spinach (8)


CEMPEDAK Artocarpus integer

Self pollinating to 10m.

They are smaller, less acidic and less fibrous than the jakfruit. The strongly odored fruits smell like durians when ripe, however if the peel is removed this will remove most of the odor. They are tropical in their growing requirements needing a warm, moist position and deep fertile soil in the full sun . Fruits can be eaten fresh or used in desserts, the young unripe fruit can also be eaten as a vegetable and made into pickles. Seedling trees start bearing after 3-6 years, they flower in Spring and the fruit mature 3-6 months later.

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RAMBAI Baccaurea motleyana

2 to 5m requires 3 Plants (Male and Female)

A fruit somewhat resembling the langsat  is sweet-acid flavored appreciated in parts of Southeast Asia. Fruits grow to 50mm, with a yellow-brown skin and white pulp. They may be eaten raw or cooked or made into jam or wine.

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MANGOSTEEN Garcinia mangostana

Self pollinating to 10m.

Purple - Often referred to as the Queen of Fruits, tropical evergreen tree native to Asia, the fragrant edible flesh can be described as sweet and tangy, citrusy with peach flavor and texture. Suitable only for tropical climates or a warm greenhouse.

Purple Mangosteen from Bali

COLLARD GREENS (Couve galega - seed from Portugal via eBay) 

ETHIOPIAN GREENS (seed from Yandina CG)







ASPARAGUS - buy something quality!! 

CHILLI - Cathie

TOMATO - recommended by Annette McFarlane: TROPIC and SCORPIO the latter designed for SEQ conditions

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Well, I finally have a small space within the nursery that surrounds my new home, to grow some pots of edibles for myself. 

Some sunlight during the day but shade in the arvo.

Because I'm renting I'm keeping to pots and grow bags (still to come) so I need food plants that won't grow huge or need too much space and are productive and versatile.

Herb pot (foreground) has been going for many months now at the last house-sit. When moving, I emptied the pot, shoved the plants in buckets of water and re potted it all at my new place. I didn't expect much but all the plants have taken off again. 

Sage, Sorrel, parsley and a sad looking Rosemary hiding in the middle along with a couple of Asian greens and Spring Onions grown from store bought cut-offs. 

I have bought a large Rosemary from the nursery as it's my favourite herb.

Small pot on the right has Rocket and more sprouting garlic.


Pot on the left is Ethiopian Cabbage, surrounded by garlic that just insisted on being planted. Good for garlic shoots. The seed for the EC came from Yandina Community Garden and out of an entire packet that I have been carting around for a year, only two precious seedlings came up. 

Pot in the middle has my precious Walking Stick Collards which had a pretty good germination rate. I'll have to thin these out in a pot this size.


Warrigal Greens grow in easily accessible spots on the island, including on the beach. I will liberate a plant or two for a grow bag. Very useful green.

I liked the look of the Chaya that Dave was spruiking and have ordered one. It looks like the sort of perennial that would do ok in a pot. A bit like Aibika only tastier by the sounds.

I would love a Moringa, one of my favourite greens, but any other suggestions for things to grow that I just must have, please! 


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This is a continuous spring diary and I added to it as the season progressed.

Check photos for dates as I have done progressive photos for many plants.

We're a month in to Spring and it's been beautiful so far. Plenty of rain now and then to fill the tank - not much sign of the El Nino. We did get one hot day just after I planted heaps of seed and I am waiting anxiously to see if they survived and will make a show. Beginning to suspect I will have to replant all the carrots and some other things. (NOTE: I ended up buying bought carrot seedlings for the first time ever. They're growing well though I probably should have thinned them more.)

Plenty going on in the garden. I've already had to mow twice and will probably do so again today. Bummer. The down side to the warm season. But it does give me clippings for the beds.

The Elderflower are growing well (Elaine warns to keep them contained as they sucker - mine grow freely) and producing lots of heads for making Elderflower Champagne.

9779139070?profile=originalTwo heads in the bowl with juice of a lemon, splash of vinegar and about a cup of sugar. Covered and left for a day or two before sieving into some plastic bottles and put away in a dark cupboard.

9779140281?profile=originalThe batch turned out quite thick. I'm diluting it with filtered rain water to drink. Nice and fizzy.

9779141070?profile=originalThe bed in the front yard was becoming overgrown with these beautiful but basically useless (even the bees don't visit) salvia. A big mess of them have been removed to allow for something more productive - the roots went to Rozie for growing and the tops were cut back as green manure. The bed is covered in composted horse poo and planted.....

9779141268?profile=original...with Bolivian Cuc (c/- Dave via Elaine) and some silverbeet "Ruby". I don't have much luck growing silverbeet from seed. One of Elaine's walking onions shoved in there as well with the hope that it will thrive and proliferate.

9779142252?profile=originalBelow - same bed one month later.

9779142860?profile=originalAlso in the front yard the Red Tamarillo fruit is starting to colour up.

NOTE: 31.10.15 Many have gone pale red and been eaten. Nice.

9779143276?profile=originalBoth Pomegranates (seedling and Wonderful) have copious beautiful tangerine blooms. Fingers crossed for some fruit.

9779143887?profile=originalFive or so weeks later fruit is forming on the seedling Pom.....

9779144089?profile=original....and on the Wonderful.

9779145469?profile=original27.09.15 The Jaboticaba is covered in buds! Lots of fruit coming from this reliable plant.

9779146085?profile=originalSix weeks later I have sweet fruit for the eating.

9779147254?profile=originalFinal crop along with a Bitter Melon for the GV. This lot were especially sweet.

9779147668?profile=originalRipening fruit from the two pawpaw has been going to work for the clients to have with morning tea. There is only so much ripe pawpaw one person can eat but the elderly members can't seem to get enough of it.

9779148283?profile=originalThe Tropical Nectarine has flowered and is covered in little fruit. I trimmed it a little shorter this year so the fruit fly excluding net would reach the ground.

NOTE: 31.10.15 Not as much fruit as last season - others have said the same -  but it's coming along nicely.

16.11.15 Lot's of the fruit is dropping and rotting for no known reason. Weather? The few I've eaten lack sweetness. Still no FF under the net though.

9779148681?profile=original9779149269?profile=originalFinal crop of the Tropical Nectarines. Many fell and rotted and the remaining crop was disappointing this year in quantity and flavour.

9779150087?profile=originalSome of the Jaboticaba and Nectarines have gone to make "Shrub" - an easy to make cordial from fresh fruits. RECIPE

9779150861?profile=originalMy beloved little Moringa is still doing it's imitation of a dead stick but I am confident it will come good.

9779151272?profile=originalI tried many times to establish Pigeon Pea without success. This one came up by itself and has flowered and produced pods without me noticing.

9779151666?profile=originalPepino are flowering in abundance. Hopefully this will mean more fruit before the fruit fly come.

NOTE: 31.10.15 FF have ruined every fruit - all has to be binned.

9779152472?profile=originalThe Dwf Wurtz avo has bloomed once again but does not seem to attract the pollinators. I've seen one bee on it and a couple of flies.

NOTE: 31.10.15 No sign of any fruit forming. We have had discussion about multi graft plants. That's what I need!

9779153466?profile=originalIn the back yard the Dwf Macadamia is blooming really well and attracting bees. Very pretty.

9779154457?profile=originalOne of my honey bees fertising the flowers.

9779154686?profile=original19.10.15 Little nuts are forming. All silvery with potential.

9779155081?profile=original08.11.15 Fruit development three weeks later. Astounding growth.

9779155893?profile=original22.11.15 two weeks later again.

9779157084?profile=originalQuite a few nuts are falling to the ground. Hope I end up with some left.

NOTE: Now 29/11 and I noticed about a week back that every nut has fallen off. We had some very hot days but I was giving the plant water a couple of times a week.

9779157283?profile=original20.09.11 The three raised beds have all been chopped back leaving just a few perennial plants and replanted. This is before...

9779158256?profile=original...and after. Broccoli has been left to go to seed as it was such a goody. The other two brassicas didn't produce anything. I suspect they may turn out to be a couple of Portuguese Walking Stick Collards (they are - must have planted some seed there).

9779158875?profile=originalAll beds have been dosed with MycoAppply mychorrizae. The corn seedlings are very strong whether due to this or loving the composted horse poo they are planted in. Probably both.

9779159853?profile=original31.10.15 Corn is silking up. Was able to shake down some pollen this morning despite some rain the last few days.

