Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

It's a lovely time of year in the garden and it's been nice and cool so far, although the temperatures have been starting to climb for the past couple of days. I've finally finished exams so I'm looking forward to tending a lot more to my vegie patch and hopefully putting in a new bed for next year.

We went to the Roma St botanic gardens in October and found this great topiary giraffe - it's so cute. : )

After that huge amount of rain we had I waited a week or so and then decided to harvest the garlic. We got bulbs from all the cloves that I planted. I think I may have left them in a little too long - almost all the leaves had died back. Hopefully they'll still taste good.

And Lissa - Here are my blueberries so far. I picked the third one this morning - it was hiding under a leaf. There are more on their way and new flowers and buds on the bush so hopefully I'll get more over summer.

The lone strawberry plant that made it from seed has got heaps of small strawberries on it, waiting to plump up and ripen over summer. Yummy!!! I think strawberries would be my favourite fruit.

We've had a lot of visitors to the garden lately - or maybe I've just been home "studying" so I've noticed them more. We have two kingfishers that hunt in our yard each day. I'm not sure if one's a baby or just the male/female of a pair.

The kookaburras are still around, and I frequently walk out the back door to find one sitting on the washing line looking for lizards and worms. Mummy magpie that terrorised cyclists on our street while nesting has also been raiding the yard for her baby that sits near her and squawks.

The fruit trees are growing slowly but surely. The washington navel has one orange growing on it about the size of a giant marble and has dropped all the rest. The valencia seems to have dropped all of its fruit buds and the mandarin still has most of its fruit buds. It's their first year in so I'm not expecting a huge crop from any of them.

The avocado tree still needs a home in the ground and we keep changing our minds as to where to put it. We need to get some sand for drainage before we plant it too. The passionfruit is fruiting again (sorry Donna!), and is really responding to all the rain and my efforts at remembering to water it.

The corn is doing well and is nearly a foot high. I planted cucumber in between the rows, although it is fast outgrowing the corn, even though I planted it later.

The dwarf butter beans are flowering - purple flowers which are quite pretty. The bean fly doesn't seem to be so bad this year, although time will tell when I'm wanting to harvest. Do dwarf beans need anything to climb on or a support? They are just flopping on the ground at the moment and seem to be quite happy for now.

The tomatoes all have very nice large fruit which are being attacked by slugs and flies. The plants themselves have succumbed to septoria leaf spot, and no matter how much I try not to water leaves and pick off the affected leaves I can't get rid of it. There's no natural or organic fix for it that I've found. On the other hand, we are inundated with kilos of cherry tomatoes. I have to go out with a little bucket to pick them each day just to keep up with them. They're also affected by the leaf spot but don't seem to mind too much.

The water chestnuts are growing well and are starting to spread through my makeshift clamshell pond. The QLD arrowroot it growing very fast and will soon be screening our water tank. Thanks again Elaine. The young peanuts survived the onslaught of slugs and snails during the rain and are now starting to take off.

Well that's all from me for now. Hopefully I'll be able to blog about more additions to the patch soon.

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Comment by Vanessa Collier on November 16, 2010 at 14:06
ElsieMay I think Elaine's right. If you can't bear to dig it up completely you can always scrape some dirt away from the bulb very carefully to check on it. If it's not ready you can put the dirt back. Some garlic finishes later in spring but it's getting pretty hot now so it should have at least started to die back by now.

Florence - I haven't had many troubles with birds but I have my plant in a pot on the front steps so it's probably too close to the house for the birds to be brave enough to come and eat them. So far anyway - touch wood. Nets are so much hassle.
Comment by Florence on November 15, 2010 at 22:02
Envy of your garlic crop :) I am getting slugs for the first time this year, and found some in a cabbage I harvested today >_ I am starting to get blueberries too :).. I've netted it this year as I lose almost all to the birds last year... but the net keeps tangling the growing blueberries and I accidentally ripped some unripe fruits off ^^
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on November 15, 2010 at 16:48
Pull it up Larissa and see what is happening. My guess is that it is shooting again and you might have lost your crop by now. Yes it should have died down by now and that's when it's picked and dried for storage.
Comment by Lissa on November 14, 2010 at 6:40
Admiring your blueberry crop Vanessa :D
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on November 13, 2010 at 6:46
You can and they might Vanessa but it's more sure you'll have some planting stock if you take it up now, dry it and keep it safe until planting time.
Comment by Donna on November 12, 2010 at 15:09
Sounds really great Vanessa!

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