Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Hi everyone, how's the gardening going?  I've been busy - as usual - but I've still managed to find a couple of hours to get out in the garden and get stuff done.  I have seen a lot of gardening shows/magazines touting that you can have a productive garden with only "1 hour per week"!!   I don't know about you, but that 1 hour wouldn't even cover the time I spend watering let alone any maintenance chores.  I suppose it could happen, if I didn't mind weeds and could let chaos reign, but I do like a "pretty" garden.  It doesn't help that I've been adding new garden beds/new fruit trees/redesigning so I have a list a mile long to get done and only a few hours every week available to do it. 

My walnut (placentia) arrived last week and I desperately needed to get it planted this weekend, so out I got with my post hole digger - in the rain - and found a nice spot for it out in my"extended backyard"...*Park*.  It doesn't look like much but this little baby will reach a final height of 14m and won't produce nuts for 7-10 years. Luckily, I plan never to move from here.

Speaking of which -  I swear I've become Daley's favourite customer, I've spent so much money there :)  I've now received my second free plant offer (the first one I got a china pear guava) but as the only thing I really want/have room for now is a sheppard avocado, I don't know what I'll get.  They do have a cape goosberry that is rather small that I could find some space for but I haven't been able to find one available on Daley's or at nurseries...oops Just checked the Daley's website and they finally have a sheppard avocado available -> I am now $40 poorer but one sheppard avocado and cape gooseberry richer :)  It too will be going in the "extended backyard"... *park*

My little dragonfruit cutting from Lissa is putting on new growth.  I'm so pleased with this as I was concerned that I might have damaged it when I transplanted it.

All my little seeds that I planted 2 weeks ago, in a mix of Tim's composted horse manure and coco peat, have all come up except for the broccoli.  I don't know about you guys but I am having real trouble getting broccoli to come up/stay alive this year.  I've bought a purple sprouting by Mr fothergill that I need to plant out tomorrow.  So here is my mix left to right top to bottom - lettuce (mix), spinach, leeks, shallots, coriander, cauli's, red cabbage, pak choi.

I have been harvesting quite a lot of spinach, lettuce and shallots, about 2-3 zucchini's, eggplant and sugar snap peas each week. 

As you can see - plenty of greens.  I'm using the shallots instead of onions as much as possible at the moment.  However, I did receive my delivery of potato onions this week.  I ordered these from Yelweck farms after I saw all the discussion about them on Dave Riley's blog.  They will go next to the elephant garlic I planted a couple of weeks ago.  You can just see the shoots from the garlic in the photo below.

I have had one of two earlier plantings of broccoli that have come up and survived the heat.  And I'm just about to be harvesting beans. 

The first flowers are appearing on my sugarbaby strawberries - also from Daley's :)  I did lose 3 of the redlands joy but only 1 sugarbaby. - and they are doing much better than all the redland's joy.

My birdseed green manure is doing well.  I'm thinking about leaving this for another 2-4 weeks before digging in or should I leave it longer?   I've never had a successful green manure crop before.

That crazy nectarine/peach flowering that a lot of us experienced a couple of weeks ago has resulted in fruit set.  Unfortunately, as there are no leaves on my tree, I am unsure how this will ripen but I'll leave it on and we shall see.  Did anyone else get fruit set??

And finally,  I posted a photo of my first honey bar from my hive last weekend when Paul from Brisbane backyard bees came round to give me a tutorial in hive maintenance.  He was surprised at how active my bees had been.  We added an extra bar and LOOK!! My busy little bees have already built nearly a full comb on it (where my finger is). AMAZING!!  I can't wait for my first honey harvest.

Well that's it from me.  Enjoy your winter harvests - I hope you've had more success than I in the broccoli stakes :)  Happy gardening people.

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Comment by Lissa on June 14, 2015 at 6:14

You have broccoli and beans harvesting already! Well done.

I (oddly) had trouble with bean seeds not sprouting this season and have had to resort to some market bought seedlings. All my broccoli and cauli came from market seedlings this season. Lazy, but quicker results.

I really do find some brands of seed more reliable than others. I've never kept a tight record of who I bought what off though! Seed growth can depend on so many circumstances too - one hot day with your seedlings drying out can kill everything.

Aren't the bees fun to watch :) I still go out and watch them every day. Mind blowing how dedicated they are to work, they never stop moving even at night time.

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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.)

GrowVetiver 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.

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