Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

March blog and finally some rain.

So all that wild weather last week that everyone copped - we got nothing.  Not a single drop.  Friday through to today finally broke that.  We've had some nice gentle rain that will hopefully make everything take off.   I've got a lot of jobs to do though and this rain on the weekend business is not conducive to me getting it done.

I've started to do my annual horse manure on all the beds.  My little citrus grove at the back desperately needed some rejuvenation as well as the small verge garden out the front.  Horsemanure, soil wetter, fertiliser and good drink of worm juice and the soil is now looking good.  It will be ready for me to start planting in my flowers soon.  At the Ipswich Garden Expo last weekend, I got some beautiful little salvias in pink, salmon and lemon.  My blue ones are beautiful but a bit leggy and I saw these little ones and went "Oooohhhh so pretty".  They went in the ground last weekend.

Built a trellis today (in the RAIN!!)  for my snow peas and beans that went in a couple of weeks ago.  Thank you James for your snow pea seeds.  The first lot I planted in the last weekend in Feb, didn't germinate (probably too hot) but this next lot look real good.   I also the trellis out of my own bamboo so it will be tall enough for them.  On the other side of this bed is what is left of the tromboncino zucchini vine.  I could have cut it back and rejuvenated it like I 've done previously but I started some new ones so am letting it die off.  Still getting Zucc's though, just not as big as previously.  Hopefully my new ones will start producing before too long.

Directly sowed some assorted brassica's into a bed along with some very quick to grow pack choi.   The pak choi came up no drama's and going strong,  I had to reseed the spots where I had my other brassica's and only a few have come up.  Giving it one last shot and then I'll go back to my trusty wicking pots for sowing seeds into and transplanting.  Such a PAIN though, I have limited time this year and double handling is annoying so I wanted to try to stop as much as possible.  No - the seeds aren't old - they germinate but then either something eats them while they are teeny tiny, or they up and die.

I'm getting eggplant, a couple of tomato's and HEAPS OF CUCUMBERS from the garden at the moment.

The cucumber vine is absolutely mad!  It was a floriana continental cucumber seedling and I was harvesting cucumbers 3 weeks after planting it - I kid you not!! About 4 per week of these giant monsters.  The worm wee is working well my friends.

Andy inspired me with his video a couple of weeks ago to give sprouting another go.  I haven't been lazy and have flushed with water twice per day and have been eating luscious sprouts for the last week and 1/2.  Amazing what following instructions will do :)

All my citrus are doing great.  The older orange, mandarin and lemon are just loaded this year.   The photo's are in order.

I got a malabar spinach about a month ago from the lady at the markets who got me enthusiastic about worm farming again and I copied her idea about growing it on my front step.  The cage does two things a) keeps the chooks out and b) gives it something to climb on.

Also at the Ipswich garden expo, I got a dwf duccasse banana.  It is currently in a pot until I get the time/motivation to dig out all my lady fingers.  They are just too tall and I've lost too many to bats lately.

And lastly, my beautiful goldfinger banana's have sent out another massive spike.  It is going to stop me driving in my driveway for about 6 months but it is worth it.

Well, that's it from me folks.  Sophie and I have swapped dates for a garden visit so I'm doing May now.  It will be good to see you all here. 

Happy gardening.

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Comment by Dianne Caswell on March 26, 2017 at 20:14

Always inspiring Susan, Everything is looking so healthy and I do love your Salvia colours you chose. There must not be much now that you don't grow for the Dinner Table.

Comment by Lissa on March 23, 2017 at 4:50

Thanks Sophie. I might try Lawnton Country Mkts then. They have a big range of dried lentils and similar. It's been decades since I last bought sprouting mix. 

Comment by Sophie on March 22, 2017 at 18:52
Lissa, any organic green grocer sells packets these days I've found. Whether you are adventurous nd try to germinate the bulk wholegrains or buy the special packets; enjoy :)
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on March 22, 2017 at 7:28

Depends on what you want and how much of it.

The produce store at Rothwell sell bulk seeds e.g. Mung Beans for around $2 a kilo.

Dare I mention GH ... organic Qld-grown Buckwheat by the kilo and other seeds.

The bulk foods store Simply Good (Morayfield and Stafford) keep organic Wheat and other seeds for sprouting.

One of my favourites is supermarket-bought Sunflower seeds they sell for birds. Lentils sold for cooking so long as they have their seed-coats intact will work as well. As indeed do dried peas and beans including Lima beans. The peas - including Chick Peas - are fine but I am not sure whether Lima sprouts are edible or not. I tried Cukes once and found the sprouts bitter.

'Mix' of different seeds doesn't work all that well since the seeds have different sprouting times.

Comment by Lissa on March 22, 2017 at 5:09

So - where else is good to buy sprout mix these days? Susan mentioned Bunnings earlier.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on March 21, 2017 at 21:08

Yes it is ridiculous as indeed are the actual postage rates - the jump from 500g to 3kg is a real killer. 

I bought some 'bulk' seeds from GH maybe 6 months ago and I don't recall any fierce postage charges. Usually if you query something with them, it works out well for you. One time they didn't have what I wanted, GH substituted with something a bit cheaper and sent me the difference in coins! Heaven knows what they are smoking now.

Comment by Susan on March 21, 2017 at 19:51

They were going to charge me the flat rate for the standard seeds and then, because the 200g packet is not "standard" and extra $11 for that packet as WELL!! Ridiculous. 

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on March 21, 2017 at 18:24

Wow - I've not had a postage bill like that from GH! This is what their website says: '$6.95 for up to 100 standard seed packets or including any other products: $11.95 for Queensland or $13.95 all other states' then: 'Special Orders negotiable' and a note about Express postage.

It's pretty good if you've lots of stuff but $7 for 1 packet of seeds - if that's all you wanted to order - is ott. I look about elsewhere if I only have a few packets of seeds to order.

Flat-rate postage is fine but not for small orders of anything from anyone.

Comment by Susan on March 21, 2017 at 18:12

:)  Roger.  I'm glad you got some too.  Just bunnings Lissa, though I was going to order a 200g packet from greenharvest (bulk = cheaper in long run) along with some other seeds but then got slugged with $17 postage and went "forget it!"

Dave - my thinking exactly except it's too wet for me to WANT to go out and plant :)

Comment by Dave Riley on March 21, 2017 at 0:29

How about that rain!

Flood warning for the Logan River so we must be wet underfoot. Judging from the BOM maps it is spotty but that's the same in Northern NSW as Bellingen -- divided in half -- has found out.

Time to plant out whatever you've got or can get.

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