Brisbane Local Food

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Progress with fruit trees (as nothing else is happening in my garden)

Hi guys,  like the title implies, my vegetable gardens are still a wasteland of non-productivity.  The only thing I can get out of it at the moment are carrots, beans, celery and corn.  So many of my beds are empty or have last of non-productive stuff that I haven't gotten rid of.  In aid of that, I sourced some resistant to mildew "nitro" zucchini seeds and button squash.  Hopefully, they'll take off and I'll get some zucchs soon.  I've also given up on the rattlesnake climber beans.  Just too much effort in harvesting and trellising.  I have one last set flowering now but the other two crops can go and I've gone back to my standard yellow wax bush variety.  I have replanted water melon seeds (moon & stars - mildew resistant) and toad skin melons that I saved seed from a beautiful market grown one, down the side of the house now that I have fully chookified the side wicking bed - Those bloody chooks kept getting in there and digging everything up.  I have one lone Charentais melon that I left in a pot that has not succumbed to powdery mildew so I'm leaving that where it is, saving the seeds and will try planting these again but in pots away from every thing else. 

So I'm going to focus on the fruiting side of things which looks impressive.  My pawpaw still hasn't ripened but just seeing it ( and all the other little babies) makes my mouth water.  I LOVE a good pawpaw - these are a yellow variety from my Mum's seeds. (sorry - no pics as not much has changed from last blog except size)

Mango's and lychees are starting to colour.  Lychees are small but hopefully they will be good.  They didn't flesh out as much as I'd hoped - these were a no-named variety that I bought at the markets years ago.

My panama berry tree has its first fruit on it.

And my shatoot mulberry and black sapote are now in the ground.  The mulberry is near the chook pen so even though it is dwarf,  it's branches should weep enough to give extra shade. 

You can also see my rosella's around it.  I am rather stupid.  I had asked you guys when I should pick them and Janice told me in my last post - but I didn't read her response properly.  I thought I picked them BEFORE they flowered and was getting really cranky at my little trees as they kept bursting into flower before I could pick them.  It wasn't till after the 6th or 7th one that I ripped off in disgust that I went back and re-read it and realized I had to wait till AFTER it flowers - duh!!  So here's my first flower that I'm leaving on my tree :)

The banana's have filled out quickly.  So far I have counted 9 hands and each hand has about 13 bananas.  We are in for a massive banana glut so lucky my dehydrator is ready :)

I ordered some individual little fruitfly exclusion bags to try and get some capsicums.  I went searching for an unstung apple to try them on but found only one on the entire tree.  Even the smallest apples mostly had stings.

Passionfruits have come back to life and are covered in new fruit.  I also have some self -sown yellow seedlings that I need to find a spot for and plant out.

My little cumquat tree is covered in new fruit.  Conversely, the poor multigraft citrus beside it is still struggling.  It's right next to the compost heap and everything I've read says too much nitrogen will make it drop all its fruit.  I'm thinking I need to rip it out of its spot and put it in a pot.  I'll get a nice big self watering one and move it soon.

While not a fruit, it is not in the main vegie patch, my asparagus is going great.  These are my little $1 bargain plants I got from masters in winter.  They are going fantastic despite the chickens constantly scratching around there.  I've decided I'm moving them in winter.  I have this area down the side of the house that is completely in shade in winter (when they are dormant) and in full sun from spring to mid Autumn.  Where they are now, I'm going to get some more blueberries and have that whole row taken up with them. 

Well that's it guys.  Happy gardening and Merry christmas

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Comment by Susan on December 23, 2014 at 20:49

Hi Darren,  I looked up mouse melons on Rob bob's site after your recommendation and I may have to give them a go.  It looks like I would need to find some space where they could go a bit nuts though.  Hi Elizabeth.  Thanks :)  Re the blood orange - is it worth growing down here?  I already have 2 oranges, but I saw these in bunnings the other day and was curious.  Do we get enough heat for them to go Red?  My Eureka lemon tree has gone all out.  Since it was planted, it has never stopped producing and I'm always getting new fruit forming.  I harvest between 1 to 2 lemons per week - PERFECT!! I'd much rather have a constant supply than a glut.

Hi Lissa,  will definitely keep an eye on it.  I only have 3 non-dwarf varieties of fruit trees planted in my garden - the panama berry, custard apple & lemon.  Those, I plan to always keep pruned to a reasonable height.  Hi Elaine, I'm unsure if it's fruit fly or some other creepy crawly but either way, the bags should work. With my capsicums,  I've just pulled out the old plants and have 3 new ones planted in a different bed that are already fruiting.  One of them looks to be a miniature type and seems to ripen up without getting stung - I'm wondering if they are like the cherry tomatoes and just don't get stung?  If anyone has any experience with the smaller caps and fruit fly, please weigh in. 

Comment by DARREN JAMES on December 21, 2014 at 19:48

Hi Susan have you ever tried growing the mouse melons although not a squash I  have never had a downy mildew problem with them maybe they aren't a true cucurbit. Also why not give the sweet potatoes a go don't forget the leaves are also edible mine are really thriving in this hot weather and humidity .Might be a good idea to put them in a large pot like a lot of the blf gang do. Plenty of cuttings for you at my place if you need any  will bring some to next garden visit if convenient.cheers

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on December 21, 2014 at 9:23

The Panama Berry which currently is languishing in a smaller pot will eventually be planted into a 200L wicking bin. Its roots are not going anywhere! Not certain if it is deciduous but it can be pruned to keep it within picking height. I never mind sharing the crop with wild birds though so the Parrots will be welcome to a few fruits.

Comment by Lissa on December 21, 2014 at 5:17

Lovely :)

Yum to the Panama Berry. Very tasty little fruit.

As mentioned before though, once the tree gets bigger it's very hard to crop the tiny berries from up high and that's when it starts to attract the noisy droves. Plus the tree grows huge and the roots are invasive, so just keep an eye on it.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on December 20, 2014 at 21:41

Love your reports, Susan! Apples … are you certain it is Queensland Fruit Fly which stings those fruit? Any fruit I've had with grubs inside looks perfect on the outside, not distorted like that Apple is. The Chokoes when affected with (I suppose) the Cucumber beetle, get distorted similar to the Apple. Whether the Cuke beetle or a similar species affects Apples, I really don't know.

Capsicums are 'gross feeders' (gross phrase!) and need lots of nutrients and water. It's possible that yours might be short of both or either and so stressed and attract fruit fly.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on December 20, 2014 at 20:39

Looks good Susan.  I suspect it's too hot for much else besides fruit. 

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