in (3)

Avocado trees

Hello Ross, I have a Pinkerton Avo in a pot and they (like a lot of other trees) seem to shed their old leaves just before or as they put out new leaves. Mine at the moment is starting to put out new leaves and flowers. I wouldn't worry about what is happening to the old leaves as long as the tree sends out new leaves soon. I water mine deeply once a week at this time of year and about twice a  week in the warmer months. Last year I got 3 avos which were great. I hope that this increases as time goes on. I also have a Rincon dwarf Avo next to the Pinkerton, and for some reason this is flowering at the same time as the Pinkerton this year, usually it flowers a few weeks after the Pinkerton has stopped. I have never had fruit from the Rincon  - maybe this year! I also had a Wurtz dwarf type but this died. I have a Sharwil in a wheelie bin. I bought this because it is supposed to be a pollinator for the dwarf types, but I have yet to get flowers on it (in its third year) so with no flowers It can't pollinate anything. It is putting out new leaves right now so maybe it will also flower soon. I will be interested to find out what pollinated your tree if indeed it does get fruit. Although I have a productive bee hive  and get native bees from the bush around my flowers, I have never seen either a honey bee or a native bee around the Avo flowers. It seem that the only pollinators that like Avo flowers are ants, moths/ butterflies, and the occasional small solitary bees.9779323279?profile=original The Sharwil below    

Read more…

The dreaded Slump - how do you allow for it?

9779282678?profile=originalYou could say that I've got the hump because of the slump! Yeah I know, I'm not making any sense as usual, but bear with me. The Slump, is that annoying thing that occurs whenever we use organic materials to plant out something in a plant pot or above ground bed. It happens because all our friends in the mix (worms, fungi, bacteria, etc., get to work eating their breakfast, dinner, and lunch which reduces the mix  (along with settlement) to cause the mix to reduce. The result for growing veges is not a worry, we simply add some more mix to top up the pot or bed when the veges have been harvested. Usually only a relative short while.

I usually add some manure to the top and turn this over in the top layer of the container / bed to give the creatures more nourishment, and 'hey presto' the bed/pot is full again. 

The problem is more for the growing of trees, etc that are going to be a permanent fixture in the pot. etc, and in my case in the quite tall growing container, the wheelie bin. I have managed to get given and begged for and received quite a few of these and my main use of these is to grow avocados which need a deep soil, - something I don't have at my block. when they have needed more materials added, I have tried tipping them over, carefully pulling the tree towards the top and then shoving more materials under the plant, but this breaks some / a lot of roots and sets the tree back. I don't believe that adding materials to the top would work as this probably cause the bark to rot ( some trees might stand this but most wouldn't). My current idea is to grow some veges, e.g. tomatoes, pumpkins, etc in the container for a couple of years. I would then add materials after each vege season and after a couple of years fill the container right up to the top before planting out the tree.

Can anyone suggest a better way?

The bin here has an avocado seedling growing in it but has been set back by trying to tip it over. pull the tree upwards and inserting materials underneath.

9779283671?profile=original9779283254?profile=originalThe bin above has a black sapote seedling  (and volunteer ginger plant) in it. You can see how much slump has occurred, it was full two years ago.

Read more…

Flood clean up. Can you lend a hand?

Hi All, a second posting the same as the on e on the forum so I hope it rreaches plenty of people. Pass the word too..

Mud glorious mud. We have had a lovely day in it today. How are you? Muddy too?

Isn’t it really heartening to see how people are putting in to help others during this flood? Today a couple of us were helping to resurrect the Jane St Community Garden in West End. Across the road businesses that had been submerged were a hive of activity with staff and volunteers cleaning out the mud and water. We were visited by a mum and her 2 boys all the way from Northlakes. They brought food and drinks courtesy of the Northlakes retirement village. Their gumboots were Blundstones donated by a local business for the cleanup effort.

As we were spreading mulch and ‘borrowing’ flooded carpet from the bulging skip over the road, a couple of people wandered past to see if they could lend a hand in the garden. Joanna came by public transport from Coopers Plains and Katrina just happened to come in by bus from Kedron to see if anyone needed help in West End. These two ladies had never had any contact with the Jane St Garden before. Their help was amazing. Together we mulched paths and made it possible to move around in the garden without disappearing into a sticky quagmire.

Today’s job was the framework for the rebuilding of the garden that is needed over the next few days. The community garden has recently lost 8 members as they have moved away from Brisbane. Jacqui, the coordinator has worked 7 days a week for 2 years, together with a great group of new and experienced volunteers to bring it to the showpiece it was at the Australian Open Garden in 2010.

They need help to rebuild. Two working bees are happening Saturday and Sunday this weekend. Can you spare a few hours to help?

Here are some details if you’d like to meet Jacqui, myself and others at the garden.

Where: Corner of Jane and Montague St West End. Next to the Souths Rugby Leagues Club. You may have been there for the weekend markets.

Time: 7am-12md each day to avoid the heat and allow you to help elsewhere if needed or to go home and soak your feet!

What to bring: Kitchen type rubber gloves; towel; plastic bag and a change of clothes; wear gumboots if you have them or old boots. Thongs are too dangerous.

Bring a drink bottle (water available) and a snack for yourself or to share if you have extra.

You may also like to bring a pair of sharp secateurs to do some trimming.


What we may also need: A hand saw for cutting timber; extra spades or forks.


Jobs: If we have enough people we’ll be starting some of the following jobs to help the garden start growing food for Brisbanites again:

  • Rebuilding the garden bed edges
  • Spreading chip bark between beds
  • Hosing down mud covered plants
  • Cleaning off plant signage
  • Trimming back pants and freeing up the pathways of overhanging plants
  • Cleaning up the seed raising area
  • Creating compost with all the ‘stuff’ at hand·         Remulching existing beds
  • Looking in the surrounding streets for materials we can recycle into the garden rather than sending it all off to landfill. One person’s rubbish, and all that…

One persons trash is another's treasure

Please keep your eyes open for some of the following things in skips and laying beside the road ready to be dumped and bring them along to the garden on the weekend or in the next couple of weeks.

  • Timber or sleepers suitable for garden bed edges
  • Durable chairs for the morning tea area
  • A water tank without an owner and ready to be discarded of course! Not looted as my family are keen to point out to me :)
  • Star pickets wire and trellising materials
  • Spoiled wool carpets
  • Old fashioned hessian underlay
  • Hessian sandbags filled with sand and no longer need
  • Large sheets of plastic no longer needed
  • Big white bulk food buckets with handles
  • Council yellow-lidded recycle bin
  • Rubbish bins  

The Perma Blitz group of West End are also looking for private gardens  to resurrect. If you live under the flood level  in West End please call me and I'll put you in contact with Ben.


If you hear of other people in need of practical help, please email me  at with the details so I can get the message out to the 500 or more readers of this newsletter. In this way, we may be able to create another network of assistance to those who are in dire straits now and during the cleanup.  I will also send out regular updates of people and places in need of help.Gt on my email list go to the Eobotanica website and sign up for the Garden harvest enewsletter

Read more…