Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Those who attended my garden visit will have heard me talking about a dilemma I'm having with my corn, beans and tomatoes. Here's how I am trying to deal with it.

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Comment by Jeff Kiehne on November 2, 2015 at 11:17

If the corn has a problem then its probably too late to rectify from what i have read when the corn develops the cobs it does not need fertilizer but when its in the growing stages  it needs plenty of water and nitrogen.Planting in  a raised bed with other plants could also be a problem  because giving the corn enough water may be too much for the  other plants also with the fresh  compost in the raised bed there may be a lack of fertilizer and micro nutrient and very good drainage .On the farming sites they recommend fertilizer at least 2 inches   under and to the side where the seed is placed  that fertilizer may cause salt damage .nitrogen and phosphorus and nitrogen during growing stage.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on October 30, 2015 at 11:36

I've added iron, trace elements and nitrogen Jeff. 

Comment by Jeff Kiehne on October 30, 2015 at 8:08

What about trace elements corn needs zinc .

Comment by Rob Collings on October 29, 2015 at 23:46

Nice work Mr Braz .... Mark! .... where is that busy man!

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on October 29, 2015 at 23:14

Mark put me onto it Rob. 

Comment by Rob Collings on October 29, 2015 at 22:52

Well done detective Andy and on the bright side, how good is that new straw mulch compost that'l mix with the soil for your future crops!

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on October 29, 2015 at 20:58

I was digging around in the bed today again.  The straw mulch layer is way too thick - like 15 cm thick.  I'm pretty confident that it's been stealing all the nitrogen as it is rotting down.  The beds have been kept moist but I wasn't using compost tea because the soil in the bed was a mix of my own compost which wasn't quite ready but very good quality soil (which I thought would be full of nitrogen).  I should have dug around in the bed by hand much earlier and it would have been obvious. 

Lissa - that's Foxy. He is holidaying with us for 2 weeks while my son is away.  He's a miniature fox terrier (he makes Bob look like a German Shepherd!)

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on October 29, 2015 at 20:25

Urea though will kill the microbes. Short-term gain for long-term pain as I read about it. Can you use pelletised chook manure? It at least will feed the microbes,.

Comment by Susan on October 29, 2015 at 19:10

What types of tomato's and have you grown them before?  When I need new soil for beds, I go to a landscaping supply (TLS if you're interested)  and buy their best quality organic soil/compost mix that they recommend for vegies and nothing ever goes wrong going in that.  In fact, the best harvests I have is after I have topped up with that.  I'm getting better at making my own compost so rely less on bought in soil now.  Your corn could be Nitrogen.  I've read many places that they need heaps of Nitrogen, to the point where I buy a Nitrogen only fertiliser (urea) and add it to a well composted bed and my corn goes great.  I do have the odd one that sends out an open spike with the corn showing but that is usually one that has been damaged by wind/insects early on. 

Comment by Lissa on October 29, 2015 at 5:37

Where did the dirt come from that you put in those two beds Andy?

Hopefully you saved some of the toms for seed to use once your bed is improved.

BTW - who is the little stranger terrier running around in your video? Play mate for Bob?

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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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