Author Topic: Australian Gardening Thread  (Read 22590 times)

kiwidollabill

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 55
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #50 on: July 20, 2016, 05:44:10 PM »
Member from across the pond....

I'm a keen gardener, ~1600m2 section in town.  Most of it set out in the 'english park form', have owned for ~2yrs and been progressively getting rid of unsighly trees and planting NZ natives and pipfruit trees.  Lots of roses, smaller vege garden area but have a large/old wooden glasshouse which I will need to reglaze as a future project.  Plan to have alot of things in there which arent easy to grow in the colder south....

englyn

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 493
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #51 on: July 20, 2016, 08:40:25 PM »
Sounds lovely!

HappierAtHome

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5514
  • Location: Australia
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #52 on: July 20, 2016, 08:43:57 PM »
Posting to follow, I am very experienced in killing plants of every variety. But I got the first fruit on my lime tree this year (4 years after I potted it) so I am very excitied.

Ooh that is exciting! I hope to get a flower or 2 on my plants... long way off having edible fruit :D

Thanks I am super excited about them. I just got back from an 8 week overseas holiday so most of my garden is over ran with weeds thanks to the large amount of rain in perth while I have been away, so the plan is to deweed and then try planting some easy to grob herbs/ vegetables and start again. Hopefully with more success than last time

Hang on, it can take FOUR YEARS to get a lime from a lime tree? I thought it was meant to be "a year or two" from buying my dwarf fruit trees to getting something from them... I'll need to work on my patience!

Member from across the pond....

I'm a keen gardener, ~1600m2 section in town.  Most of it set out in the 'english park form', have owned for ~2yrs and been progressively getting rid of unsighly trees and planting NZ natives and pipfruit trees.  Lots of roses, smaller vege garden area but have a large/old wooden glasshouse which I will need to reglaze as a future project.  Plan to have alot of things in there which arent easy to grow in the colder south....

Wow, I'm envious of how much space you have to work with! Sounds like an amazing garden.

kiwidollabill

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 55
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #53 on: July 20, 2016, 09:32:17 PM »
Middle of winter doesnt look that great in the garden..... mother in law is downsizing their garden, I'll be getting most of her roses (some of them have sentimental value). 

Going to put alot of effort into the lawn this spring too.... I'm spraying the moss with iron sulfate, then will hire a scarifier, topdress and add new seed. 

nnls

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 796
  • Location: Perth, AU
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #54 on: July 20, 2016, 09:57:30 PM »
Posting to follow, I am very experienced in killing plants of every variety. But I got the first fruit on my lime tree this year (4 years after I potted it) so I am very excitied.

Ooh that is exciting! I hope to get a flower or 2 on my plants... long way off having edible fruit :D

Thanks I am super excited about them. I just got back from an 8 week overseas holiday so most of my garden is over ran with weeds thanks to the large amount of rain in perth while I have been away, so the plan is to deweed and then try planting some easy to grob herbs/ vegetables and start again. Hopefully with more success than last time

Hang on, it can take FOUR YEARS to get a lime from a lime tree? I thought it was meant to be "a year or two" from buying my dwarf fruit trees to getting something from them... I'll need to work on my patience!



I think it may be more of a reflection on my lack of gardening skills than a normal thing. 2 years sounds more accurate

kiwiozearlyretirement

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #55 on: July 21, 2016, 10:21:04 AM »
Happier at home thanks for starting this thread.

I hope everyone in Perth is well into the growing season because it is now. I am from NZ where you put anything in the ground and it grows so I have had quite the learning curve growing in perth. It took me a long time to get over the idea that the prime growing season was summer. it is not it is too bloody hot then unless you have perfect soil and shady conditions. so now i get stuck in in autumn to get plants going for winter and then keep at it every month to get plants started for summer. stopping most seedling propagation in december.

Yes value for money is important unless you really enjoy this as a hobby only.
We don't grow carrots, cabbage, potatoes, onions as they are so cheap at spud shed. But I reckon carrots and potatoes are quite fun for kids. Our problem is we have nematodes and shit sand so we can only grow in winter and only in raised/wicking beds in summer. soil improvement is key and you do have to spend money on this (soil solver) unless you grow in pots or pour water and organic matter on the soil for 10 years. but nutrients are important as perth sands are amongst the most impoverished in the world.