9779159870?profile=originalOne month later, the final crop. Lots of mid sized cobs but they seem well filled.

9779160654?profile=original19.09.15 Still cropping the Roma toms. Not much good for a sandwich but I've been turning them into soup with some onion, garlic and nopales. Bit of chicken stock and seasoning and it's very nice put through the blender.

NOTE: 31.10.15 Romas finished some weeks ago. While not thrilled with the sandwich potential from these fruit they were useful and tasty enough for me to squeeze some seed back into the beds. If they do ok, great. If not, no huge loss.

9779161268?profile=original19.09.15 Some of the roma toms and broccoli - the most delicious I have every grown it just kept on coming.

31.10.15 This wonderful Broccoli is still in the process of setting seed. Very slow to bolt.

9779161875?profile=originalThe white choko is making a strong comeback. I have another growing on the back fence. Lacking a green one at the moment - bought a giant fruit from the fruit shop yesterday and planted it on a side fence.

9779162069?profile=original06.09.15 I've managed to grow a few spuds this year. More growing around the edge of the compost pile yet to be cropped.

9779162297?profile=originalThis plethora of yummy came from gardening mate Rob's yard. Mulberries, native raspberries and Davidson Plums which I have become very fond of as a refreshing fruit drink in water. No sugar added.

9779163288?profile=original12.09.15 Pepino have been providing plenty of fruit.

31.10.15 Now all ruined by FF. Not an untouched fruit to be had. All binned.

9779163495?profile=originalOne of two Mashua Tropaeolum tuberosum plants courtesy of Jan's research and buying abilities. A relative of the nasturtium it's a climber with edible tubers. All the way from sunny Tasmania so we're all hoping they like it here in Qld.

16.11.15 Neither of these plants are liking the heat. They don't look well. Hopefully they will survive summer.

29.11.15 Both plants have died back completely as has Elaine's.

9779164091?profile=original31.10.15 This plant has actually put on a substantial amount of growth. Didn't realise until I compared these two photos. It's also putting out shoots from the base. Apparently these plants can go quite rampant in their growing habits :/

29.11.15 Plants have both died back completely.

9779164657?profile=original12.09.15 Thought I would show you what my kitchen scrap bin looks like after a couple of weeks of saving bits and pieces. I do use a sprinkle or two of Bokashi in it but to be honest I did this for years with just a bucket and had no smell or problems.

I take this outside and scrape a shallow depression near some fruit tree and cover it with grass clippings. The worms take care of recycling the lot in a matter of weeks.

9779165655?profile=originalWarrigal Greens are making a comeback in the spot I thought they had died out in. I am very fond of these useful native greens (high in Oxalic Acid).

9779165273?profile=originalAnother wild edible, Samphire, has proven to be a bit of a disappointment. I would like to try these growing in the wild. I bet the flavour would be better. Pictures I have found on the net show a PLANT with more segmented leaves than these. I'm wondering if I have two different plants in there?

9779165286?profile=original23.09.15 Lebanese Cuc seed coming up. Always a thrill when seedlings show through the soil from seed planted.

9779166654?profile=original22.11.15 Getting some good crop of cucs.

9779167086?profile=originalPlanted or still growing early this season:

Potatoes; Bitter Melon, Okra x Robs big jobs and Burgundy; Hairy Melon; Corn x swt and bicolour; Peanuts; Watermelon "Stars & Moon"; Capsicum x "Sweet", "Mini" and "Cubanale" along with seed from store bought minis; Kale; Canadian Wild Lettuce/A Choi; toms x various minis; Portuguese Walking Stick Collard Greens; Chillis - various; Mashua; Bolivian Cuc; Lebanese Cuc; herbs of all sorts; Swt Potato x 3 sorts; Silverbeet x "Rhubarb" and "Ruby"; Carrot x "Amarillo", "Rainbow Mix" and "Berlicum"; Eggplant x "Black Beauty", "Bringal White" and "Listadia di Gandia"; Snake Bean unknown; Huazontle Spinach. 


Labour Day holiday - no pay but it's a glorious day to be having off. Temp is superb, birds are singing everywhere, seeds are coming up in my new season garden. The only carrot seed that have sprouted are the Rainbow Mix. None of the others have shown so I will need to replant....or not.

The corn is growing fabulously. Okra of all types is peeking above ground as are the cucs. Eggplant haven't shown.

Every time I buy some mini capsicum I take the seed out and plant it and there are dozens of these plants coming up all over the place. Love them. Watermelon have sprouted but the Hairy/Winter Melon hasn't shown.

I have squeezed in some of Pat Pierce's Red Noodle Snake Bean seeds alongside the other snake beans. Probably not the best for seed saving but I want to see how they grow.

Rob, Elaine and I have been doing some crop swapping. My pawpaw, Robs mulberries in exchange for Elaine's gorgeous rainbow chard.

9779167660?profile=originalAnd thanks to J - I now have my favourite dwarf narnie back again :)

31.10.15 Growing well and putting out new leaves.

9779168101?profile=original06.10.15 Since going back to work full time I've had trouble finding the appropriate time to go into the bee hive, check it all out and do some harvesting. Has to be a weekend day when it's not raining, not too hot, the bees are mostly away foraging, I don't have something else on. Easy to procrastinate.

Checked the hive yesterday and it looked like they might be preparing to swarm which gave me a jolt.

They were making a bee trellis outside the front of the hive. So I bit the bullet, put on the gear and went in. I removed three combs mostly full of honey. My extractor is very slow going (bucket system) and the tap just drizzles so it takes forever to fill a jar. Very few bee deaths though which is always a bonus. I use the smoker and brush as needed these days to avoid deaths.

Due to the slow nature of the buckets I only have a few jars at the moment and one has been swapped for some mulberries and manure.

9779168480?profile=originalTo my surprise the Dwf Pink Shatoot mulberry had ripened a good handful of fruit in literally one day (I had checked it yesterday and found two). Very sweet.

31.10.15 Still cropping some of these each day. Youngest daughter has developed a taste for them also and goes for the bush when visiting.


We've had a few storms in areas around Strathpine but nothing more than some gentle rain here which has benefited the seedlings no end. Everything is doing well with the usual losses to Fruit Fly and a few cut worm problems with seedlings. Nothing serious, though I now have only one Burgundy Okra plant left but it should have grown to a size which is beyond the attentions of the CW.

I've been visiting the Caboolture Mkt a lot more recently for the lovely locally grown fruit and veg and can't help picking up some seedlings at the same time.

The (self sown from buried fruit) Bitter Melon plant is producing it's first fruit. Hardy and useful.

9779169694?profile=originalMy honey bees are all over a huge amount of flowers on the old yellow Tamarillo. This plant is now getting on for five years old where normally they live for perhaps two. It just keeps getting bigger. Go figure.

9779170653?profile=original28.10.15 Dwf Ducasse banana bunch ripening. Left the bunch on the porch the first night and some rodent came took a bite or two. Apart from those given away to friends, all going through the dehydrator.

16.11.15 The second bunch was all given away at the GV a couple of days back.

9779171867?profile=originalPineapple forming - beautiful little purple flowers blooming.


I let my snails go free last night and this morning.

Left the lid up last night for them to leave but many were still hanging around in the box this morning. I have spread them around the yard and will provide basins of water as they are really very delicate and must have water to survive.

They don't like being shut up as the weather warms up, even when the box is under full shade. There were just getting too many of them in one smallish space and it felt cruel keeping them there. Over the time I have been observing and feeding them in their box home I have come to love these gentle little creatures.

Hopefully some will thrive free ranging. The ones I currently find in the "wild" are eating fallen leaves and stuff on the compost pile. Very rarely do I find one in my vege bed. My hope is that they provide another layer to the animal life in my garden, eating and digesting fallen vegetation and providing poop in return.


The snails have set up home around the garden in various protected spots with lots of rotting plant material on the ground. Seems to be their favourite nibble though I do leave out offerings of Collard Greens etc and a container of water on the dry side of the yard.


I spent a back breaking hour yesterday removing the Pepino (due to Fruit Fly ruining all the fruit) from the nature strip outside the front fence and replanting with parsley and hardy flowering plants (the garden faces the western sun). That's a bit of Aibika in the middle right that took from cutting shoved in and neglected and there's a bit of Cassava and some Rosemary as well. Pepino fruit hanging off the fence and orange flowers are Pomegranates.

29.11.15 We've had some horrendously hot days and some of these flowering seedlings have died off, but many have survived with water a couple of times a week.

