In Production Today, May 2014

May 2014 was the 351st consecutive month of above average global temperatures. Or put another way, any gardener under 30 years old will never have experienced normal growing conditions. This month’s weather has been surprisingly sunny, dry and so warm my ‘Java Blue’ and ‘Pisang Ceylan’ bananas and Sugar palm – tropical plants – are…

In Production Today, March 2014

The most widespread recorded drought in Queensland’s history has meant most of my gardening effort continues to be spent on watering and soil improvement. At least I’m able to keep fruit trees productive and perennials alive. Beds which would normally be filled with seasonal annuals can remain dug, mulched and bare until useful rain arrives. But…

In Flower Today

Brisbane‘s subtropical winter comes to a happy, floriferous end in mid-August. Today there’s around a hundred different plants flowering, two weeks before Australia’s official first day of spring.

In Production Today – March 2012

March is generally when summer productivity slows and diversity decreases in my garden. But pawpaw have surged ahead, jute and all the basils are brilliant, and I’m picking the last plump figs. Rats beat me to my first two autumn pineapples… Rather like my strawberries, I’m waiting for the nights to become a bit cooler…

In Production Today – February 2012

One regular question I get asked by subtropical gardeners is what to grow during summer. Summer is when I grow the smallest range of crops. It’s not because you have to regularly control grasshoppers and caterpillars, I just stick with ones that fare well if we get baked…or flooded. Jute (aka Egyptian spinach, left) provides…

In Production Today – January 2012

This is what’s ready to eat in my garden this month. The two year-old Italian flat-leaved parsley is flowering profusely, and the triple curled parsley is just beginning to flower. Despite reading that ‘Red Gauntlet’ strawberry is unsuited to the subtropics, it continues fruiting, in fact they haven’t stopped since May. The 300 sq metre…

In Production Today – December 2011

I think I have found an alternative to parsnip for the subtropics. Yesterday I had fun cooking my first Hamburg parsley roots (Petroselenium crispum var. tuberosum). I haven’t grown this herb/ vegetable since I was fifteen and gardening in London. Hamburg parsley is a cool climate crop that, historically, was displaced in favour of the…