We have a fair amount of fruit trees (3 oranges, 3 mandarins, 2 lemons, kaffir lime, 2 tahitian limes, 2 bananas, 3 pawpaws, lychee, longan, starfruit, tamarillo, 2 guavas, 2 avocados,  5 grapes, dragon fruit, 2 feijoas (pineapple guavas for aussies), barbadoes cherry, 2 apples, apricot, quince, olive, 5 mulberries, peach, 2 mangos, 8 pineapples, 3 passionfruit, 2 figs.

The best value in order of most bestness at the top for Perth
mulberry - drought tolerant, abundant plus plus, can't buy in shops, fruits very early, minimal deficiencies in alkaline sands, provides shade also
pawpaw - grow from seed so free - lots of fruit, not that nutrient hungry, expensive in shops
guava (hawaiian) - early bearer, bears for 2-3 months, not nutrient or water hungry (but fruit fly so must bag with paper bags)
lemon eureka - early bearer and all year round but nutrient hungry, water hungry when young, many uses
oranges - our navel gives us beautiful fruit for 3 months but you have to bag and watch the nutrients
mandarins - 2 months fruit but bagging essential and nutrients as above citrus
limes good value and early bearing nearly all year round but how many limes do you need?
feijoa - love love these (from kiwi childhood) but can take years to bear (3 years for me) and fruit flies love them too so bagging essential - can't buy in shops.
figs - pretty easy to grow and expensive in shops. but fruit fly susceptible and fruit don't seem to like bagging
peach - so tasty and early bearing but all ripen over 2-3 weeks - bag for fruit fly
quince - yummo early heavy bearing, not nutrient hungry, some fruit fly, expensive in shops
passionfruit - abundant, early bearers, cheap/easy to grow from seed. expensive in shops but short lived 3-5 years and susceptible to snails and viruses.
apples - pretty cheap in shops and hard to keep from getting sunburned and need to bag from fruit fly
grapes - subject to attack by downy mildew (early croppers), ants (will eat the whole bunch) and rats (late croppers).

finicky and maybe worth it if you can nurse them to maturity
mango - i see great ones in the neighbour hood but mine are in the single figure fruit production after 4 years
avocado - very water hungry and need shade cloth for 6 months. long time to bear - mine 1 fruit after 4 years. tamarillo - water hungry and hates the hot sun (shade cloth or understory) but early bearing and free and easy to grow from seeds.


steer clear
lychee - mine has done nothing
rasberries - recurrent carking

persimmon - hates the hot and dry

veges I rate - tomatoes free from seed you have saved and the compost (i have never bought a plant), cucumbers but timing is important - too early mildew; too late, too hot, herbs ( but need to know different likes for each), silverbeat, spinach (only in winter), broccoli (plant in autumn and spring only), peas (only in spring), lettuce (winter, autumn only), 
kale - grows for a whole year just keep picking the leaves, garlic (expensive and great if you have the space to grow),

There is a good perth based Facebook group called jettos patch where they have the most amazing garden i have seen in perth. And perth is very challenging. these guys are super inspiring.


englyn

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 493
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #56 on: July 21, 2016, 07:59:21 PM »
Very nice!

I should add my recommendation for blueberries. Grow em in large pots in camellia mix, they like acid soil & a good bit of shade. I got very heavy crops, small plants, easy to look after, no fruit fly.


Anatidae V

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5920
  • Location: West Aus yo
  • Naps for all!
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #57 on: July 21, 2016, 08:02:50 PM »
Very nice!

I should add my recommendation for blueberries. Grow em in large pots in camellia mix, they like acid soil & a good bit of shade. I got very heavy crops, small plants, easy to look after, no fruit fly.
This is exactly what I was hoping! Brilliant.

deborah

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5130
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #58 on: July 21, 2016, 08:10:00 PM »

Hang on, it can take FOUR YEARS to get a lime from a lime tree? I thought it was meant to be "a year or two" from buying my dwarf fruit trees to getting something from them... I'll need to work on my patience!

