Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

The garden is working so well in my favour

I harvested mulch from my Vetiver hedges today now that the grass clippings are no longer available -- as lawns are in hiatus -- as are lawnmower men.

A new system of carpeting soil is upon me as I laid out the stems over one of my productive beds.

Beats weeding.

This time of year the chickweed drives me crazy.

I also planted out seeds -- yes seeds! -- for potato onion and perennial leeks which I got from a specialty nursery in Bendigo.  In the meantime my most recent seed raising project  is powering on with my new soil mix fostering better seedling growth.

I'm gonna end up with many more seedlings than I have room for. Fortunately, with the hols in play I can plant the surplus at the school garden ready for when the children return next term.

Some I may even sell off at the local monthly community markets in August.

Now that the garden is working so well in my favour I regret that I'm soon to be over supplied with tomatoes. I have far too many coming up ready for harvest -- with limited storage space for the glut. I usually freeze them for cooking purposes -- the Tommy Toes especially -- but I may have to make passata as well -- something I've not done before.

I was browsing through the latest Green Harvest catalogue and noted that a lot of hardware was on offer to deal with diseases and infestations. Touch wood -- but I really don't have much problem with these ailments. I'll get fungal infections in some zucchinis and other plants may under-perform but plagues are not my gardening norm.

Because of my cottage gardening roots my addiction to 'mixed vegetable growing' has been something of a shibboleth. I'm sure I overdo the melange. This is why my garden appears unplanned and messy. While I'm trying to make my gardening perspective more ordered outback, I'm pretty sure that this jungle of so many different plants has worked in my favour.

Vegetable Garden in the New Guinea Highlands that reminds me of my own.

Aside from what-you-lose-on-the-swings-you gain-on-the-slides sort of thing --I must be confusing the beasties that seek to do harm to my plants. Either that or my regiments of earth worms fend off potential attackers. Since I mix it up so much I'm not actually following formal rotation principles. While I won't plant the same species in the same spot in consecutive plantings, at the back of my head is the notion that when you mulch as heavily as I do, the soil itself is rotated and renewed anyway.

Once my Vetiver hedges are consolidated and I have x-number of 'hedged' beds, maybe I'll have a template to work with. In the meantime, it has the appearance of anarchy.

One principle rules: nothing leaves. Aside from what we eat, everything is mulched or composted with additional inputs of lawn clippings, DIY urine and kitchen scraps. What weeds the chooks don't eat are turned into weed teas or dropped on the pathways or beds as mulch.

Over the last week I've harvested: coriander, spring onions, tomatoes, green beans, Okinawan spinach, radishes of various types, chilies, sweet peppers, bulb fennel, radicchio, parsley, lemons, chokoes, the last of my Kabocha pumpkins, turmeric, thyme, aloe vera, oregano, and a cabbage.

What my landscape lacks is flowers -- I mean as such, not as part of a vegetable. I've been slack.

Indeed, it is said that the 'Three Sisters' (Corn/Beans/Squash) 4th sister is the sunflower and my garden is simply far too green.

Views: 69

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of Brisbane Local Food to add comments!

Join Brisbane Local Food

Important note about adding photos:

Always add photos using the "From my computer" option, even if you are on a mobile phone or other device.


  • Add Photos
  • View All


  • Add Videos
  • View All


Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

The Vetiver Community Project is a plant nursery run by Dave & Keir Riley that harvests and grows Vetiver grass for local community applications and use. It is based in Beachmere, just north of Brisbane, Australia.

Place your business add here! ($5 per month or $25 for 9 months)

Talk to Andy on 0422 022 961.  You can  Pay on this link

© 2020   Created by Andrew Cumberland.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service