Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

My edible garden: the beginning

Day 1.

I have wanted an edible garden for years and decided to do something about it yesterday. I live with family (I'm one of those perpetual students!) and also like the idea of having a wide variety of healthy, non-GM, excellent quality foods which are almost free. We recently got a retaining wall done, and in the infinite wisdom of a certain nameless family member (not me), the "soil" removed from the retaining wall area was spread across the back yard to even it out a bit.

Sadly, the "soil" was actually clay, and a good portion of the back yard, including my proposed garden area, is solid, aweful clay. It actually bends my spade when I attempt to dig into it. I did spray a whole bottle of some clay breaker stuff on it to attempt to soften it up, but it has done nothing. Even 30 minutes of soaking with tank water only gets the water about a millimetre into the clay. I might have to hire a rotary hoe for a few hours, rip up the clay and hope there's some half OK soil underneath.


Day 2.

Watered the clay breaker futher into the clay, still with only a millimetre's penetration. :-(

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Comment by Elaine de Saxe on June 18, 2010 at 19:17
We've talked about several different approaches ... if you can Daniel - borrow as many books on organic gardening as you can from your local library. Although it might seem daunting and everyone has different ideas, you will get some ideas which sound good to you. Go out and follow those ideas until you have proved them one way or the other. Then you fine tune as you go and even then someone will come up with some fresh ideas and you try them. Gardening, like living, is a series of experiments with something to learn all the time. It's challenging and fun and you meet some really nice people :-)
Comment by Scarlett on June 18, 2010 at 19:10
raised beds?
Comment by Donna on June 18, 2010 at 8:00
Think clay breaker takes awhile to work... you could try using a pitchfork to stab holes all around in the hope that it penetrates better...

In the meantime I would recommend that you get a few styrafoam boxes free from a greengrocer and start growing things in there in the meantime - lettuce and radish are quick growing crops. Also start some herbs off... if you need any seeds there is a thread here http://brisbanelocalfood.ning.com/group/brisbaneseedsavers/forum/to... showing what seeds are currently available that you could pick up from the June Garden Visit if you are interested.

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