Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

I'll have to add photos later - for now I am only words

I pulled out our pumpkins because I want the space they had consumed. The vines have filled our compost bin. The banana pawpaw circle is groaning with banana stems plus the dead wattle tree from out the front, so it's no use for the moment.

I would like to have left the pumpkins in (soon this infernal cold will pass and they would have 'gone off', they have so many babies attempting to set all the time).

I have planted LOTS of seedlings (finally there were some new types at the store). I've planted broccoli (Green King this time), cauliflower (my one flowering cauli has lost its central flower head to a rot - now there are four axillary heads where the main one should be - it will be interesting to see how this turns out), savoy cabbage, chinese cabbage, bok choy, silverbeet, beetroot, spring onions, chillis, squash, and zucchini. Yay. I've also planted dwarf beans and scattered more succession seeds about - carrot, bok choy, lettuce etc.

I've watered everything with dipel, as I am SICK of the caterpillars knocking off my seedlings and riddling my bok choy with holes - and I just don't get time to pick them off often enough to be winning the competition. I also gave things a water with a little bit of neem and a dose of seaweed. Things should pick up now - the garden has not being going VOOM enough for my liking. I have managed to exclude the chooks most of the time - but they are punishing some of my lettuces regularly enough that I've not had a single leaf from these plants- lol. It only takes two minutes of naughty chook and pow, lettuce stub.

I've bought a pond - just a small one, about as big as a bath but made of plastic; wildly expensive next to salvaging an old bath I know, but it will look good and grow LOTS of water chestnuts, kangkong and taro for me (I hope). I will add those little native fish that eat mozzie larvae - they start with G, i forget - and am hoping to get some frogs too. I'll need to make some habitat for them first though. I've planted lemongrass around it and will plant asparagus and rhubarb as well.

I planted lemon grass and sweet potato amongst the trees in the 'orchard'.

The potatoes, after a slow start, are sprouting well. I don't think I gave them enough cover - the ones with the most dirt on top (as opposed to straw) have sprouted the fastest. Or it could be the amount of sun, because the straw ones were in volcanoes. They didn't seem to like my volcanoes so much.

The big news is that I've extended the vegie garden - we now have a line of potatoes halfway under one side of the clothesline, and I am about to add a climbing bean trellis in between the clotheseline and the pond- I'll post some pictures. It will be lovely to have some dirt garden for the legumes. This year's peas are OK because I dug a trench in the no dig compost and filled it with potting mix (as you are meant to do for the legumes), but I only added a bit for the dwarf beans and they are floppy and slow (when will I learn?).

I've removed all of the lovely pavers that next door gave me from the vegie garden path. They were nice for a while but now that the straw under them has sunk the sides of the beds are too exposed. I'm going to go back to using straw unless someone knows where I can get sawdust. The pavers will make a nice edge for my pond. I don't really like their colour so I am thinking of attempting to paint them - maybe undercoat and then house paint? Am I dreaming?

I potted up my comfrey, jade plants, orchid, aloe vera and some shade plant things I had sitting around being neglected.

Oh yes and most exciting of all - I have a WORKING water tank pump. It's AMAZING, I love it!!!! (although for some stupid reason it doesn't have an off switch - you have to unplug it each time you stop using it! dumb.)

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Comment by Scarlett on July 13, 2009 at 19:00
We dug shallow trenches then piled a nice rich compost/ soil mix in, made a trench in it, and planted the spuds in the bottom of the trench. Hopefully drainage won't be an issues...As they grow we'll hill the good soil up around them, fingers crossed...
Wouldn't lotus be nice! They're so beautiful and tasty - i love lotus curry, it's wild
Yes that does sound cheaper. Hopefully they won't come back in a hurry - it's not cabbage green, it's someone mysterious...
Comment by Florence on July 13, 2009 at 9:02
I can’t wait to see your photos; I’d love to build a pond too, I want to grow water chestnust, kangkong, watercress, and taro!! (I’d say Lotus too if I have an acreage land big enough for a dam :P)

Regarding the caterpillars, there’s a recipe for grasshopper, caterpillar and possum involving molasses from Colin Campbell on Gardenig Australia a couple of weeks ago (Fact sheet can be found here

I think I will give this a try since I found out I can get molasses at $2.50 for 2 litres from our nearest pet supplies (produce store style). If this works, I think it would work out cheaper then Dipel?
Comment by Donna on July 13, 2009 at 8:22
Yay, sounds like you have been really busy Scarlett! Have you planted the potatoes directly in a bed or are you using tyres or similar to build them up? I will do a blog soon, we have been really busy getting ready for the garden visit - should have had one ages ago it is such a good motivator lol.
Interested to hear how the neem/ dippel prep works, I am trying to be good and use A's bugs every fortnight or so as well as some sort of seaweed/ fish fertiliser - especially now I have a proper sprayer hose attachment so hopefully won't have as many naughty pests this year just strong healthy plants.

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