Dry soil after the storm

After the storms that hit Brisbane yesterday you might expect that I could give watering a rest for a while.

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: July 2012

Thanks to a damp, mild and gloomy Brisbane winter, succulent mushrooms have boosted my menu from a low of 112 taxa last month to 157 taxa.

A Magical Day in Brisbane

There wasn’t a dry eye in Customs House last Saturday when Professor Alan McKee and Anthony Spinaze were married. Following four years of courtship, the couple declared their love and commitment to a hall packed with close friends, relatives and chosen family.

Scrub Turkey Trouble?

Question Hi Jerry, I have just moved to Byron Bay and have a Scrub Turkey (aka Australian Bush Turkey) problem. Do you have any clues as to what I should do to get my veggie garden going? Me and my veggie-head friend in Sydney love your work, Vicki

Marigold Magic

Question I love the smell of Stinking Roger, but my neighbour says it’s a weed to get rid of. Please do tell me what use I can make of it. Kelly, Facebook

In Production Today – June 2012

There’s just 112 different types of edible available right now, less than in late winter, since many crops sown are still juvenile. Winter in Brisbane is perfect for mushroom growing on the cheap. In cool conditions, mushroom fly (Lycoriella sp.) ceases egg laying, so its maggots don’t riddle mushrooms with holes.

Small, Sweet Cucumbers – Almost Without Effort

I enjoy trialling new crops, and this season one of the most outstanding plants at ‘Bellis’ has been the West Indian gherkin, Cucumis anguria. This trial had a shaky start, with only one seed germinating from the packet I bought from Eden seeds. I gave it well composted, freely draining soil in a raised bed…

In Production Today

After a dry April in Bayside Brisbane, 152 mm rain fell during the 28th April. A good gentle drop with no gales, it filled the rainwater tank and the stormwater soakaway pit. Not a drop was wasted : the compost-rich soil lapped it all up. A banana burst into bloom and my winter greens are…

So You Want To Create A Community Garden?

A gardening friend is getting ready to breathe life into a neglected communal food garden, so I’ve sent him these notes I prepared for Gardening Australia. In 2007 – 2008, there was a spike in oil prices. Since the bulk of food is produced using petrol-dependant technology (oil-based fertilisers and pesticides, petrol powered irrigation, harvesting,…

In Production Today – April 2012

I’m getting fewer summer crops, but my Asian greens are growing very fast indeed. Now that the nights are cooling down, I’ve begun sowing early winter crops, like salad vegetables and tomatoes. My native Midyim (Austromyrtus dulcis, aka Midgen Berry) has only a few fruit this year. They’ve got introduced Myrtle rust, a debilitating disease…

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…