Brisbane Local Food

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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 Dave Riley on June 27, 2019 at 16:41

Yes: I would have thought so too, Valerie.

But here's the drill (n Centigrades):

Germination temperature: 15C to 32C - Do not plant until soil reaches 18C.

Days to emergence: 3 to 10 - May germinate in 3 days at 26C to 32C. Germination may take 10 days or longer at cooler temperatures.

FYI: I was at the Bribie Island Community Nursery today and they're installing a new greenhouse for making cuttings which will be heated pad heated from underneath.

So the point, I guess, is soil temperature.

Comment by Valerie on June 27, 2019 at 14:17

A bit early for cucumber, isn't it?

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GrowVetiver

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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