Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

December 4th & its rained every day, we've had 60mm+ in four days but not nearly as much as other areas. Never known such a wet spring ,record rain for Aug,Sept & Oct, have had to re think the gardening as its normally hot & dry with veg browing off.

 

Garlic not behaving normally, planted in March & usually dies off Oct/Nov, only small bulbs but OK, this year the plants have not formed bulbs, infact they are like small leeks, with all the growth in the stem & they are still green & growing, others in the area having the same trouble, except one friend who has dug hers. We wonder if it is just the weather or the fact that we all read an article telling us to plant deeper in the tropics to keep the bulb cooler, what ever we have no garlic this year. I will leave mine in the ground to see if they form bulbs in the autumn. Made the mistake of buying Spanish garlic from the supermarket because I was tired of using Australian bottled, dont waste your money despite large cloves they have no flavour at all, not remotely like garlic.

 

Have rampant cucumber plants but no fruit, mainly male flowers. Friend sugested I look to see if bees were about as so many bee hives have been devastated by the hive beatle, luckely our hive seems OK, but the bees are not visiting my veg patch for some reason, or even the flowering cactus which they normally love, no native bees either - so strange. I've solved the problem by hand polinating, but not why the bees are not interested.

 

Lots of Basil & self sown Bok Choy, but lettuce are very slow, we may have had lots of rain but hardly seen the sun for a month, also I think the rain is leaching nutrients. Can anyone sugest why my tomatoes have no taste - I think it must be lack of something in the soil, calcium or potash?

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Comment by Donna on December 20, 2010 at 5:05

What a shame about your bees Jane, though I can understand your husbands point of view!  You might want to ask Mick Porter (member) about the oven as he has one and has been doing a lot of experimenting I believe.

Good news about the cucumbers, I have nothing growing at the moment - it has been raining forever (or it feels like it) and whenever there has been a sunny day on the weekend I have been stuck washing clothes from piles that I feel sure reach up to the roof!

Comment by Jane on December 19, 2010 at 17:27

Other news, we fired & baked in the cob oven for the first time this week - will post some pics

At the moment the oven is only covered with plastic, will we have to put a roof over or is there some means of waterproofing it?? anyone know, I have tried googling it but not much help.

Comment by Jane on December 19, 2010 at 17:15

Sad to say we have lost our bees to the small hive beetle, neighbours also the same, its very prevelent in this area at the moment. Only thing we salvaged is some honey which we will separate tomorrow. Will not be gettiing any more as my husband never liked working them - was stung badly once, & his face all swelled up, dispite a veil etc.

Better luck with the cucumbers, several have now set, some good sunny weather last week helped produce female flowers - now back to storms & rain. We live on the road to the Awoonga Dam, lots of sightseeing traffic this week as the high dam has filled for the first time & is overflowing, a wonderfull sight, it was built about 2005.

Comment by Florence on December 6, 2010 at 9:53
We've been getting a lot of rain on the weekend here too... so didn't do any garden, I was soaked just having a walk to check things out. Although I probably didn't have time anyway.
I did find a few garlic shoots where I planted garlic last Autumn ~ Hope your bee's a alright..
Comment by Jane on December 5, 2010 at 16:46
thanks for all your comments, seems other are having similar problems.
Re the bees Scarlett, it is possible that the hive has died out & the bees we can see all goingflying off in one direction are infact robbing our hive of honey after the bees have died off. My husband has to get all kitted out & take a look, a job he never likes - so I wait & hope! Also its also not a good idea to open them up in cloudy weather in case they are still in residence.
Comment by Scarlett on December 5, 2010 at 12:21
i tried growing garlic last year and it did that - I think i had it too deep - we used it like leeks, it's very yummy, but had to get it before the woody flower stalk started up the middle

I hope your bees are OK. could be a virus :( can you provide food for them at the hive door or something? keep their strength up if they're fighting off germs. could be a disease risk maybe. i don't know
Comment by Donna on December 5, 2010 at 8:22
Think it might be just the weather - the rain itself in addition to the overcast conditions.

http://www.umanitoba.ca/afs/hort_inquiries/fruit_and_fruit_plants/p...
Environmental conditions can also affect fruit production in cucurbits. Like most fruit plants, pollen viability and fertilization are influenced by temperature. Adverse temperatures during critical periods can have a negative effect on pollination and fruit set. Cucurbits are also sensitive to moisture availability. If drought conditions persist during flowering, fruit will be deformed and yield will be reduced. Avoid overhead watering during daylight hours as this may case a decrease in essential bee activity. Also avoid the use of insecticides, especially during flowering.

http://gardendoctor.wordpress.com/2010/02/
However, most plants we consume as food are not adapted to low light conditions or the filtered light they might receive indoors. They require much higher light levels to produce the edible parts from which we in turn derive our energy. As I mentioned, preferably up to six hours a day are required, in a north* or east facing window. Less than this, and the plants will be less productive, and often become spindly as they respond to low light by stretching their stems in order to grow “out of the shade”. West facing windows are less preferable, due to the increased danger of the plants becoming too hot in the afternoon sun. (* In the northern hemisphere, a south facing window is best).
Comment by Lissa on December 5, 2010 at 7:03
There you go! I had heaps of bees with the nasturtium flowering recently and had cucumbers all over the place. Now the nasturtiums are pulled out, not so many cucumbers! Good clue that one lol. Always have lots of flowering things in your garden to attract the bees!
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on December 4, 2010 at 19:23
Potash (potassium) is supposed to be the major nutrient for flavour, Tomatoes like Beans, Broad Beans and just about every fruiting plant you can think of, a big potash users.

Hand pollinating is just fine so long as their are female flowers to pollinate! My 3 varieties of cucurbits which are weighed down with male flowers have been very reluctant to put on any female flowers. What magic words do I whisper? :-)
Comment by Donna on December 4, 2010 at 16:38
I hear you wish the rain would go away now! My gardens are shocking, need to clear out two and have been trying to get things to grow in the other three for weeks now but I think there's not enough sun/ warmth for the things I am trying to grow... or something!

Might just be the weather why things aren't getting pollinated, also I think the weather/ sun has something to do with the female flowers coming out.

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