9779172472?profile=original16.11.15 Michael H gave me some fruit some time back to grow these sweet little tom treats. I just keep replanting and they just keep coming up. Thank you Michael :)


Close to the end of spring and we've started having a few of those toasty hot days that the plants dislike so much and send people scurrying for the beach or air conditioned shopping centres.

My eldest daughter has just announced that she has accepted a Librarian job in Alice Springs. I checked the weather for AS and I think she will be grateful she will be working in an air conditioned building. At least I suppose it's AC'd. Hot, dry place. Little greenery around apart from the gum trees.

Came home yesterday and the (unwanted, I just threw some branches on the ground and they rooted) Cassava had fallen from the sky into the vege bed and everything around it.

It's been growing under the Custard Apple tree for some years and I've paid it no attention. While I was busy ignoring it it was busy reaching for the sky and eventually became too top heavy. Good survival plant to have around but not a lot of use to me at present.

All cut back and going to be binned this time.

9779172887?profile=originalI had really given up on the Lychee tree after many years of tiny crops and I mean tiny, like one or two fruit, but looked up at it yesterday and was stunned to see it covered in developing fruit. It's been a funny old spring for flowering plants. They have gone berserk around Brisbane making it look like a giant colourful garden. Must have suited the flowers on the Lychee too.

Yummm can't wait :D

9779174079?profile=original22.11.15 The Elderflower has grown to a good size (that's the clothesline on the left) and is producing lots of flower heads for making drink. As warned by Elaine it is trying to sucker. I keep cutting these back.

9779174480?profile=original22.11.15 Snake bean plants are growing well from saved seed. No idea of type. Some of Pat's Red Snake Beans in there as well.

9779174497?profile=originalFirst of the Okra crop.

9779175867?profile=originalOrange flowering Leonotis leonurus. So far the insects are ignoring it but it is pretty.

9779176464?profile=originalOne colour of the salvia growing around the place.

9779177074?profile=originalPineapple Sage surrounding the native bee hives. Much loved by the bees.

9779177485?profile=originalA beautiful visitor munching away on the sweet potato leaves. It's hide out given away by the giant poo.

9779178253?profile=originalFigs are liking the weather at the moment. Only a bit of insect activity on the leaves.


Spent a few productive hours this morning removing the Pepino from the front garden, chopping the male pawpaw in two (hopefully it will bunch up again and provide some western shade to the front of the house) and mulching everything with barrow loads of grass clippings which have been sitting for weeks.

Room for another plant!!

9779179469?profile=originalGraveyard where all the big stuff goes like the pawpaw and the banana plants. Let's call it Hugelkulture, it's a catchy name for a pile-o logs.


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Summer is here and it's brought the rains via thunder and lightening storms. Found out the other day just how important these sorts of storms are to life on earth from THIS ARTICLE.

Sure enough, the garden has erupted in growth since the storms, especially the Choko vine (below) which is now covered in tiny fruit.

Lightning creates “nitrates” which among other things, fertilizes soil, helps plants grow and builds DNA and proteins in our body. When a lightning strike occurs the lightning races down to the ground at extreme speeds. During this process it splits nitrogen molecules in half. The nitrogen immediately wants to bond with another atom and usually does so with oxygen, (this creates nitrates). With approximately 40 strikes per second all over the globe, (over 3 million strikes a day), a lot of nitrates are made so we have no worry of running out of this vital resource.

9779088876?profile=originalThe zuchinni have been providing regular fruit. Some of these ended up in the chicken casserole for dinner tonight.


9779089488?profile=originalDinner tonight from the garden, chicken casserole with chillis (both hot and decorative for colour), potato, swt potato leaves, eggplant, okra, parsley and some of the zuchinni with a bit of added garlic and Taro.

9779089896?profile=originalSo glad I've tried growing Rhubarb. I've roasted some with sugar wrapped up in a little parcel and boiled some with sugar in a saucepan and find it tastes very different from the nasty bitter stuff that my mother used to dish up on a regular basis. Only two plants have survived but they are giving me enough stalk to eat once a week.

Growing here with them are corn, silverbeet, Brazilian Spinach and chives.

9779090676?profile=originalThe new front garden has been very productive, providing me with silverbeet and herbs especially. The low chill Nectarine, White Satin, is growing very well. I've added some red Papaya plants from Bunnings....seeing as Joseph's donated ones have died on me again. Sorry Joseph :/

9779090695?profile=originalTwo of the Tamarillos in the front yard just won't give up. This one has been cut right back twice now but still continues to put out new growth and provide me with lots of fruit. Some hail damage visible on the large leaves and fruit.

9779091858?profile=originalThe strawberries, which I was thinking about thinning out, have made a comeback since the storms and are reflowering.

9779092065?profile=originalThe two Pomegranates are growing very well but are yet to set any fruit. Had a few flowers last year, so hoping for something better this hot season. Pineapples still pineappling. Just have to be patient and wait for them to do their thing in their own time. Two years at least til fruit.

9779092679?profile=originalThe Dwf Wurrtz avo is putting on tremendous new growth. Just want the b. thing to fruit :/.......

9779093286?profile=original...and the same with the Canistel. Very slow grower but gradually increasing in size. Bought as a seedling plant it may come to nowt.

9779093857?profile=originalTahitian Spinach or Celery Stemmed Taro, two common names for this Colocasia gigantea. I've eaten some of the stems from leaves that were damaged in the recent hail storm, cut up into 6cm lengths in a casserole. Really very nice - sweet and tender. Reminded me of asparagus.

9779094287?profile=originalThe beehive has pretty much tripled in size. My sister Lindsay came over today and was gobsmacked with the view through the panel.

9779094668?profile=originalThe beautiful Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia), loved by every bee.


Incredibly busy time of the year for my work (aged/disability respite) so very little time to spend in the garden. Found myself outside watering around 8pm last night as the corn, for one, is starting to look thirsty again. I don't like late afternoon or night watering plants as it encourages fungal problems but it's necessary sometimes as water is vital to a good crop.

Apart from that I'm getting a lot of produce from the garden and eating many of my own veg every night. Most of the veg lend themselves to roasting, including the zuchinni.

9779096057?profile=originalGift from one of the GV visitors last year, Desert Rose.

9779096083?profile=originalThe Galangal is blooming. Nothing to rave about but I quite like them. Oddly the bees aren't paying any attention though.

9779097063?profile=original9779097468?profile=originalGood old reliable pawpaw plant is cropping for me again.

9779097298?profile=originalThe Piel de Sapo melon plants are growing fast and producing first flowers.

9779098077?profile=originalCan't wait to get this Preston Prolific fig into the ground if this is what it can provide in a small pot.

9779098888?profile=originalBed 1 is a mass of carrot flowers at the moment. Keep meaning to check these out at night for moth pollination as the bees here totally ignore them.

9779100060?profile=originalYou Beaut eggplant. Eggplant seem to self seed in my beds easily which I accept with gratitude.

Flea Beetle damage to the leaves. I roll the little sods between my fingers each day, to try and stop the life cycle of laying eggs at the base of the plant to pupate in the soil and come out in droves to demolish the plant.

9779100075?profile=originalLittle bit of damage on a Super Sioux tom. I'm really liking this tom, hardy and produces good fruit. This plant has four or five large toms.

9779100871?profile=originalGetting a little more confident going into my hive. The smoker has been invaluable, keeps the bees calmer and helps keep the death toll down.

9779101668?profile=original9779102283?profile=originalPretty little white eggplant from seedling bought from Bunnings.


Almost into another new year. No rain for the last couple of weeks so back to watering every few days. Corn is not doing so great this season but I blame myself for not putting more effort into the bed. Not much compostable material (grass clippings and garden clippings) due to the dry so the material put into the bed was a bit woody.

The cuc seed sent by American Ray have proven very worthwhile growing. Here's just a part portion of the crop so far. Sweet and delicious...but I cannot find the name. The tag I placed beside the seed out in the bed has faded to a blank.9779102496?profile=original The Suyo Long cucs on the other hand have not thrived (thriven. throved?)...didn't do well. There will be seed in there but just not worth saving.


Beautiful ginger - much loved by the Blue Banded Bee.

9779104452?profile=originalBuddha Belly Bamboo trying to make a comeback. I had plans to smother it with hot composting grass but my mower guy must have retired himself. The Tahitian Spinach (type of Taro) in the pot isn't doing as well as I hoped. Needs more water and shade. Will have to be moved eventually. The Babaco in the front pot is also looking a little yellow with curled leaves. Have dosed with magnesium.