Fruit trees often take some time to start fruiting, and you get small crops at first. Then, after a few years, you get so much fruit you don't know what to do with it. Of course, this is on the even years - a lot of fruit trees seem to have a year with low yield and a year with high yield. My hazelnuts gave me about 2 nuts a couple of years ago, a couple of bowls of nuts last year, and I will probably start having too many in a couple of years. But they took several years to do anything - for the first two, I was sure they wouldn't survive summer. The apples took longer. It depends upon how good you are with them and what the soil is like, and how well they acclimatize to your garden.

I assumed you knew about them taking a while, and that was why you planted them first.



deborah

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5130
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #59 on: July 21, 2016, 08:18:52 PM »
I have a book (American) - The Self Sufficient Suburban Garden. He has five stages - beginning (two vegie plots with two or three plants your family will eat and are easy to grow); summer garden (four beds, one experimental vegetable, two or three plants you can produce a year's supply of); multicropping and extended season; year round gardening; the ultimate (includes livestock like fish, rabbits, chooks, bees...).



HappierAtHome

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5514
  • Location: Australia
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #60 on: July 21, 2016, 08:47:09 PM »

Hang on, it can take FOUR YEARS to get a lime from a lime tree? I thought it was meant to be "a year or two" from buying my dwarf fruit trees to getting something from them... I'll need to work on my patience!

Fruit trees often take some time to start fruiting, and you get small crops at first. Then, after a few years, you get so much fruit you don't know what to do with it. Of course, this is on the even years - a lot of fruit trees seem to have a year with low yield and a year with high yield. My hazelnuts gave me about 2 nuts a couple of years ago, a couple of bowls of nuts last year, and I will probably start having too many in a couple of years. But they took several years to do anything - for the first two, I was sure they wouldn't survive summer. The apples took longer. It depends upon how good you are with them and what the soil is like, and how well they acclimatize to your garden.

I assumed you knew about them taking a while, and that was why you planted them first.

I knew they could take "a while", but didn't equate that with four years. Ah well. The trees are nice to look at even without any fruit ;-)

I think you actually gave me the advice (and happy?) to focus on planting fruit trees first, way back when I bought the place, as they take time to get established. I'm five trees into a twenty tree plan... hopefully I'll be at fifteen out of twenty by this time next year.

PDM

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 180
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Brisbane, Australia
    • Punk Dog Accessories - Blog
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #61 on: July 21, 2016, 10:17:26 PM »
This Weekend in the Garden...

So the weekend is here - prime time to get out in the garden. What are you planning to do this weekend in the garden?
Me:
-Harvest some cherry tomatoes!

Over to you all.

royaq

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #62 on: July 22, 2016, 01:53:07 AM »
What resources (websites, books, etc) would you recommend to start with?.  My wife and I have been talking about growing some herbs and fruits, but we have no experience whatsoever and are not sure where to look at first.  We live in Perth too and we the info posted by kiwiozearlyretirement helped us a lot to figure out what to choose initially.  Thanks!.

englyn

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 493
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #63 on: July 22, 2016, 02:47:36 AM »

https://www.facebook.com/beyondgardens/
http://petercoppin.com/ (this guy knows ALLL about fruit trees in WA)

The Great Gardens team used to run great free workshops, but they seem to have stopped.
There's a permaculture garden design workshop available
http://www.greenlifesoil.com.au/events
which looks like a great place to start. The greenlifesoil place sells the best bulk compost in Perth, too.

royaq

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #64 on: July 22, 2016, 05:52:44 AM »
Thank you englyn, great info.  We'll commence by preparing the soil this weekend!.

happy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3294
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #65 on: July 22, 2016, 06:17:19 AM »
Today it was 26C, crazy for July. We've had quite a few warm days and rain, so the veggies seem to have grown overnight.
Journalling at Happy Aussie Downshifter

kiwiozearlyretirement

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #66 on: July 22, 2016, 09:22:02 AM »
Oh yeah totally what Englyn said.

