Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Well guys, I promised to keep you updated.  I am just about finished all my gardening "to do" chores and boy, is it a great feeling.  Lucky too, because for the remainder of the holidays, I am looking after my niece and 2 nephews (ranging from 1 - 6 years) and going from the state of my garden when Zack was younger, nothing is getting done while I have them. 

There are photo's of my curved garden and my labels up already, but just in case you missed them - here they are.

In the pot you can see is my little Kiwiberry.  Once it grows a bit stronger, I will move it to the garden room bed so it can grow over a trellis.  The  two trees at the back is a custard apple (pinks mammoth) and dwarf irwin mango.  The mango has fruited repeatedly, the custard apple has not.  It is on notice!

Here is the garden room.  Obviously, these line up so that there is room between them to have an archway for the kiwiberry.  The fence is to prevent chook destruction - every garden bed now has a fence.  Starting from the left Imperial mandarin, late lane orange, Satsuma Mandarin, Rio red grapefruit, Cara cara orange, afourer mandarin and china pear guava. 

Along the back has my asparagus and roses.  Unfortunately, the pumpkins growing over the roses were a disaster.  I thought this one had survived but when I looked, all that beautiful growth is coming from the rootstock.  Oh well, I had to order more roses for out the front so will just get some more for here too.  I've also put the Adonis grape in here and will train it along the fence.  If it does well (it is supposed to be disease resistant), I have room to put in another one.  The asparagus are going great here but it is a premium full sun site and I have a wicking bed down the side of the house that is in shade in winter, full sun summer which will be a better use of space so once it really cools down, I'll be digging these up and transplanting.

My earlier attempt at growing raspberries resulted in many deaths.  I was very stupid though, trying to transplant raspberries in the heat!  These ones are doing much better and hopefully I'll get plenty.  They are all in wicking barrels down the side of the house so will get complete shade in winter.  Starting from the left, Native raspberry (have grown these before - very prolific but very invasive), heritage and bicentennial (cannot find ANY information on these - input very welcome.  But do have berries that I can try soon).

I have new growth on my rio red grapefruit already and looked at the Lychees and they too have new growth.  Now is the time to spray with mancozeb Plus. Last year, I nearly lost my lychee crop to erinose mites - they make new growth and flowers appear furry and tell-tale rust coloured blotches underneath older leaves.  I also have trouble with citrus rust mite on my Eureka lemon which deforms new leaves and causes small deformed fruit.  I'm going to spray all citrus as well to make sure I get this under control.

Onto the other stuff - here is my broccoli, cauliflower plantings.   I have been having a nasty case of cut worm, so toilet paper rolls (cut in 1/2) are now being employed to hopefully protect the base of my plants.

Manky cucumber vine still pumping out 1-2 cucumbers a week so even though it looks very ugly, it's staying for the meantime. 

Pawpaw tree is now pumping out 1-2 beautiful pawpaws per week and is absolutely loaded with fruit.

And look - a frog!!

Other things I've been doing has been getting new compost heaps up and running.  With the pumpkin vine, grass clippings, corn stalks and pigeon pea cuttings plus 6 bags of horse manure and all the muck from the chicken coop, I should have a decent amount of compost to use by the end of winter.  I go through the stuff so quickly though.  I've also remulched my vegie patch paths.  This requires scraping back of old mulch, laying down copious amounts of cardboard, replacing the pavers and then use new and old woodchip to cover the cardboard.  I only do this about once every 3 years and now that less water is being used, hopefully the woodchip will break down slower and I won't have to this again for a long time.

I have accomplished a lot, but there is still so much that I need to get done!  I need to do some more winter seed planting and get a trellis set up for the peas, make a new wicking barrel for sweet potatoes, plant my bulbs, order my roses and get them planted, prep a bed for strawberries and plant those to just name a few.  A gardeners work is never done :)

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Comment by Lissa on April 20, 2015 at 5:17

I am loving those labels. You put the year you planted on them as well which is a terrific idea. Fancy going into production?

Isn't it a special moment when the frogs move in! I think it says something very potent about the health of your garden.

I have had a resident green frog for the last few months. Never calls, I just see it around the garden in different spots. Terrified the dogs will find it one day and kill it like they did with the Blue Tongues. They leave the toads entirely alone!

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on April 19, 2015 at 22:37

Frogs can travel amazing distances. Bird bath with stones is good for bees. Fence or some obstruction around the pond to keep out cane toads. I've heard that mat rush (Lomandra sp) thickly planted will keep them out. Our native ground frogs are better jumpers usually than the cane toads.

Comment by Susan on April 19, 2015 at 21:54

Thanks guys.  Elaine, no, I don't have a pond.  I don't know where the little guy came from.  We do have a creek out the back of the park but it is 300 m away so I don't know if he'd make it that far.  I am wanting to get a frog pond started in the future.  I need a water supply for my new bees.  To start with, I'm just going to have a bird bath with gravel in it, but want to upgrade to a pond so I can also grow some water chestnuts and have Lily's. 

Comment by Dianne Caswell on April 15, 2015 at 6:34

Susan, you have been so busy, congrads on getting so much done in such a short time and the artwork on your signs in lovely. It all looks lovely. You ready have quite an orchard growing now, that will mean some beautiful fruit salads. I wish I was your age again.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on April 14, 2015 at 22:20

Looks wonderful - thank you for the update and pix! Love your frog. Think it's an Eastern Dwarf Sedge Frog - the littlest guy with one of the biggest voices in frogdom. Have you got a pond for them to breed in? The boys usually call from reeds/water plants up from the edge of the water.

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