9779104854?profile=originalThe Carombola is covered in small fruit. No sign of the mosquito net ordered via eBay about two weeks ago. Not sure how I'm going to get it over this medium sized tree anyway. Weights??

9779104690?profile=originalThe Soursop is once again smothered in flowers. Been years since I had any fruit from this tree.

9779105687?profile=originalDragon fruit time!! My favourite! I've counted about 13 flowers on my side of the fence...more on the neighbours.

9779106079?profile=originalThe Dwf Pink Shatoot Mulberry is fruiting again too. Once day this plant might even come into it's own and give me a good supply of fruit.

9779106289?profile=originalI have melon! Stars and Moon (?) watermelon.

9779107091?profile=originalEdamame (soy) bought from the Caboolture Mkts is a bit of a dud with small seed, nice to eat but fiddly to work out of the pod. Will have to make more effort to find some quality seed next summer.

9779107864?profile=originalMy first ever Rosellas. Looking forward to some cordial and jam.

9779108865?profile=originalEchinacea flowers.

9779109473?profile=originalMy girls are working hard bringing in pollen and nectar.

9779110074?profile=originalPurple/purple sweet potato is going berserk.

9779110472?profile=originalPurple/white not quite such a strong grower....

9779111064?profile=originaland the white/purple really struggling.

9779111690?profile=originalChoko cut back to new shoots. It provided lots of valuable compost material for the raised beds.  I can see my letter box again!

9779112481?profile=originalYou Beaut eggplant flowers.

9779112893?profile=originalAnd the Listada di Gandia growing strongly once again from the gnarly old plant.

9779113283?profile=originalFront bed has been soooo productive. Red pawpaw from Bunnings are doing very well. I have high hopes of actual fruit from these.

9779114277?profile=originalDown to two zuchinni plants from three (one rotted out for some reason), both still productive,

9779114678?profile=originalThe little Basil Boxwood and Lemon Thyme have both stunned me with their success in the hanging baskets. I've used them both a lot in cooking. Water once a week.

9779115483?profile=originalThis chilly (original seed from Carolyn) has been a real boon. Been cut back hard once.

9779116086?profile=originalSelf sown pawpaw front yard. Very healthy.

9779116265?profile=originalAnd the old one out the back is still bravely producing fruit. Lots of yellowing leaves so have dosed it with magnesium in the form of Epsom Salts and Dolomite (calcium & mag).

9779116877?profile=originalThe Dwf Ducasse bunch is coming along nicely.

9779117478?profile=originalGetting a fig a day. Still no answer to the curling leaves...but it doesn't seem to affect the fruit production.

9779118655?profile=originalThe Bush Basil has proven to be such a hit with all the bees.

9779118680?profile=original9779119483?profile=originalHave today redone the middle bed with more corn seedlings in the hope of one more crop. The last crop wasn't big but the cobs were good, and they were very tasty. Cucumber seedlings replanted in the front Bed 3.


Lovely weather, cool and a bit overcast, but no good rain for a week. The soil is quite dry.

A good Dragonfruit harvest this year! I've eaten two already and there are lots more forming - 12 flowers on my side of the fence and many more on the neighbours side....going to waste :/

9779121075?profile=originalThe Cranberry Hibiscus has made a strong comeback but I'm very aware that I must start some new cuttings as it has a limited life span.

9779121471?profile=originalSame story with both the Aibikas (or Water Cabbage as Farina calls them).

9779121699?profile=originalFruit Fly caught in the act of trying to impregnate one of my Tamarillo fruit (middle fruit at the bottom). No doubt the hail damage is making it easier for this ultimate pest to do it's deed using the soft spots.

9779122664?profile=originalLove this plant. The Crepe Myrtle re-blooming after being dead-headed (spent flower heads removed).

9779123071?profile=originalWarrigal Greens or NZ Spinach as my father calls it. Grows wild on the foreshore at Bribie. The cutting for this one was nicked from the foreshore Sandgate way while I was out walking one day. Schuh! Now it's growing so well I'll have to start using it a bit more in cooking. Spoiled for good fresh greens :D


Read more…

2012 AUTUMN March to May

9779018870?profile=originalLots of rain around still, though it stopped long enough for me to mow yesterday. Trimmed the untidy leaves from the Listada di Gandia and noticed an interloper hiding amongst them - a Tamarillo! Lord knows how the seed got there. Stuff turns up in the funniest places. Bed 3 on the left is all self sown toms and amaranth, so rampant and healthy I have to leave them be.

Good weather to be planting seed, which I've done with Bed 1 below.

9779019097?profile=originalPlanted from front to rear - carrots: "Red Kuroda", "Amarillo" and "Muscade"; Strawberry Spinach (Garden Berry - Chenopodium capitatum); Cardoon "Rouge D'Alger"; Florence Fennel; Silverbeet "Ruby"; Corn "Jubilee Bicolour".

Horrible job cutting back the lemon grass - I've ended up with lots of papercuts! Should have worn gloves. After having trouble establishing lemon grass initially I now have two good clumps thanks to the rain. Have started using it a little more in cooking now I know I have plenty.

I have a mystery creeper growing up the frame in this bed. No real idea what it is, but the caterpillars love eating it. Pepper?? NOTE : we've all decided that this is Madiera Vine and a real pest - a year later I'm still pulling out suckers.

9779019868?profile=original9779020455?profile=originalNot aerial spud as there is no lobe at the top end.  Could be that climbing "spinach" that I had a couple of years back but have since lost - Ceylon Spinach. NOTE: This is a Madiera Vine and a real nuisance.

Plenty of flowers in the garden - mostly red salvia but plenty of other things also like the Rudbeckia, Ginger, Loofah and beautiful vibrant blue salvia flowers below. I have quite a few blue banded bees which love visiting many of these. Even saw two have a short "battle" this morning - they must be a bit territorial.


I haven't mentioned the raspberries (Williamette) which have been doing very well again this year. For some reason they crop at the end of summer and beginning of autumn....but I'm not complaining! They just love the front yard with the south western aspect and there are many canes fruiting compared to just a few last year.

Due to the heavy vegetation after the rains, I have to really hunt for some of the fruit.

Below is some of the fruit for today - the rest was eaten :) Fruit ripens daily - if you miss cropping for two days you can miss some good fruit.

9779024085?profile=originalAlso eaten this afternoon a very delicious Pepino, only the second in a long while. The plants have thoroughly enjoyed all the rain and have spread, to my great delight. The one in the front yard is ill and dying but the backyard ones are doing fine and are covered in flowers and some small fruit. Yum.


The rain is continuing off and on and the garden is very appreciative. Things are growing that I thought were long dead and gone and have lost the name for! Things are growing where I didn't think any seed had ever come any where near that spot! Amazing. Wish I could witness the private life of my garden.

Seed potatoes and garlic blubs have arrived from Green Harvest in amazing time yesterday (Tuesday) from an order placed at the weekend. Today I've called in to Bunnings and bought 4 bags of Garden Soil (Brunnings) instead of potting mix and a bag of 5 in 1. All this plus Organic Xtra, Potash, molasses fertiliser, Dolomite and Epsom Salts have been split between the four grow bags that I have.

Below is the garlic - Monaro Purple and Elephant Garlic. The EG has gone into one of the grow bags but I'm yet to find a spot for the MP.

NOTE: These were pretty much dud growers. The EG struggled along for a bit and eventually gave me a bit of crop from the plants that didn't die. Can't remember getting anything back from the Monaro Purple. Don't bother again.

9779025255?profile=originalBelow seed potatoes - playing it safe this time after lacklustre results from more exotic spuds - Sebago, Desiree and Nicola. All planted into grow bags.

NOTE: Not worth the outlay, none of them did well. I'm just planting sprouted spuds from the fruit shop now.

9779018079?profile=originalBelow - still getting great crops from the Listada di Gandia! Wonderful plants.  The fruit grows so quickly and is really nice to eat - usually roasted for me but sometimes fried.

NOTE: 04.03.13 I think these plants have finally reached the end. After being decimated by Flea Beetle all summer long there is only one live plant left and it's no longer producing good fruit. I have two self seeded replacements and a seedling bought from Bunnings as this is such a good eggplant to have in the garden.

9779025698?profile=originalBelow 22.03.12 Desiree, Nicola and Sebago seed potato bags.