Blueberries go great in Perth - only in pots in camellia/azalea mix. I also move my pots into partial sun in summer as it is just too hot. They must never dry out. In summer we sit any pot outside in a basin and on hot days I fill this with water and the plant sucks it up through the day. Certain varieties fruit amazingly well and don't lose their leaves in winter. If anyone is interested I can check the variety. But they recently had to stop bringing them from over east as there was some quarantine issue. Ours crop for months from september till january.

Royaq I struggled to find resources for perth so have spent years researching online and in various books. I had a book supposedly for WA gardeners from the gardening gurus and they had some bad advice (like persimmons are great street trees).  There is generic advice from https://www.agric.wa.gov.au for all sorts of different crops. The advice is in association with commercial growers. remember that the commercial guys are allowed to water their crops 5 times a day and they have very cheap water. Otherwise growing stuff in perth in summer is impossible.
There is a blog called gardening WA style by an ex kiwi now WA horticulturalist who gives useful scientific approaches to gardening in perth.

My best advice is:
gardening in soil - put in soil solver as earliest opportunity plus organic matter
consider gardening in raised beds/wicking beds for summer
shade cloth nearly everything in summer (if you don't have an over story of trees) shade cloth free from junk collection
accept that perth soil is severely deficient in nitrogen and nearly all nutrients so you need regular additions. And sometimes the easiest thing is to spray the foliage rather than pour it on the sand.





« Last Edit: July 22, 2016, 09:23:47 AM by kiwiozearlyretirement »

nnls

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 796
  • Location: Perth, AU
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #67 on: July 22, 2016, 04:12:56 PM »
Oh yeah totally what Englyn said.

Blueberries go great in Perth - only in pots in camellia/azalea mix. I also move my pots into partial sun in summer as it is just too hot. They must never dry out. In summer we sit any pot outside in a basin and on hot days I fill this with water and the plant sucks it up through the day. Certain varieties fruit amazingly well and don't lose their leaves in winter. If anyone is interested I can check the variety. But they recently had to stop bringing them from over east as there was some quarantine issue. Ours crop for months from september till january.

Royaq I struggled to find resources for perth so have spent years researching online and in various books. I had a book supposedly for WA gardeners from the gardening gurus and they had some bad advice (like persimmons are great street trees).  There is generic advice from https://www.agric.wa.gov.au for all sorts of different crops. The advice is in association with commercial growers. remember that the commercial guys are allowed to water their crops 5 times a day and they have very cheap water. Otherwise growing stuff in perth in summer is impossible.
There is a blog called gardening WA style by an ex kiwi now WA horticulturalist who gives useful scientific approaches to gardening in perth.

My best advice is:
gardening in soil - put in soil solver as earliest opportunity plus organic matter
consider gardening in raised beds/wicking beds for summer
shade cloth nearly everything in summer (if you don't have an over story of trees) shade cloth free from junk collection
accept that perth soil is severely deficient in nitrogen and nearly all nutrients so you need regular additions. And sometimes the easiest thing is to spray the foliage rather than pour it on the sand.

I would be interested in knowing which blueberry varieties grow well in Perth

PDM

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 180
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Brisbane, Australia
    • Punk Dog Accessories - Blog
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #68 on: July 22, 2016, 05:26:37 PM »
Look what I did! 400gram of red pear cherry tomatoes. So tasty. First harvest and pretty happy with that. Organic grown with limited costs ($10 horse poo, saved/collected seed, reused stakes and gifted twine)

happy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3294
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #69 on: July 22, 2016, 05:48:28 PM »
Discovered why my snow peas/snap peas are not germinating - I've sown 2 lots with no result. Birds getting in under the bird netting Grrr.   Stupid birds, I gave them a fright early this morning and they were flying around inside the bird netting unable to escape - they must go in and out at ground level. Lucky none got stuck. Will need to do some repairs and extensions so that I can lay it  on the ground and put stones on it.
Journalling at Happy Aussie Downshifter

HappierAtHome

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5514
  • Location: Australia
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #70 on: July 22, 2016, 08:01:40 PM »
Look what I did! 400gram of red pear cherry tomatoes. So tasty. First harvest and pretty happy with that. Organic grown with limited costs ($10 horse poo, saved/collected seed, reused stakes and gifted twine)

Yum! I have tomato envy.

