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 Christa on February 13, 2016 at 20:59

Dianne, The old Juniper tree sounds lovely, we have to treasure these trees, even though they may be a problem at times.  With all the development in our area, we are losing the old trees.  Next door to us, is another large block of land up for auction soon and I am sure most of the trees there will get the chop.

Our garden is still in the initial building stages, with soil preparation and filling about 20 wicking containers. So far we have only lost a little peach, that managed to get too wet. Most of our new garden is in dappled shade and the 1/2 drums and big bins will allow me to grow things without interference of the tree roots (very large poinciana tree).  All this, is in about 1/4 of our block of land.  The WB's will have mainly trees and shrubs and I will surround them with salvia etc, and bee attracting plants and little vines.  We are still in the early stages.  Still a lot of work to do.  I seem to have everything in pots, waiting to transplant.  We are not sure what to do with the ginger type plants and taro, but I should be able to find a wet place for them. 

Some gardeners seem to be able to make little areas like rooms in their garden, our garden is a bit cluttered and we often stand in the middle and say well that can go there and that can go there etc.

Our turkey is still visiting, but we have meshed all the beds to stop her from emptying them.  We have much pleasure hearing about other gardens and often get good hints and advice.

Comment by Barbara Tealby on February 13, 2016 at 20:48

The way I prepare my beds is to sprinkle with Organic Xtra, hose, then mulch. And mulch, and mulch.....

The strawberries are planted on a long low mound to which worm castings have been added, watered in with the water from the pond, and mulched, and mulched.... Everything gets more or less the same treatment. When I decide where the peas are going, they will get a bit extra dolomite.

My philosophy is to try not to bring in anything from off my property (except for propagation material, and I am trying to save seeds, etc to reduce that). Of course treasures from GVs are exempt. Mulch is from prunings from the ornamental trees and shrubs - calliandras and lilly pillies are really good for this, and soon I'll be able to cut from the pigeon peas. If we had any micro livestock (thanks Andy for the term) then I could dispense with the Organic Xtra, but since the only micro livestock I have are worms and BSFs, that's not yet possible. Weeds and soft wooded perennial shrubs add nutrients when added to the mulch.

I don't have many raised beds, as I would need to bring in material to fill them up - which is why I am not doing many wicking pots, and will be taking my fruit trees out of pots as space permits or, actually, splitting the bottoms of the pots and putting them on the ground somewhere, as digging huge holes is no longer an option for me.

Comment by Susan on February 13, 2016 at 20:32

Oopps, Thanks Barbara, I forgot about the corn.  Just harvested one patch, another patch is about 4 weeks away and I've just planted possibly my last crop.  

Comment by Susan on February 13, 2016 at 20:27

Hi Dianne, 

We are harvesting mangoes, banana's, passionfruit, panama berries and the occasional handful of raspberries.  Vegie wise, all I've got are leeks, cucumber, eggplant, sweet potato and beans.  The Zucchini plant, while extremely healthy, keeps getting stung so the zucchini's don't develop.   I've just planted some new tomatoes (as mine went manky) lettuces, peas, carrots, beans.  About a month ago, I planted red cabbage (ruby red f1) and red arrow sprouting broccoli which are doing well.  I need to prep the front garden bed for more brassicas.   Also created a new compost heap today & re-manured the sweet potato patch.  My mum was down for a week and managed to pick a beautiful bunch of flowers for me every 3-4days.  Made me realise that I really needed to get on top of the flowers again.  I'm trying to go for a nice mix of perennial and annuals this time.  Plus, I have friends coming over in 2 weeks so want my yard looking pretty.  I've just bought petunia, vanilla marigolds and zinnia seedlings to go in the garden.  I've been looking after my roses, various salvias, guara and gerbera's a bit more.  I currently have a beautiful sunflower in the garden which I love.  

Comment by Barbara Tealby on February 13, 2016 at 20:18

I have just finished clearing out all of my zucchinis (which cropped really well this year, probably because I took a leaf out of Dave's book and planted them on good sized mounds), one tipi worth of snake beans, and last year's strawberries. An old set of concrete laundry tubs now has cherry tomatoes in it, and I have shifted my perennial leeks for the first time in 8 years. I finally got around to putting some orange sweet potatoes in the old wheelbarrow, (already have white ones in the other old barrow) and planted a choko which should sprawl over the shed. The passionfruit vines are both flowering and fruiting. Those pineapples I have harvested have been lovely and sweet.

Those cherry tomatoes in the tubs are cuttings from you-beaut, super-duper named ones from Bunnings, which I paid more for than I should have. They taste good, but aren't particularly vigorous, and the only way I will even get my money back is by taking cuttings and keeping them going till I get more than a couple of punnets' worth:( I know it's not the best time for tomatoes, but they really should do better than they have been.

The strawberry runners from the old bed are now planted - I know it's a bit early, but we're going away for a few weeks, so needed to get them in. When we get back, it will be in with the carrots and broccoli, beetroot and lettuce seeds and sugarsnap peas and sugarloaf cabbages, and maybe some sweet corn. The second tipi of snake beans will hopefully be bearing by then. My New Years resolution is to keep a succession going of these things that my family eats, and now that the garden has been expanded it is at least a possibility, though the newest bit reclaimed from lawn will take a bit more work before the soil is much good. 

Comment by Dianne Caswell on February 13, 2016 at 19:00

As some members know I am preparing a site at the moment for a Blueberry Patch. I have a lovely Semi Shaded position for them under a very old Juniper Tree. There is also another Pine Tree in the area that will give me Pine Needle for my soil.

I had put a few bags of Manure down but found it to be much to Alkaline for Blueberries. I wanted to try to bring the PH down using Natural products preferable and I may have done it but time will tell. I have added 4 buckets of cut up Pine Needles and 5 buckets of Dried Lilly Pilly Leaves. This has all been dug in well and I will test the PH in a couple of weeks. I always add Pine needles to all my Acid Loving Berries. I have also been given some very useful info on Reducing PH from our members on the SEMI SHADE LOVING VEGETABLES  Blog. Thank You all for your input.

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