NOTE: 06.04.12 A couple of shoots are appearing above the surface. 04.03.13 These were never a success and I won't go out of my way to buy seed potato again.

9779026682?profile=originalBelow 22.03.12 Beds 1 and 2, compost pile and Elephant Garlic grow bag.

NOTE: 06.04.12 Still no sign of shoots. 04.03.13 The garlic never did well. The EG did end up giving me some return but not worth the bother. The bulbs were very frangrant and nice to use.

9779027654?profile=original9779028080?profile=originalBelow 22.03.12 Pawpaw beside house now multi-headed and doing just fine!

9779029472?profile=originalBelow 22.03.12 rampant growth behind the beds due to all the rain.

9779030090?profile=original9779030493?profile=originalBelow 22.03.12 Grevillea has bloomed heaps lately, Dwarf Banana, Variegated Penda.

9779031468?profile=originalBelow 22.03.12 Asparagus bed with Ceylon Hill Cherry buried beneath. Keep forgetting to watch for edible spears! After two years of just watching and waiting it's hard to remember that I can now eat them.

NOTE: 04.03.13 it's only recently that I have had some good spears to eat and still not many of them.

9779031886?profile=originalBelow 22.03.12 Bed 1 seed making a show.

NOTE: This corn seed proved to be a dud (Jubilee Bicolour), not forming pollen. It was bought on sale in a discount store! Just goes to show, only buy quality seed from quality outlets.

04.03.13 I have not had luck with any corn for a while. I've tried Golden Bantam seed three times from different sources and it's not worthwhile - plants silk at different times, pollination is uneven, cobs are tough and tasteless. Back to F1 seedlings for me! so I end up with some useful crop.

9779032653?profile=originalBelow 22.03.12 corn and silverbeet coming up.

9779033270?profile=originalBelow 22.03.12 Rampant growth in Bed 3 - all self sown.


The choko vines have gone wild with all the wet. The come-again green one has been heavy with fruit and I keep finding more! Lucikly the folk at work think they are quite a delicacy and they disappear from the lunch table within minutes :)

The beautiful pearly white version is now bearing fruit also. I couldn't help myself the other day and picked a small fruit for roasting.....not a lot of flavour difference between this and the green but very pleasant all the same. The vine tips remain my favourite part of the choko plant!

NOTE: One year later this while choko vine is dead and gone. Other people are telling me the same story (we're all looking for new fruit to plant). There was a hot dry period around Dec/Jan and despite twice weekly watering and mulching, the plant died. It did try to reshoot but eventually succumbed.

9779034268?profile=originalThe snake beans continue to bear almost daily for me - I have lots of seed saved for next year of these wonderful plants. Slow to produce, but then they just keep on giving delicious fruit - my little snack straight from the vine when I come home from work.

Ate some home grown asparagus the other night. I keep forgetting to check the asparagus patch as I had to leave them alone for the first two years. Now I'm finding the spears when they are a little long...found two the other day which was heaps for me - some was fibrous but the rest was wonderful.

Really need to re-do another bed so I can get some brocolli and cauli seeds planted but the two other beds just keep on keeping-on! I've planted some of the bought garlic (Green Harvest) in Bed 2 which will make re-doing it difficult, but there was nowhere else to put them...the snake beans are still producing in there anyway. Will have to make a decision soon which bed gets "sacrificed".

The weather is cooling nicely. The nights are quite lovely and fresh already. The native bees are still very active - especially compared to the first hive that died off - really must have been something wrong with that one!

Off to Yandina Community Gardens tomorrow for a workshop :) Just love going there, well worth the drive. Will visit the markets next door first of course! Will think about visiting that wonderful cafe around the corner for some great home made GF lunch... if I have any money left from the markets. Bought all those beautiful salvias last time I was there and they have really brightened up the yard and are so easy to grow from cutting.

Dad is in the middle of his cancer treatment - looks like I'll be bringing him home to Bribie this weekend also.


PITPIT - Just about had enough of the Pitpit experiment. The plants are preparing to bloom again - my cue to crop the edible bit.

I cut off quite a few of the blooming stems and have found the only tender edible bit is the node to node section just below the flowering bit. This edible bit is about 1" long. Nice, but hardly worth the huge clump of plant to produce a tiny amount of edible plant once a year.

I have pulled up plant from the front yard and will no doubt do the same with much growing in the backyard. Despite this I am propogating some for others to grow. In the back of my mind is the thought that I am doing something wrong! so I want others to be trying and suceeding where I have failed.

Really need to get stuck into the front beds with the mattock. There are so many useless plants there including lavender planted years ago which has not once bloomed. It is doomed! The fountain palms need to go also - sick of their uselessness. Not particularly decorative and certainly not productive.


Easter - four days to putter in the garden :) bliss. The girls are camping out at Warwick and I'll probably have Andrew over for a couple of days.

Michael is coming tomorrow to trim back all the trees in the backyard (as many as he can do in a day anyway).

Composting - have just watched a couple of really good, straight forward videos suggested by Evan and made by Paul Taylor from trustnature.com.au (see videos on BLF for full info).

In essence piles should consist of layers starting with:

4 parts carbon (eg straw, leaves),

3 parts green material (eg hay, grass),

2 parts nitrogen rich (eg lucerne, manure).

The layers can be interspersed with sprinkles of rock dust for minerals (eg granite/deco = potassium, basalt = calcium and iron).

Use an activator to get the microbe going such as molasses, fish emulsion, manure in water and sprinkle over the pile.

Sprinkle the layers with water as they are added - stop when the water starts to run off.

Top the pile off with some manure and other soft material and cover with tarp etc.

These piles are supposed to be turned after a few weeks but this is quite beyond me these days. I prefer to do it all in the elevated beds and let the worms do the turning for me!

Below 06.04.12 Beautiful autumn morning, cool after a light shower.

9779035871?profile=originalBelow Plant stand no. 2 (first rusted out and fell over after about 1.5 years - will use the shelving next time with some bricks to create my own). Autumn is the best time to start taking cuttings - have all sorts of stuff going on here. Not enough space to do all the propogating I would like to....but then I have to find a home for it all anyway.

9779036099?profile=originalBelow - "Seduction" my last rose bush :( but still doing well in it's strange pozie. Cuttings have been taken for Julie and Faye at work.

9779036882?profile=originalBelow - Must have spilled some marigold seed on the ground between the beds and they've all germinated in the wet.

NOTE: 04.03.13 All of the seed saved from these grew into non-flowering plants. Most odd. Had to pull them out in the end.

9779036289?profile=originalBelow - Geranium "Big Red" originally bought from Bunnings. Great plant to have around for almost continuous colour.

NOTE: 04.03.13 almost drowned in the near constant rain recently. Had to remove all the plant material, fix the soil and start again with cuttings.


Have been meaning to mention that I'm using some element from the garden virtually for every meal, including my breakfast juice drink. At the moment I'm adding choko to the morning juice which isn't as gross as it sounds as it has very little flavour. When I'm home I have Rocket on my lunchtime sandwich...love the stuff.

Tonight I'm having a veal casserole with added chilli, Okra, Arrowroot, Egyptian Spinach, Brazilian Spinach, Ceylon Spinach and Amaranth leaves. I'm using a lot of eggplant in various dishes - roast, casserole, stews. and stirfrys. The Sweet Potato leaves are always delicious in any dish, they are the nicest green.

Beans galore steamed, stewed etc (and raw daily). I should be using the Arrowroot more - I tend to forget about it.

Carrots were a disappointment through summer but I did get enough to add to the chicken stew last night.

Green Pawpaw is great in stews and casseroles - can hardly tell it apart from potato or other root veg such as Sweet Turnip which it reminds me of greatly. Don't pick them too early though or they seem to  lack that great flavour - try picking them just before they start to turn yellow.

Choko keeps it's shape while cooking and absorbs the flavours of the food it is cooked with - getting more fond of it. The vine tips are just wonderful in anything or eaten raw (as are the flowers).

Below is Bed 1 coming along nicely -back to front - corn "Jubilee Bicolour" (DUD! flowers did not form pollen); Florence Fennel (left), Silverbeet "Ruby" (right), Cardoon, Strawberry Spinach, Carrots - Red Kuroda, Amarillo, Muscade, Rocket and a few cauli seedlings bought from the Yandina markets last weekend.

9779038069?profile=originalBelow - Cardoon. The flower heads are edible along with the stalks. Ate a stalk the other day and it was very bitter.