Astatine

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2434
  • Location: Australia
  • Blah. Blah blah blah.
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #71 on: July 23, 2016, 07:02:38 PM »
I'm procrastinating about going outside and gardening :p I'm still in the process of pulling up a big bush next to the driveway. I want it done so I can plant something edible there.

2 years ago (= 3 winters) I planted kale, expecting it to be an annual plant. But no, it's still going strong despite having gone to seed a few times. The leaves are inedibly bitter in summer, but after a frost the leaves become edible. In summer, we give away the leaves to a friend who has a pet rabbit (the rabbit LOVES kale) and in winter we chuck finely chopped leaves into stews and soups.

Freshwater

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 646
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Sydney, Australia
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #72 on: July 23, 2016, 09:43:05 PM »
I'm with you on procrastinating. All I feel I have done this weekend is look at things with hubby and say "yeah, we should totally do something with that/ move that". We have three (!) green tomatoes ripening inside on the windowsill where the rats can't get them. In other rat news, hubby went into the roof and found a dead one (must have been old bait up there?) so on balance this week I feel we're winning.

I've also emailed 2 x tree guys to quote on an out of control MASSIVE tree that needs a trim. It's way out of control and taller than the house so we're going to have to get the professionals in. It's some sort of fig and I swear it's doubled in size in the 3 years we've lived here. 

Astatine

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2434
  • Location: Australia
  • Blah. Blah blah blah.
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #73 on: July 23, 2016, 10:49:31 PM »
I cleared out most of the bush! Just need to dig up the actual stump next weekend and it's done.


HappierAtHome

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5514
  • Location: Australia
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #74 on: July 24, 2016, 01:47:58 AM »
This Weekend in the Garden...

So the weekend is here - prime time to get out in the garden. What are you planning to do this weekend in the garden?

Just spent a few hours repotting the dwarf citrus trees into half-barrels, and potted the super dwarf nectarine. Tried to dig up some kangaroo paws to make space for the pinkabelle, but apparently I am actually too weak to dig up plants? So now waiting until my brother can find time to help (he's taking the paws anyway, so makes sense!).

Anatidae V

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5920
  • Location: West Aus yo
  • Naps for all!
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #75 on: July 24, 2016, 04:20:17 AM »
I pulled things down and ripped stuff out. There was no obvious change, except that I was more tired. Next weekend I'm trying out my shovel on it. There's a pile of, well, random building rubble in one of the garden beds, and I can't keep it weed free. It's a small garden bed with a large deciduous tree and a frangipani, shaded year round, so hoping to get a groundcover to grow or a low plant.

happy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3294
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #76 on: July 24, 2016, 05:39:32 AM »
I divided and replanted the coriander in one of my wicking beds and thinned and replanted some very tiny lettuce seedlings. Sowed just a few more tatsoi seeds.

Cut down a tree fern growing in the wrong place and chopped it up for the green bin. Raked leaves and started to turn over the compost heap on top of the leaves.  Looks like some compost at the base of the heap.  Collected kindling, and larger sticks. Chainsawed up some branches for firewood. Think the chain is blunt :(. Split a log for tonight's fire. DD broke the handle off the splitter ( she's so strong for a tiny 161cm and 50kg!).
Journalling at Happy Aussie Downshifter

HappierAtHome

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5514
  • Location: Australia
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #77 on: July 24, 2016, 06:05:29 PM »
My mint, as previously mentioned, has been struggling (and I killed my last mint plant, too!).

I've now shifted it into the shade, and I'm going to water it daily. Hopefully that will help it perk back up!

Does it need *any* direct sunlight through the course of the day, or is it happy to be in perpetual shade?

englyn

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 493
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #78 on: July 24, 2016, 07:39:36 PM »
It's a small garden bed with a large deciduous tree and a frangipani, shaded year round, so hoping to get a groundcover to grow or a low plant.
Oregano? Mint? both fairly indestructible once they get going, and suit a small garden bed because they'll totally take over the whole thing.

