Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

July.... growing slowly but surely.... (updated 30/07/2010)

I might have planted my winter veggies too late, so I am not harvesting anything yet.. except for some self sown lettuces in my tomato bed.. Other then that I've only got eggplants that are still producing consistently, oh and also garlic chives..

I've harvested some tumeric and ginger, but the ginger are a bit slim though.. not fat and plump like the ones you buy...

My Jicama suddenly wilted, so I dug it up and find the tuber is rotted with earth worms already eating it away... I've found a small tuber about 20 cm away though... have not tried them yet..

The green manure bed was about 20 - 25 cm tall, and I can't wait any more, so I've dug them in last weekend... now gotta wait some more before I can plant into it.... You think I can start planting in it next weekend?

Although there's not much to harvest right now in the backyard, but I am hopeful that there will be more food from the garden in a few weeks time :)

Blueberries flower buds


Carrots. I've sown both the standard orange ones, and purple dragons.. not sure what these are..

Rainbow chard ~

Pigeon peas flowering profusely again.

Peas are flowering too ~

Most of my tomatoes have baby tomatoes on them :)

One of them's not growing as well as the others though.. (bottom left behind the red lettuces). It's different colour from the other ones too.. is there something wrong with it?

There's no leaves on my peach tree right now, but more and more flowers appears on it,.. and it's actually fruiting.. is this normal?

No more flowers on the passionfruit vines.. my mum's been picking them when they are 2/3 coloured.. would they sweeten up after they're picked? She won't listen to me about letting them drop because many get stung and rotted before fully ripe...

The seeds are growing well in the seedling trays except for Chinese celery and spinach, which did not germinate.. these trays are now moved out of the portable green house :)

The sugarloaf cabbages I transplanted in May are growing well ~ Does it looks like it's heartening up?

Although I've found caterpillars' droppings on at least one, but I can't find the caterpillars.. .I hope those little fairy-wrens I saw foraging in the backyard have picked them up for me :)

Last photo.. is this some kind of lettuces?

Wrapping up July ~ (Update on 30/07/2010)

* I've transplanted some seedlings and sown some seeds in the green manure bed ~ can't see much on it yet ~

* My Chinese celery actually started germinating! They're only tiny, so can't be transplanted yet, but they sure are slow.

* The peas that were flowering are snowpeas, and we've been harvesting about 2 handfuls a week ~ still heps of flowers coming on ~ Hope it will last for at least a few weeks..

* Tomatoes are still green, but have gotten bigger..

* Got some more peach flowers, it's so pretty even when the petals fall, they look nice on the ground .... might propagate a couple to try do a bonsai

* Must have been getting half a dozen of passionfruits a week, I am not too sure since my mum ate most of them :P

* Most of the sugarloaf cabbages are heartening up, and we've been eating the outer leaves ~ taste like Chinese broccolis. I've given them one spray of molasses, hope there's no caterpillars in the heart... One good thing is although the seeds were sown at the same time, and half of them planted pretty much on the same day, their maturity's quite staggered. Other then the individual plant vigour, I think the ones which were harden off before transplanting are quite a bit more advanced than the ones that were not harden off but were transplanted a day earlier.

* The watercress crater I planted in June is growing well after the initial period of adjustment ~

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Comment by Florence on August 1, 2010 at 12:20
Yes, it's definitely working for me. This picture was probably taken last week, and it's grown heps since then, and I harvested a whole basket full for my mum to make soup :)
I will see how it goes in summer though.. it could be coz the weather's been right for them..
Comment by Lissa on August 1, 2010 at 5:26
Maybe you should patent the name :) So I take it the watercress is now doing well in it's crater? I normally don't grow mint or cress as I don't have any wet spots, but this might give me another option if it's working for you.
Comment by Florence on July 31, 2010 at 18:15
Lissa, I saw on a TV show where a market farmer grew watercress in a depression... I had some watercress growing in water which wasn't doing very well, so we dug a shallow hole where my compost bin was and transplanted my watercress in there. I wanted to take full advantage of the good soil left by the compost so I planted some other vegetables around the hole. My boyfriend said it looks like a crater, so I refer to it as my watercress crater :)
Comment by Lissa on July 31, 2010 at 5:35
Can you explain the watercress crater please Florence - looks like a depression with other plants around for shade. So it doesn't have to be a particularly moist spot as such to begin with?

Great pics by the way - makes me feel like I'm having a tour of your garden :)
Comment by Florence on July 30, 2010 at 21:59
Updated with more recent photos :)
Comment by Florence on July 18, 2010 at 19:32
Hi Susan, there was a discussion on jicama here
I prefer broccoli over cauliflowers for eating, but I am growing a coloured variety of cauliflowers from purchased seedling this season, will see how I go :)
@Lissa ~ I agree :)
Comment by Lissa on July 15, 2010 at 6:33
Hi Florence. Yes, I'm much the same with gardening. I can only garden at weekends on the whole - I do what I can. I try to be organic, stay away from nasty sprays, use organic fertilers (that Organic Xtra stuff is all sorts of wonderful). The rest is interesting but I'll work myself up to learning about them bit by bit. The important thing to me is to enjoy what I'm doing right now and hopefully get some veg out of it! Which is what is happening....
Comment by Susan on July 14, 2010 at 19:52
Hi Florence,

I have all kinds of vege envy right now!! I lost all my cauliflowers to grubs and as I've never really been successful at growing them, I think I'm about to scrap them from my planting range. You have some things I've never heard of growing, whats jicama used for?
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on July 14, 2010 at 16:34
And 'prepared 500' is available on mail order from the BD farm in northern NSW. It's used in Spring ... it's a combo of 500 plus composted cow pats and the compost preps. Green Harvest keep it if you're going to order soon or go to Aracaria Biodynamic Farm, Waiting 'til Spring to use it.
Comment by Florence on July 14, 2010 at 15:48
Hi Lissa,
Quality and age of seeds are part of the factors, and I have seeds sprouting few months after they were sown in the ground when the conditions right for them. I don't follow any particular way of gardening, just what's convenient for me and suits the land and space I had to work with, as long as I try to avoid poisonous sprays and synthetic fertilisers as much as possible. So far I only had to spray lime sulphur on the peach once... didn't noticed any difference, and I believe it is organically approved, but I would avoid those too if I can. I like the idea of bio-dynamic but like proper permaculture, it's very difficult to achieve in its purity/entirety in a suburban block... so I just take bits and pieces that are workable and available..for example, I can't plant by the moon or constellation entirely since I generally only get to plant things on the weekend..

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