NOTE: 04.03.13 Used these a lot in stews and casseroles as a celery substitute and they were excellent. The plants flowered and then died off. Luckily I did not remove the roots as they are reshooting. Saved seed is about 50% viable.

9779039091?profile=originalBelow - Strawberry Spinach - edible leaves and "fruit". NOTE: This plant never amounted to anything, possibly because it was overwhelmed by the Cardoon. I never did get to eat any of it.

9779039664?profile=originalBelow - The corn, Florence Fennel and Silverbeet.

9779039896?profile=originalBelow - Getting ready to re do Bed 2. Leaving the Rocket, garlic (just peeking through from bought corms) and the longest Snake Bean. Everything else has been cut up and left to break down.


Below Bed 2 newly planted with broccoli (my own saved seed so they might be crossed with other stuff like purple cauli) and cauli seed. Also planted sugar snap peas but the next night the b. rat dug them up and ate them.

In the pic is my latest bought rat trap ($20 from Cab. Mkts) which of course hasn't caught one rat as yet. Gretel caught, killed and ate three mid sized rats in the aviary the other night. I found a large dead male in the garden this morning....not sure if the neighbours are poisoning again, but I'm glad I found it before my dogs did.

NOTE: 04.03.13 Same time the next year, not a rat to be seen. Very strange, but I like it. Nothing is eating my sown pea and bean seed this autumn.

9779040898?profile=original9779041654?profile=originalBelow self sown bits-and-bobs like sunflower and beans.

9779041680?profile=original9779042296?profile=originalBelow Egyptian Spinach going to seed. Note the caterpillar pretending to be a seed pod :)

9779043074?profile=originalBelow Silverbeet "Ruby" very pretty, grew quickly and eating almost nightly. Not a lot of flavour.

9779043871?profile=originalBelow Bed 1 corn "Jubilee Bicolour" coming along well.

9779044654?profile=originalBelow Bed 3 is smothered with self sown toms. The red Okra from Elaine is also doing very well in this bed.

9779044699?profile=originalBelow finally have Chinese Gooseberry thriving! Can tick this off my bucket list now.

9779045673?profile=originalBelow the carrots are growing very quickly at this time of the year. The material under the initial thin layer of soil is breaking down quickly and is full of worms.

9779046466?profile=originalBelow: Jackfruit seedlings coming up (Cleome on the right). Have fantasies about guerilla planting these but I know I don't have the guts to do it lol. Will have to find loving homes for all of these.

9779047257?profile=originalBelow: 04.03.13 Here's the one Jackfruit seedling I didn't give away, one year later. Tremendous growth.

9779047301?profile=originalBelow: Planter made up for Clare - mild chilli, rosemary and parsley.

9779048276?profile=original25.04.12 Anzac Day - sending love to all our diggers.


For some reason I don't get around to taking pics of the front yard often, but it's starting to become productive so time to give it some acknowledgement!

Below front verge. Lavender (one died) and Midyim. White Choko growing on the fence. No smack on the wrist from council as yet. Maybe if I take over the area under the Tibouchina and some of the driveway ;)

9779048501?profile=originalBelow 17.03.12 Tibouchinas in full bloom - someone came along and tore branches from them over the pathway. I took it as a broad hint from a disgruntled bike rider and trimmed them back even though they were blooming.

9779049088?profile=originalBelow 23.04.12 some of the last of the raspberries "Williamette". They take over a bit when they're growing and fruiting but get cut back when finished. Most enjoyable to come home each day and eat a small handful of their fruit.

NOTE: 04.03.13 No fruit this season. We had some very dry hot weather and while they survived they didn't like it. With the rain this last couple of weeks they have come back heatlhy and happy. I'm reclaiming the length of this bed from a useless ground cover and hope to expland the raspberries.

9779049900?profile=originalBelow 23.04.12 White Choko are cropping well. Smaller fruit than the green and took a bit to get the plant established -it flourished when it rained for a week. Folk at work can't get enough of the green ones but leave these sitting on the table untouched - people are so suspicious of anything different. I'm using them in my morning juice and adding to stir frys etc.

NOTE: This plant eventually succumbed to the bout of dry and heat that we had in January 2013 and is now dead a gone. Looking for a replacement.

9779050686?profile=originalBelow 23.04.12 Tromboncino or Climbing Zucchini- could not find the packet that the original seed came in. Nice to eat - crunchy. Have been picking them this size (not a lot of crop) but will try to leave this one to see what it does. Would like some seed if possible. Rather pumpkin-like in it's growth habit - now climbing the fence and the bamboo. Male and female flowers.

9779051456?profile=original9779052852?profile=originalBelow 23.04.12 Tamarillo grown from seed - could have sworn I used seed from red fruit! but these seem to be ripening up yellow. Yum.

9779053282?profile=originalBelow 23.04.12 Tamarillo in the middle, cassava to left and right, Dwf Wurtz avo in the foreground. Also pineapple, Jaboticaba, white choko. Lavender has never bloomed and is doomed. I see Pepino growing in it's place ;)

9779053101?profile=originalBelow 24.04.12 Dinner makings for Thai chicken dish - I'm getting braver and adapting to using the sub-tropical goodies which will grow here. L-R Swt potato leaves, snake beans, white choko, Betel leaves, Amaranth leaves, angled Loofah (from Addy's garden), eggplant Listada di Gandia, Red Okra + onion and chicken in a store bought Thai soup base.

9779054472?profile=originalBelow 23.04.12 Black Jaboticaba is growing well. Hoping to have some fruit from this before too long.

The Yellow one on the other side of the yard has hardly put on any growth at all, but still looks very healthy.

NOTE: 04.03.13 The Yellow Jaboticaba died some months back. Just keeled over and died. It never did start to put on new growth to any degree. Expensive lesson. Others tell me theirs are also reluctant to grow.

9779055252?profile=originalBelow 23.04.12 Pomegrante on left grown from seed has grown quickly and is the same size as the store bought "Wonderful" on the right - less pointy bits too. White choko on the fence. Pineapple struggled during the dry but are looking much happier since all the rain.

9779056056?profile=originalBelow 23.04.12 Self sown pawpaw - one of many that come up around the yard to my continued delight.


Below - the b. rat is even eating the marigold seeds. The new trap is a total failure as it doesn't "trigger" when anything touches the bait tray. Will have to set up the water trap again, but the rats seem to be avoiding that one now. They have been stealing my Sugar Snap Peas every time I replant them.

NOTE: 04.03.13 no sign of any rats at all this autumn. Very strange.

9779057253?profile=original07.05.12 Below Nopales, edible cactus from Addy.

9779022464?profile=original9779057868?profile=originalBelow: 03.03.13 The Nopales 10mths later!

9779023096?profile=original07.05.12 Below the Cardoon is growing quickly.

9779058095?profile=originalBelow: 03.03.13 The Cardoon plants died off after flowering. I thought that was the end of them and cut them out. Lucky I didn't pull them up by the roots as they sent up new shoots again - below:

9779059298?profile=original07.05.12 Below Strawberry Spinach in the middle (American seed). Never did amount to much.

9779060482?profile=original07.05.12 Below fruit developing on the Pepino - one of about 5 on this oldest clump. I've been putting cuttings in any open spots around the garden in the hope of getting more fruit.

9779060697?profile=original07.05.12 Have removed a clump of Sambung and Lemon grass to put in the various eggplant seed I had been given, but which was sitting unused. Just dumped the lot in in the hope that some will still be viable. Varieties - red, orange, mini, and early purple.

NOTE: 04.03.13 Only one plant survived and is now providing small purplish fruit. Either the Mini or the Early Purple I guess.

9779061689?profile=original07.05.12 Below Bed - bottom end left due to the garlic planted; top end broccoli, cauli and cabbage + sugar snap peas if the b. rats will leave some of them alone to germinate.

9779062470?profile=original07.05.12 Below - Michael has cut back the grevillia - 5.5hrs work on his own and a nice pile of mulch for me.

NOTE: 04.03.13 This plant died about a month back during the hot dry period. Now using it to grow Dragonfruit on.

9779062491?profile=original07.05.12 Moringa - little stick of a thing still struggling on after I had to cut off it's too-leggy top. Saw one on a gardening show the other night and it was b. HUGE with a trunk about 6' diameter. Think this one will have to go!

NOTE: 04.03.13 This plant died and disappeared all by itself. Must have caught my negative vibes. Pity, because I like the leaves in cooking.