Blueberries, I think I had Sharpeblue and Misty. They were fairly indistinguishable varieties, and they're one of the plants that benefits from a couple of different varieties for better pollination. I gave them quite a good prune after the first year, which decreased crop the following year and dramatically increased crop (and pretty bush appearance; they're a very ornamental plant as well) the years after. I found some good info here, just now: https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/minor-fruits/growing-blueberries-western-australia?page=0%2C0 - this says they grow 2-3m tall, but mine were only about 1m after several years in a pot. I mulched with pine bark as they like the acidity and it looks nice.

Freshwater

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 646
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Sydney, Australia
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #79 on: July 25, 2016, 01:01:49 AM »
A nice local tree guy came over and told us that our massive tree (some sort of non-native fig - maybe common name weeping fig from my googling) is an absolute pest and will grow and grow. He thinks it was a recent planting, nowhere near as old as the house. If we trim it back, it will grow even more voraciously and its roots are going to get longer and chunkier (some run along at surface level across the lawn and we can't open our back gate!). We could trim it down annually (at a cost of ~$500 - it's got to be 40metres tall and 10 metres wide) but it would look v ugly each time. He said if we're up for it, the best thing to do is to chop it down (~$2k plus stump grinding). It's on the Council list that can be removed without permission.

Previous to this chat were thinking we could control it by trimming it and building a granny flat on piles not too far away in the yard, but this new knowledge of what a rampant pest it is totally rules that out. So the granny flat (our retirement plan if we stay in Sydney) means chopping the tree.

Two problems we have - 1) The tree provides screening from neighbours behind us, but this could be solved by the design of the granny flat 2) I feel terrible about chopping a tree down. Two of our neighbours have just got rid of silky oaks and we now have heaps more wildlife in our garden as a result. Where will the birds go I wonder? And there's possibly bats in there sometimes (there was a dead one underneath once).  But then again, if we don't build a granny flat, we'd have to sell up if we are to retire early and move somewhere else and the next person to buy it will just chop down the stupid tree anyway. Maybe eventually it would be so much of a pest even if we stayed I guess it would have to come down.

Anyone got any experience of rampant weeping figs? Will it really take over the whole neighbourhood if we leave it? Would you abandon early retirement over a tree??

Anatidae V

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5920
  • Location: West Aus yo
  • Naps for all!
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #80 on: July 25, 2016, 01:17:17 AM »
Can you plant a different tree instead? If it will be your FIRE home, it's got plenty of time to grow!

It's a small garden bed with a large deciduous tree and a frangipani, shaded year round, so hoping to get a groundcover to grow or a low plant.
Oregano? Mint? both fairly indestructible once they get going, and suit a small garden bed because they'll totally take over the whole thing.

Blueberries, I think I had Sharpeblue and Misty. They were fairly indistinguishable varieties, and they're one of the plants that benefits from a couple of different varieties for better pollination. I gave them quite a good prune after the first year, which decreased crop the following year and dramatically increased crop (and pretty bush appearance; they're a very ornamental plant as well) the years after. I found some good info here, just now: https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/minor-fruits/growing-blueberries-western-australia?page=0%2C0 - this says they grow 2-3m tall, but mine were only about 1m after several years in a pot. I mulched with pine bark as they like the acidity and it looks nice.
There's little to stop mint running out of the garden bed and into the lawn. Since it's a rental and I don't care that sounds like a great option. Does mint like perpetual shade, as Happier asked? Because this area never gets sunlight, and hence might be why nothing grows properly there.

Astatine

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2434
  • Location: Australia
  • Blah. Blah blah blah.
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #81 on: July 25, 2016, 02:23:09 AM »


Anyone got any experience of rampant weeping figs? Will it really take over the whole neighbourhood if we leave it? Would you abandon early retirement over a tree??


