Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Hi everyone, just thought I'd share what has been happening in my garden.

The first thing I'm most excited about is the asparagus!! I bought some crowns ($4 each BARGAIN!!) from a guy at the market back in winter (had no idea how old they were or when they would produce) and at the beginning of spring got some small spears that I let turn into fronds.  Didn't expect anything else but with all this  rain, they have started producing again. This was harvested over a week (only 2 plants currently putting up decent sized shoots, other 3 I'm leaving alone) and got this many again last week.  Good enough to have a feed.  Can't wait until all 5 start producing,  it will be great.

My last attempt at growing my Black Futsu pumpkins was a failure.  I only got 2 and picked them early because either possums or rats were starting to get into them.  Planted these 2 back in September and they are looking great.  I already have 7 pumpkins developing nicely.  A bit susceptable to powdery mildew (as are my charentais melons) so have been spraying all curbits to try to keep it in check.

One thing that isn't susceptable to mildew is the Moon & stars watermelon.  But, I only got 3 Melons so I'm not sure if I will keep it going as it takes over everything.  However, check out the size of the melon (photo does not do it justice).  I reckon it weighs about 5-6 kg if not more.

Have bought 3 new blueberry plants.  Am kicking myself as my other 2 are about 3 years old now and I'm getting a good handful every 2 days (on the right).  If I had of bought 5, I would be getting a decent feed by now.  However, I wasn't sure how'd they'd go in my garden so was reluctant to invest in something that may die. 

My first banana's.  YAY!!

I,ve repeatedly tried to grow strawberries with very limited success.  This time I decided to give self-watering pots a try (I have 5).  So far, so good.  I only need to water them once every 5 days (refill the reservoir) and they look good.  Only problem was that I found toads were getting into the reservoir.  My solution, a little bit of metal mesh cut in three spots so it acts like an old fashioned peg and blocks the toads and still easy for me to get water in there.

And finally, my attempt to grow broccoli throughout summer.  The breed is Kaliaan Express and it gives open florets (a little like the sprouts after the main broccoli head).  I've taken precautions to cover them to stop moths.  Something still gets in there and has a little chew but for the most part, no sprays or anything and still looking good (we all know that normal broccoli would be covered by now in grubs).  Haven't yet harvested any so can't comment yet on flavour, but will let you know.  

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Comment by Susan on December 3, 2013 at 21:30
Btw Lissa, have no idea what the banana is. I have my liscense and bought from a registered nursery but did not write down. Maybe a ducasse or?? Gold finger. I got two diff types, that's all I can remember.
Comment by Susan on December 3, 2013 at 21:27
Well my soil is really heavy clay. What I did each time was dig a deep hole using a post hole digger and then filled it with mixture of compost, peat moss, azealea fertiliser and, just to be on the safe side that my soil was acidic enough, some wettable sulfer. It seems to do the trick! I did buy another blueberry bush about 6 months ago but got a bit cocky and didn't do all of the above and, naturally, it died. So something in my little mix is obviously working as my new bushes are thriving.
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on December 3, 2013 at 20:34

So far the best results have been using Azalea/Camelia potting mix as part of the mix in the pot - and using a pot rather than trying to amend general garden soil.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on December 3, 2013 at 18:32

I can kill a blueberry at 50 paces.  :-(

Comment by Lissa on December 3, 2013 at 6:08

Oh....and well done with the blueberries :) Your soil must suit them. My one plant died some time back. I'll give them another go sometime in the future, perhaps keep them in pots.

Comment by Lissa on December 3, 2013 at 6:06

Very clever use of the mesh to block the toads. I didn't have success with strawberries for years either, and then they suddenly just took off - the season suited them. Perhaps the self watering pots are the way to go.

Congrats on the banana bunch :) What sort are they?

Trying the Stars & Moon myself yet again this year. I have no luck growing watermelon from seed so trying a seedling from the market. Also trying some Piel de Sapo melon which is around the shops at the moment. No harm in trying.

Brocolli all year round would be great. Interested to hear how you go with this variety and your trial.

Comment by Jane on December 2, 2013 at 12:29

Great Blog Susan its good to hear of the crops others are growing in the hot weather, interesting with the broccoli I've tried the same but my plants just rotted in the hot weather.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on December 1, 2013 at 17:07

Good to hear from you Susan! You can water those self-watering pots from the top, there's no detriment that I've found. When I had a water reservoir in mine (I've since changed the design a tad) I found Striped Marsh frogs loved the space.

Very interested to see how the Broccoli goes in the summer - apart from keeping the Cabbage White butterflies away and the Grasshoppers.

If you can keep your melon and pumpkin fruit off the ground, they will mature with much less rotting - something like pieces of styrene or timber or even a brick or tile will just keep the skin from sitting on the ground.

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