9779063496?profile=original07.05.12 Below Bed 1 American carrot seed going great guns.

9779065053?profile=original07.05.12 Below - fig has made a comeback after being decimated by the beetles and is trying to create more fruit.

NOTE: 04.03.13 It eventually recovered fully and produced about a dozen good fruit at the end of summer.

9779065463?profile=original07.05.12 Below - dwarf bananas developing.


Beautiful days but no rain for some weeks to speak of. The tank seems to have about quarter volume left.

Finally having success growing Chinese Gooseberries! The plants around the tank have spread out in all directions and have plenty of little lantern fruit on them; ripening up one by one which is no good for jam for great for nibbling.

Cardoon is growing well - some little prickles but nothing really spikey. Have used some of the stems in cooking. Nothing too exciting - a bit like a bitter silverbeet/celery cross.

I have a rotten sore throat and aches today so making a large pot of chicken soup. Most of the veg from my own garden :)

Below: L-R Cardoon stems, arrowroot, swt. potato leaves, choko, carrots, swt fennel, amaranth, chilli, rosemary, eggplant.

9779067880?profile=originalBelow - some of the white choko crop. Kookaburra Organics want about 30 for the Nambour Show! Fairly unlikely to happen lol.

9779021656?profile=originalTrimmed back the green choko vine this afternoon, in spite of feeling like s..t, and this is what I found underneath:


Below - useless corn - did not produce any pollen. Seed bought on sale at a discount store. There's a lesson there!

9779070057?profile=originalBelow - useless corn removed and bush bean seed planted.


Cold, cold morning and I have a chest cold to go with it, so gardening in my Uggs and jumper this morning. Nathan has just given me a bottle of the most delicious home made Rosella Jam I have ever eaten :) All his own work from his own rosellas!

Re-doing Bed 3 this morning as it's completely overgrown with useless small tom bushes and other junk. Have chopped them all up into the bed and topped with some great horse poo bought along the Narangba Rd the other week - good stuff with no filler. All topped with a layer of lucerne. Will add some other goody this afternoon ie Organic Xtra etc.

Made a lot of phone calls trying to find where I can buy the big bags of Brunnings Organic Garden Soil as Bunnings no longer stock these. Brunnings outlet is just up the road at Brendale too which is frustrating as they don't sell direct to the public.

Best I can come up with is Richgro 25lt bags from Bunnings for about $6.50 each (up to $10.50 at other outlets). Brackenridge Landscape Supplies sell the bigger version for about $14 each. Masters Hardware is supposed to stock the Brunnings - the one at North Lakes isn't open yet and the one at Morayfield doesn't stock the big bags.

Below: The bucket of tiny toms which may or may not ripen. Don't particularly care.

NOTE: Turned these toms into jam and it was good!

9779071101?profile=originalBelow: Bed 3 in the process of being replenished.

9779071477?profile=original9779071853?profile=originalBelow: Some of the Tamarillo crop have ripened up nicely. Bit of a treat in the afternoon.

9779072280?profile=originalBelow: Finally! The Cape Gooseberry plant and one of it's fruit. Very nice and sweet too.

9779072693?profile=originalBelow: Yakon flowers. I planted quite a few tubers but they haven't all grown.

9779073486?profile=originalBelow: The bags of spuds are open to full sun again now the tom plants have been cut back.


Read more…

2011 AUTUMN March to May

9778989057?profile=original14/03/11 Autumn - the weather is just beautiful already with milder days. It's almost enough to take my mind off the colonoscopy I'm facing later today, or rather, the muck I had to drink in preparation. Thank goodness for gardening to divert my attention from it all lol (and Minties to help remove the dubious flavour).

I'm a normally a nibbler when I mooch around the garden and it's painful not to be able to indulge. I just want a lovely big meal of veg and meat with some FIBRE in it!

The pumpkin vines (heirloom pack I bought from Diggers) I gingerly placed a few seeds of around the yard are doing their best to take over everything. There are mainly male flowers but I did manage to find one female yesterday morning and have hopefully succeeded in pollinating it.

Lettuce are going to seed nicely. I haven't collected lettuce seed before but others seem to do it without too much fuss, so shouldn't be too hard.

Rodents are eating any crop I get on - seem to be after the seed inside. They chewed holes in the Banana Rockmelon (was able to save the bulk due to the size of the fruit) but have completely consumed all my tomatoes, eggplant and red okra. They also attack my cucumbers. Oddly the ones growing on the outside of the beds are untouched. My dogs think the rodents live on the inside and when I let them, dig deep holes trying to find them. I've found two dead mice they've killed (near the aviary) and a large dead rat most likely killed by Nathan's rat poison. Both my neighbours have chooks so the rodents are having a field day between our three yards.

I just hope the rodents leave my beautiful fig fruit alone. The little plant has a couple of dozen developing.

Back from the loo again :(

More diversion needed.

9778988898?profile=original13/03/11 Isn't she a beauty - self sown by some thoughful little bird. I wish I knew which it is so I can admire and thank them. This is the second self sown providing a big crop and there are a couple more little plants coming up around the yard that I transplant to better spots when I find them.

Back again :(

9778989270?profile=original13/03/11 This is where the compost pile was (Lychee branches in the foreground need cutting down smaller). I've just moved it all into bed 1 on top of the existing well broken down compost and new grasss clippings and will add some horse poo, Organic Xtra and granite/deco (potassium) and basalt (calcium). The ground is still extremely soggy/slippery as this is the low point in the yard and I guess all the flood water pooled here.

9778990454?profile=original13/03/11 First self sown Pawpaw is making a good comeback after breaking during a storm due to it's load of fruit last year.

Weed Tea (black tub) - don't know how I managed without this in the past - great way to give the seedlings and cuttings a boost and use up noxious plants.

9778990287?profile=original14/03/11 Babaco cuttings now in indivual pots (still in the sandy seed raising mix) and still seem to be doing well. Some of the cuttings had roots forming and others didn't, yet they all show new growth.


9778991298?profile=original25/03/11  Bed one  replanted - some of the seedlings not doing so well - not sun hardened??

At front - yellow dwarf bean, to right Zuchinni Blk, middle is carrot medly and parsnip seed, left & right towards back are lettuce (can never have enough lettuce on the go), back is corn and roma tom, neither of which are doing well. Quite a few of the seedlings died the next day in spite of being handled with the usual care.

At the front of the bed are Cape Gooseberrys (trying again to succeed with these!) and a Tomatillo (had two but stepped on and broke the one to the right :S hopefully it will come good).

9778992086?profile=original25/03/11 Dwarf Macca - not doing much (some new growth), but still looking healthy.

9778992686?profile=original16/04/11 Pumpkin vine is taking over the backyard but not producing any fruit (heirloom seed mix from Diggers). It's literally giving me nightmares and I have pretty much decided to remove it all.

9778993290?profile=original17/04/11 Choko vine on front fence. The babies are delicious! This has grown within a short time and is already producing lots of fruit. Vine tips, tendrils and even the roots are edible.

9778993497?profile=original16/04/11 Hugo in back right corner.

9778994452?profile=original16/04/11 Bed 1 - dwf yellow bean, zucchini (Blk), mixed carrot, lettuce, corn, rocket. Tomatillo at the front along with Cape Gooseberry.

9778994289?profile=original16/04/11 Dwf banana - variety unknown.

9778995874?profile=original16/04/11 Chilli - Corno de Toro?? tealeafed from Roma St gardens. Quite mild.

9778996272?profile=original16/04/11 Spuds ex fruit shop. Must plant out the "special" ones I have in the pantry - grown from purchase last winter.


Still "between jobs" so I have plenty of time to spend in the garden. I've planted heaps of seed for various broccoli and cauli - some for the second time - did get four mini-cauli seedlings out of the first planting.

I have removed the all-invasive heirloom pumpkin vines. Nothing on them but some embryo fruit to show for all the growth. Very glad to have it gone! as I couldn't get at the plants in the back of the yard and the elevated beds were gradually becoming islands.

9778998059?profile=original25/04/11 I have my yard back! Freya in the foreground.

Bed 1 is coming along nicely although the whatever (??) is eating the tops of the carrot seedlings. No sign of any caterpillars etc in the morning, so I've sprinkled them with Vege Dust. Lots of rain at the moment though so must remember to re-sprinkle.

