Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Hi everyone.  

I’m getting more extreme in the garden at the moment and I think every Tom, dick and Harry is currently doing the same.   I had run out of my trusty rooster booster fertiliser and went to Bunnings to grab some more and thought I’d see if there were any seeds or flower seedlings I fancied.   The answer to that question was a resounding “no!” Lucky for me, my seed stock is nice and robust because there was NOTHING on the shelves.  

I had some roses die out in the front verge garden last year that I never replaced.  I had already put an eggplant out the right side at beginning of summer but had all this space on the left side.  In it I have spring onions, Kurosawa carrots, turnips, beets, onions and tonya’s pink podded bush bean    

While I’m a firm believer in my wicking beds, sometimes, some things just don’t go as well as hoped so I’m looking at this as an opportunity to test out some things I think don’t do well in wicking beds and may have to rethink how I grow them in future. 

I also have not had much success with peas in recent years so I have dug up an area along my veggie garden fence and planted different types of peas.  I’ll compare their growth and performance to those I planted in wicking bed (in front) 2 weeks ago.  The peas I’ve planted are “Shiraz” - purple pea, green devil snow pea ( these are both climbing and are right next to fence) and then row in front has dwarf peas - snow - Oregon and snap - sugar bon. 

I am cutting down my massive custard apple.  It has many problems that warrant its removal a) won’t set fruit unless I hand pollinate religiously - managed to do this one year only b) not dwarf and has grown way big, way fast. I trim every year and this is the size of it! C) don’t love custard apples that much to put up with this drama! :).  In its place, I’m planning to put in the seedling grown lychee “Erdon lee”. 

I also bought another Panama berry which I planted outside the fence and a Jaboticaba which I’ve given partial shade to as I’ve killed 2 of them from drying out. 

My pumpkin vine that had taken over my rose garden inside the fence must have heard my threats and produced some decent female flowers that I hand pollinated and then netted against fruit fly. FF is such a problem at my place that I wouldn’t get fruit without netting. 


In terms of fruit, I’m getting mandarins at the moment and banana’s and paw paw will not be far off.  I’m also thinking about getting a nashi pear as they apparently fruit at this time of year and would be a welcome addition. 

I am starting to get some tomato flowers so YAY!  
I am also going to have to get ratsack out - bloody rats ate through my pineapple!!!

Lastly, I’ll leave you with a shot of my zinnias.  So pretty.   Happy gardening guys and stay safe :)



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Comment by Jeff Kiehne on March 28, 2020 at 7:34

With banana's water can be a problem  in the dry weather  they  still survive but do not produce very big fruit  helps if can place where there water from roof  or ground water as we are on a hill  and now have two new  houses behind that had yard excavated recently and think our  yard may have lack of ground water now.

Comment by Susan on March 27, 2020 at 18:28

If any of you are having trouble with banana's - I put a couple of bags of horse poo on them once per year.  At the same time, I'll chuch\k some rooster booster around and I always cut down the tree one it has fruited and remove only enough suckers that the patch doesnt get crowded.  That is literally it.  They don't even get watered but I do put all their leaves and tree trunks cut down around the base of the patch so it keeps any moisture in.  Don't know if this helps but it works for me. 

Comment by Susan on March 27, 2020 at 18:24

Too late.  RIP custard apple :)

Comment by Jeff Kiehne on March 27, 2020 at 13:23

The custard apple tree . could it be trimmed back and transplanted .

Comment by Christa on March 27, 2020 at 13:01

Have you tried girdling the custard apple. It might force it to flower.  We have one dwarf custard apple tree (Tropic Sun) and a seedling tree and the dwarf is growing well so far.  

Blast, you wait so long for a little pineapple and then a rodent gets it.   Our Erdon Lee is doing ok at this stage. Gee you can grow those bananas well.  Good luck with your seedlings, can't wait to see how they grow later.

Comment by Fiona Ryan on March 27, 2020 at 9:47

Well I’ve got heaps of time before the rats start eating into my pineapples as I only planted the crowns yesterday but I’ll keep that in mind as they are around in the dark recesses of our garden.

Interested to read your comment about partial shade with the Jaboticaba. I have resisted buying one as I couldn’t give it full sun but perhaps that’s not such an issue if it can get several hours a day + some shade.

Thanks - you’ve given me a lot to ponder.

Comment by Susan on March 26, 2020 at 18:17

Yep Sophie,  I'm netting them in the morning as soon as they open and I pollinate them.  There are still some flowers that open but the fruit at the base looks a bit dodgy like its already not developing properly so I don't bother with those.  Every decent female flower that I have pollinated in the morning and bagged has set.  I now have 4 pumpkins about grape fruit size.

Comment by Sophie on March 26, 2020 at 13:00

Nice :) How can you tell if the pumpkins have set - my are dropping off too :(. Are you finding the bag is helping?

Comment by Valerie on March 24, 2020 at 21:00

Aargh sorry about typos. I can't edit on ipad. You must be cringing now. I am anyway. I need better glasses. Pray the optometrist is still opened on Monday. 

Comment by Valerie on March 24, 2020 at 20:58

That looks great. 

I am holding on till Thursday for the bunning delivery, though I mihg t have peak tomorrow.

the zinnias look great. Flowers make the garden such a happier place to be. 

We never had fruitflies in our pumpkins, not even at Yoorala where it is a huge problem for everything else. That's interesting,

I love panama berries and jaboticaba. Very tempted to buy some as well. 

Shame about the pineapple when it takes sooooo long to grow. I hear your pain. How about growing brambles or nettles around them next time. (I still can't beleive I bought nettle seeds aha!) 

Peas: I had good results in my very sunny bed. Not doing so well on the side where they get less sun. Plenty of drainage too. They don't like too much water.

Yay for the tomatoes and paw paw and bananas. You won't starve. I am definitely more determined than ever to plant a good autum crop. It's a good time to be a gardener. 

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