Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

The Opportunity of all this Rain. What happenstance! So plant out

It sure is raining. Buckets of the stuff.

Who woulda thought?

Opportunism knocks.

The Winter Solstice may have just visited but hey this is the sub tropics!

With so such moisturised goodness under foot, what can we plant?

If we are expecting to be frost free, well then: go for it I say. Get rid of all those old seed packets by planting  out their contents.Clear out the cupboard for a Spring buy up.

PLANT LISTS

Here's a list. What do you think?

  • Cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Silverbeet
  • Radish
  • Thyme
  • Carrot
  • Beetroot
  • Chilli
  • Mustard
  • Cape Gooseberry
  • Chives
  • Dill
  • Marjoram
  • Parasley
  • Oregano
  • Chives
  • Endive
  • Celery
  • Rhubarb
  • Spinach
  • Mizuna
  • Peas
  • Coriander
  • Rocket
  • Cress
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale

I'd add these :

  • Potatoes
  • Beans
  • Spring Onions
  • Pumpkin
  • Tomato
  • Sweet Peppers

Of course, we may all be in the one climate zone -- but back yard  ambiences are sure to vary.

This time of year the bugs are less active. The weed demographics may change but if you can deal with chick weed infestations  it aint so bad. 

FROST

Of course if you are likely to be frosty at all, one trick is to grow your plants above the ground as frosts are low and sneeky. Stay away from the valleys.

I'm not making a ruling but my assumption is that here in Brisbane we live and grow in a 'frost free area' -- although I've known scattered frost outbreaks to occur.

Back in 1985 there was a nasty one....And the Green P Farm in Deagon got frosted a few years back. 

Here on the coast it's a hell-freezes-over event.

If the warnings go out, cover your plants. Tuck them in for the night. Keep the moisture (and dew) off them.

MULCH

I'm not arguing with Ag Science but mulching supposedly keeps the soil cold in Winter. Reason being that the dirt is shielded from the heat of the sun's rays. In cold climates they mulch in Winter to keep the soil frozen and the plants dormant.

Fair enough.

But the colder months here are our driest times each year so maybe we'd like to hang onto soil moisture?

Nonetheless, the times I've taken my soil temperature under the mulch  has registered surprising warmth.  Last year I swam in our above ground pool during June and July and similarly I was impressed with how 'warm' the water kept.

Yes: I took its temperature before each plunge.

So maybe, I say, we don't live in cooler climes. Indeed, if you trench compost -- or bury manures --  you may have the option of accidentally installing soil heating. Even a thick mulch can become active.

The 19th century Parisian gardeners --maraîchiers (market gardeners)-- grew veg out of season that way. 

During his time in Paris, Weathers (John Weathers 1909: French Market–Gardening) also observed that “from October till the end of March hot-beds [were] in constant use for the production of early crops.” Essentially, a thick layer of moistened, well-compacted manure is buried under about a foot of soil. Decomposition creates heat and warms the soil above. By using a hotbed in conjunction with cold frames, the maraîchiers provided a friendly growing environment to encourage early production. This allowed them to harvest salad crops in the depths of winter and melons and cucumber in early June.LINK

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Comment by Andrew Cumberland on July 16, 2019 at 21:31

I agree Jeff. 

Comment by Jeff Kiehne on July 16, 2019 at 9:47

What seems to kill off late planted potatoes   in Brisbane  is not the heat but the humidity all goes well until get several days of hot humid weather .

Comment by Dave Riley on July 15, 2019 at 22:22

Here's the drill on spuds:

MAIN POINTS:

  • Plant from April-onwards for three months.
  • April plantings will be ready for cropping after 60 to 90 days, or around July.
  • Potato plants DO NOT LIKE/NEED TOO MUCH WATER.Water fortnightly if it doesn't rain.  Read more....
Comment by Jeff Kiehne on July 15, 2019 at 9:51

When is it too late to plant potatoes .

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on July 14, 2019 at 18:18

I think we have a few more weeks of cold and then, yep, by August we should be good to go.  

Comment by Dave Riley on July 14, 2019 at 10:11

Fort those interested further I dug up my old post on 'the seasons'. No sooner than you get into chill mode, it will start to warm up.

5 Seasons Calendar: adding ‘sprinter’ and ‘sprummer’

Comment by Dave Riley on June 28, 2019 at 19:27

I know we got most of it, compared to other locales, but over the last few days we received 62 mm of rain when the month's average is 28 mm -- and June is supposedly our driest month.

Comment by Dave Riley on June 28, 2019 at 9:50

I took my soil temp under the mulch this morning  at 9am.

18C.(& it was taken in a shaded spot too)

Air temp was  18C per the BOM with full sun at the same time.

I log my garden's sun exposure. Handy come the Solstice. Number of hours vary from place to place. So I plant accordingly. In my mind, the spots that get more shade --and consequently less sunshine --  I utilise to move my garden 'south' into temperate zoning, and plant accordingly.

I've also done a big cut back of trees so that in some places I can let more light reach the soil directly.

This is one thing I took from Syntropy.

Come the warmer weather they will grow up/out and cause shade.

I'm also now a keen trimmer of vines: choko, tromboncino, bottle gourd, loofa...

I don't want to drown in harvest, so being brutal works out for me. Since my vines are laddered up all over the place, this trimming works really well for me. In Summer I use these climbers for shade.

From what was a 'hot' garden in the warm months -- and sandy soil really gets hot -- I can now intervene and cool by manipulating shade. No need for shade cloth: I just plant with the shadow line.

In Winter, I plant against it.

Comment by Valerie on June 28, 2019 at 7:53

Right. I am planting them for school then. Otherwise they never ready before it's too late. Thanks for the tip.

Comment by Susan on June 28, 2019 at 5:09

Peak season for me for cucumber.  No pesky fruit fly. I just harvested 6 off my vine and started another plant. 

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