Brisbane Local Food

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What are you planting, harvesting and preparing your soil for now?

I thought it might be helpful to see what everyone is Planting, Harvesting and Preparing for in the garden now. Perhaps this would be helpful to those of us who would like to plant something a bit different to our normal fare. We have a few member who always have some out of left field ideas that we have picked up with gusto, and we are now finding ourselves eating many new & interesting foods.

Is anyone preparing beds etc. for the next Seasons Produce & what type of Preparations are you making, Soil Type, Fertilizer, Manures or that Special Treatment. What have you found works best for certain types of Produce, Fruit & Nut Trees, Vines, Herbs & Spices etc.

This Blog could be useful to use as a continuous one as we would be posting for the now not a specific season of time of year.

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Comment by Dianne Caswell on April 10, 2016 at 18:44

Oh, I almost forgot we harvested our first Beans, Climbing ‘Vitalis’, last night and tonight.

Vitalis is a climbing bean. It is an early, Roma style bean with flat pods of excellent flavour. It’s incredibly productive and is ready to be picked 65-70 days after the seed is planted. It can be picked over a long period.  

Comment by Phil on April 10, 2016 at 18:34

I harvested quite a bit of Madagascar bean today and this is only my first year for them. Sounds interesting Dianne re the red clover. I have what looks like red clover growing wild in my lawn but I'm not sure if it's Trifolium. Do you have any pictures of what you planted today Dianne?

Comment by Dianne Caswell on April 10, 2016 at 18:23

A busy day in the garden today seeing as I was unable to go Tim Heard's Bee Talk.

Today I planted Red Clover Trifolium pretense around some of my Fruit Trees (it is an old European Tradition, the Farmer would plant the Red Clover in the Orchards and Vineyards.) Red Clover fixes Nitrogen to the soil and can be used as cover crop and dug back into the soil. It is also very high in Boron a trace mineral that is often depleted from the soil over the years resulting in brittle stems and yellowing leaves.

Also planted out 2 x Finger Limes Microcitrus austrasica, 1x Capulin Cherry Prunus salicifolia, Dwarf Blue Curley Kale, Red Giant Kale, Tuscan Kale, Upland Cress Barbarea verna  and a few other Companion Plants.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on April 2, 2016 at 14:40

Young leaves of Red Mustard are really tasty, sweet-hot and crunchy.

Comment by Phil on April 2, 2016 at 14:17

Good memory Rob - just one letter off, Eruca sativa. I planted it out this morning - thanks.

I bought 'Red Giant' mustard greens from the seed collection a while back and the plant is really productive and tasty. I brought some of the second/third generation seeds to GVs last year but if anybody wants some I can give them to Rob for the next GV.

Comment by Rob Collings on April 2, 2016 at 12:50

I think it has the normal rocket name Eruca saliva. I purchased a pack of 4 seedlings from Bunnings Warner. It has a nice sweet hot mustard taste. I need Phil to confirm that it is only botanically identified as rocket as I gave him the 4th in the seedling container with the name.

It is looking promising for seeds (month or two) from my seedlings already. 

Wasabi Rocket below

Another plant with a similar taste (a little sweeter maybe) is Red Mustard (Brassica Juncea, below). Phil gave me a seedling from his garden last year, I may still have seeds for this. I believe that both of these plants have better tasting leaves than Wasabia Japonica leaves.

Comment by Dianne Caswell on April 2, 2016 at 2:27

You have certainly been busy Rob. There is never enough hours in the day to get everything in that we want to.

After being away for a week over Easter plenty needs doing here, watering is the main priority today, I hope to get outside in a couple of hours to wake up every dog in the street. Following the Moon Planting Phases, this week I will be concentrating on doing a bit of Weeding and my front garden will be getting a good dose of Compost/Manure dug it. We are having 4 of the large branches of the Quandong removed/mulched next week so that will give me plenty of Mulch to use for a while. I will continue to prepare the beds for my Asparagus.

My new Fruit Trees are coming along well, showing signs that they are settling in.

Rob, I am interested in the Wasabi Rocket (does it have another name) or do you have the Botanical Name so I can see if ant of my Seed people have it for sale. The Chilli Seedling I planted out to take to GV's are all coming on well. I have been lucky (or unlucky depending on the heat of these) enough to be given a Chilli from the 2nd Hottest Chilli in the World so they will be the next on my list to trial.

Luckily it did rain here a little over Easter so it will make my job of watering easier, and all our tanks are full again.

Comment by Rob Collings on April 1, 2016 at 22:27

In the last 2 weeks of March, I extended a little more of the veg garden and topped up some other parts with deco, crusher dust, aged manure & organic extrta and hosed in with some Gogo juice. I have planted seedlings - Perpetual red lettuce, Flower Sprouts, Broadbeans, Walking-stick Collards,  Wormwood, Wasabi Rocket, Brussels Sprouts, Cos - Mibuna - Tah Tasi - Mizuna & Red Mustard Lettuce, French Beans, Stevia, Cauliflower, Ruby & Sugarloaf Cabbage. I also put in snow peas & sugarsnap seedlings which are not going well in direct sun with the heat.

I also have direct sown and planted out in seed trays (next round currently spouting) - sugar snap & snow peas, carrots (all colours), Tuscan Kale, Broadbeans, Kohl Rabi, watercress, broccoletti, turnips & spinach.  .... I hope it rains some more sometime, LOL

Comment by Dianne Caswell on March 10, 2016 at 5:54

Christa, If I am turning a plant into a Topiary I usually have a frame, though I do usually let the plant tell me what it wants to do. If I an looking at making a standard, I have to find a plant with a straight stem. When I ordered the Rosemary plants I asked for plants to be all the same height, size and age with a central stem, and that was what I received.

I am in the process of turning a couple of Citrus into tall Topiaries on frames and they are coming on nicely but it will be some years before they reach their full potential, though they are fruiting. They are not just trimmed to shape but need to be tied to the frame as they grow. It is fun to watch the process evolve.

Bay Trees & Box are other plants that are a good ones to train into a Topiary. They grow not to quickly so are easy to keep in a good shape. If following the Moon planting calendar always remember when it gives you Pruning Days to do your trimming and pruning then that way you won't end up with strange regrowth and the end result will be a plant that is easier to keep looking good, you don't want the plant to grow too quickly. Hope this helps.

Elaine, thanks for the much needed info, I will take into account when planting.   

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on March 9, 2016 at 21:59

Asparagus - total yummnm! Does well hereabouts.

My best ever spears where when I clear-felled the plants in autumn-winter (needs to be colder than now).

Then put them through the mulcher (they're wet so put with something dry or my little mulcher chokes up). Put the mulched up material back on the Asparagus patch. Keep damp.

When the new spears come, I wait until they are almost at leaf-burst then by hand, snap them off as far down as I can. Where they snap is where they are tender.

Steam gently, add butter salt n pepper and enjoy. So I get a spear about 1 foot long. Keep cutting until you reckon you should leave the plants get on with it.

You should get harvestable spears in the 2nd or 3rd year in the ground, crowns or seedling doesn't make much difference.

I have tried using Organic Xtra and just chopping the old spears but mulching and not using extra fert gave me better spears. They were in the ground at the time, now they are in wicking bins and they are not so simple to manage.

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