9778998266?profile=original25/04/11 Bed 1:

Zuchinni; Bush Bean "Frost"; Bush Bean yellow (? seedling from Caboolture Mkts); Carrot "Heirloom Mixed"; Radish "Daikon"; Cauli "Mini"; Parsnip "Hollow Crown"; corn; Roma Toms.


Bed 2 has been replanted. The depth is lower than I would like but I have lost my lovely mower people who brought me heaps of grass - must find another. Stephen is mowing and doing handyman jobs for me at the mo but he doesn't have lots of grass to bring me.

9778998490?profile=original25/04/11 Bed 2 replanted:

Pea "Sugar Snap"; James' climbing bean (?); Silverbeet "Five Colour mix"; Celery "Stringless"; Carrot "St Valery"; Tomato "Amish Paste"; Dwf Bean "Sex Without Strings"; Beetroot "Bulls Blood".

9778999097?profile=original25/04/11 Dwarf Banana fruit coming along nicely. Elaine has given me a bunch bag.

9779000066?profile=original25/04/11 Somewhere nice to sit with a cuppa and look out over the backyard.

9779000269?profile=original20/04/11 Listada di Gandia; Jeruselum Artichokes (where did they come from ?? don't remember planting any); Jalapeno chilli (according to Kate from Cab. Seed Savers); toms.

9779000693?profile=original19/04/11 Goodies hidden under the pumpkin vine - gave the embroyo pumpkins to Elaine; figs; 3 sorts of cucumbers (including Gympie Gold ex Cab. Seed Savers seed); Jalapeno chilli.

9779001301?profile=original17/04/11 Front Yard - chokos are doing well and grow so fast without any bugs. I've planted out the Tamarillo plants I grew from seed along with strawberry runners from Jess. I've removed some of the Pit Pit which was looking a bit ratty.


Visited the Yandina Markets yesterday with Jess and Michelle and it was a very productive visit!

Apart from the gluten free goodies on offer (home made fruit tarts, smoked sausage, cane juice) there were lots of edible plants and interesting veg to choose from. Picked up some more plants from the community garden nusery later as well at $2 a pop. Cheap cheap.


What's happening in the front yard? Filled up the back now making the most of the front yard! Have turned the patch of grass between the fence and the path into a no-dig bed - Midyim and lavendar to be planted.

Tahitian Spinach bought from Yandina Community Gardens. Entire plant is edible apparently - yet to try it.

Note: leaf joint is completely underneath the leaf, unlike the inedible alocasia on the other side of the fence which comes to a point with the leaf joint.


Dwarf Wurtz showing lots of new growth.


New bed outside front fence waiting for the grass to die to plant Midyims and lavendars. Choko on fence to right.


Pomegranates - grown from seed on left, Wonderful on right.


Yellow Jaboticaba (NOTE: this never did grow, sat there like this for over a year and then died) , Cassava at back and strawberries.


Black Jaboticaba, choko on fence, raspberry.


Tahitian Spinach, Tamarillos, Canistel, strawberries.


This last week it has become really chilly and the ugg boots and extra coats have been put into use.

The rats in the ceiling have gone quiet - dead? hybernating? At least they are leaving my seedlings alone now and not eating the middle out of my eggplants. The dogs have killed a few and enjoy our night time forays out into the yard to hunt down the ratties.

Everything is thriving at this time in the garden and being off work has meant that I can get a few jobs done that were on the wish list, like the garden bed outside the front fence, now all planted up with Midyim, Lavender and some native ground cover bought from Indigiscapes.

I have discovered a loofah growing mysterioulsy where I never planted one, in a great spot where I can train it over the tank. Just what I wanted! but lord knows where it came from

9779005268?profile=originalStephen (handyman) has put in a terrific post for my rain water tank hose which is connected to a really powerful pump. Love having it all tidy like this. He did a great job.

9779006261?profile=originalThe seedlings in Bed 2 (below) are coming along well - carrots, beans of various sorts, peas, toms, celery, spinach, beetroot.

Listada di Gandia at the front producing more flowers and giving me good return in fruit for buying the seed. The cuttings I took seem to be doing well also.

9779007255?profile=originalThe Dwarf Ducasse is now planted out and producing new leaves.

9779007858?profile=originalTwo of the three potato grow bags showing new growth.

These two bags are from spuds I kept back from the first cropping, so very excited to be growing second generation.

9779008282?profile=originalCorn seems to grow all year round and I'm never disappointed with the results. Just have to keep checking for the dreaded caterpillars helping themselves to the flowers and developing cob.

9779009285?profile=originalMost of this haul went into a roasted vege bake (not the cucumbers) which turned out tasty.

I did add some pea eggplant bought from Yandina Market but they are bitter and horrid which reduced the pleasure somewhat. Have to pick them out before eating a mouthful.

9779011276?profile=originalActually had some honey bees visiting - haven't seen any in ages. There are quite a few flowers around the place to attract them. Nasturtium are making a comeback getting ready for spring.


The rats have stopped eating my seedlings! (Can still hear them shuffling around in the ceiling despite the bags of rat poison). There are minimal grasshoppers, caterpillars and slugs doing damage! Time for growing some crop!

Below - Bed 1 coming along nicely - carrots are growing quickly and some of the broccoli and cauli seedlings are finally taking off without things eating them. Should be able to pick the little crop of corn soon.

Have soaked and planted the Bali Corn seeds Jacqui gave me, about 100 in all - fingers crossed that some of them come up - could be just my luck that they ALL come up lol.

9779012453?profile=originalBelow - 24/05/11 Jeruselum Artichoke - a little surprise crop found at the bottom of some dead branches of plant. Really not my favourite thing - am yet to find a way to cook them that makes them really irresistable.

9779004454?profile=originalBelow - Bed 3 (on left) with last of cucumber plant still in it, needs to be replenished and replanted with winter veg. This has been a prolific cropper but stupidly I don't seem to have kept a record of which seed I used! It was from seed I had saved from a previous crop I think - should still have some in a packet.

9779012656?profile=originalBelow 20/05/11 - spuds doing well.

9779012696?profile=originalBelow - Loofah has come up by itself beside the tank. Seems to have a symbiotic relationship with ants in that it produces sugar from little spots at intervals along the stem.

9779002480?profile=originalBelow 24/05/11 Bed 2 - coming along nicely - mostly beans and peas this time as they should blanche and freeze well. Also some toms, Florence Fennel, carrots, spinach and celery seeds planted and all coming up.

9779014483?profile=originalBelow 20/05/11 - First of the carrots (heirloom mixed colour again) and zuchinni. Have removed the zuchinni to make room for more cauli type plants. Really don't like zuc :S


I've notice one of the tomato plants leaves are rolling up. Seems it's due to the cool wet weather we're having and will self correct:

Leaf roll, or leaf curl, is a physiologic distortion that may develop with periods of cool, rainy weather. It cause the lower leaves to roll upward and become thick and leathery. Leaf roll does not affect plant growth or fruit production and requires no treatment.

27/05/11 Below - replenishing Bed 3 with all the compost I had.
27/05/11 Below - minerals for the bed - dolomite (calcium), granite (potassium), basalt (calcium & iron).
9779017262?profile=original27/05/11 Below - Hugo, Freya and Gretel hunting for buried kitchen veg scraps (last nights broccoli was the temptation).
Autumn is almost over - we've had some chilly days but last night there was quite a dramatic storm with lots of thunder and rain this morning, so quite a comfortable temp due to the cloud cover.
This is my second autumn/winter season growing veg - peak growing time - and I have a much better idea this year what will produce well for me. Lots of beans, peas, carrots, cauli and broccoli planted.
Jacqui's Bali corn seeds have been most co-operative and many of the 100 seeds planted are sprouting. About 50 have been put into Bed 3.
Rats - have had so much trouble with them eating my newly planted seeds and sprouts on the seed shelves. Have bought a whizzbang throttling trap from Bunnings, but yet to kill anything with it.
Joseph (Mok) has found this recipe for making rat cakes - poisonous to rats (and rabbits) but not harmfull to dogs (who can pass wind and won't bloat up....apparently).

The recipe is to mix one part sugar (castor sugar is ideal) with one part sodium bicarb (baking soda) and one part flour. You add a bit of water to form a dough and dish out pieces of this "cake" to areas where rodents are active.

The digestive system of rodents cannot expel gas and the idea is that bicarb produces CO2 when it comes into contact with acid (in this case stomach acid). The gas causes the stomach to expand, resulting in either an implosion or suffocation - by pressing up against the lungs.

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