottled stuff).  Here is a picture of sausage Pasta sauce (on the right) of my bulk making meals. 

Why was I bulk making meals you ask? (probably not but it's my blog post and I can imagine what I want to :)   Well, THE BLOCK FINALLY SETTLED!!! We had our first 3 day camping trip up there at the start of the hols.  Now all the fun stuff - planning the shower/toilet situation, working out what to plant etc, getting a caravan so I don't have to live in an F'ing leaking tent!!! (not fun - I've worked out I like being warm and dry too much to put up with tents anymore).  Here's the vast expanse of land I'll have to play with and I can't wait!

It is going to be a huge labour of love to plant out this block.  As you can see in the foreground, I have clay soil so I first have to amend before I can plant - Kind of a good thing cause no money left at the moment :)  Did you all know that as rate payers in Brisbane, we are entitled to 2 free native plants every year?  I was kinda hoping if any of you didn't want yours and it's not too much trouble, could you take your paid rates notice into a Brisbane library and collect the vouchers for the free plants and then could I pretty please use them to collect native plants for along my creek bed (left of this)?  I would ever so much appreciate the help. 

My first thing I'm going to do is get some cardboard down with some horse manure and sugar cane mulch, fence it with all the left over chicken wire from when I made the chicks a permanent home and plant pumpkins, sweet potatoes in the bed,  passionfruit and choko (yours Sophie) along the fence and some pineapple heads I've had sitting around at home.  These things can grow wild, won't cost me anything (have all the necessary starting material) and are relatively hardy. Many photo's and updates will follow. 

Well that's about it from me folks.  Hope you are growing well this winter and enjoying all your crops. 

Happy Gardening

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Comment by Susan on July 6, 2018 at 12:08

Lol- no worries

Comment by Cathie MacLean on July 6, 2018 at 7:52

Hi Susan, as tempting as it is to switch because my garden is far from perfect and I'd love it to be amazing when people come over, I was kind of joking.  The longer I live here  I continue to learn about microclimates that come about as trees mature etc and the change in the position of the sun from season to season.  There are challenges we all face in our different gardens - and one of mine is winter shade!!!  Thanks for the offer though. I continue to drool over your pictures!

Comment by Susan on July 5, 2018 at 20:22

Hi Cathie, 

More than happy too.  Did you want to take the December spot I had which is also the break up?  

Comment by Cathie MacLean on July 5, 2018 at 20:19

Susan, your garden looks amazing as usual.  Why don't we have a garden visit at your place this month instead of mine? My garden is so slow growing in the shade of winter! Looks like you solved your bean problem too.  This  year I had trouble with germination and just took what came up to augment the bean trellis at the community garden. I'm really missing beans at the moment.

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