No idea, but maybe you could get a second opinion? Or at least get a definite ID so you know what you're dealing with. Do you have a local council guide to invasive plants, or maybe the state government does? I did do a quick google on weeping figs and it seems like they can do an awful lot of damage, so if it were me and I knew for sure that's what it was, I'd go for removal. And then plant some fast growing screening plants in its place.


happy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3294
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #82 on: July 25, 2016, 02:56:46 AM »
Some figs are very invasive - but I don't  personally know about weeping figs specifically. They can develop extensive root systems.  If you google it and look at the Burkes backyard entry, they say container only or they wreak havoc. Wollongong council has a list of trees they let you cut down without permission  and weeping fig is not on it although Ficus elastic (rubber tree) is. If its on your council list that can be removed without permission I would guess its known to cause problems either onsite or environmentally generally. You are much better off getting rid of it and growing some native bird friendly species if thats your concern. Some species of Grevillea' s will grow really quickly, be minimally invasive and provide habitat quite soon. They maybe relatively short-lived ( years rather than decades) so you could use them as a starter whilst you are waiting  some slower growers to do the trick.

Personally I've found non-native trees growing in the wrong place are best dealt with decisively sooner rather than later. They will only ever get bigger and cause more problems. Not sure if this species sucker, but if it does leaving too longer will just cause more and more problems. 2k sound pretty reasonable for a large tree removal but you could always get more quotes. Worth doing if you are staying.
Journalling at Happy Aussie Downshifter

Freshwater

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 646
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Sydney, Australia
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #83 on: July 25, 2016, 05:16:28 AM »
Thanks everyone for the input. I realised yes I can plant some natives that the birds will love (even bushes) and that will ease my conscience. There is a building going up next door which is going to kill off our old avo tree I reckon and that will be a good chance to stick in some natives along that fence. I didn't know this but the tree guy said that avos fruit after a number of years and then the produce is only good for another 15 years. After that it gets stringy which is what we have. So it would be no loss to replace it.

Screening wise - the granny flat will do that so no worries there. We'd put some sort of espalier on the wall we'd look at if poss and then we still have a nice green (ish!) outlook!

Getting a second opinion tomorrow about the rampant pest-ness of this tree and we'll go from there. Our behind us neighbours are going to have an absolute fit if it comes down....! Will have to bake a cake, minimum!

And then more to think about... there's timing of all this. Someone is renting space in our yard (near this tree) to store their boat for abour $3k passive income. We have to hack at some overground roots to make it work. Maybe we should take it down before the boat arrives (er, in 2 weeks).

happy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3294
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #84 on: July 25, 2016, 05:42:30 AM »
Maybe we should take it down before the boat arrives (er, in 2 weeks).
Sounds like a good idea.
Journalling at Happy Aussie Downshifter

kiwiozearlyretirement

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #85 on: July 25, 2016, 09:09:47 AM »
Quote
My mint, as previously mentioned, has been struggling (and I killed my last mint plant, too!).

I've now shifted it into the shade, and I'm going to water it daily. Hopefully that will help it perk back up!

Does it need *any* direct sunlight through the course of the day, or is it happy to be in perpetual shade?

Happier remind me you are in Perth are you. Mint likes the sun in winter and early spring but likes the shade in summer. Needs it to be moist at all times . I have mine in pots to stop the invasive nature of it and sit the pot in a basin in summer so it never dries out. Mint is extremely easy to grow from cuttings. get some from the markets or even better a friend for free. sit it in a glass of water on the window sill and wait a week or 2. it will form roots and there is your new plant.

I think perpetual shade will be problematic if you live somewhere cold. and it guess this is perth in the winter. But give it a go. what have you got to lose if you get the plants for free?

englyn

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 493
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #86 on: July 25, 2016, 08:01:23 PM »
I am going to try this pot-in-a-basin trick.

englyn

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 493
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #87 on: July 27, 2016, 12:03:07 AM »
I am really enthused about veggie gardening again now!

I will be starting to make some wicking beds over the weekend.
http://www.sgaonline.org.au/sustainable-wicking-worm-bed/
https://pkozul.wordpress.com/gardening/wicking-beds/

from leftover metal sheet / recycled shed (free), star pickets (?), builder's plastic (leftover from another project) woodchips (free), sand (have huge pile in backyard already), veggie concentrate from greenlifesoil. Will have to buy the ag pipe and stormwater pipe, probably. Hope to get some shadecloth cheap from gumtree.

Freshwater

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 646
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Sydney, Australia
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #88 on: July 27, 2016, 06:33:50 PM »
Tree guy no.2 came round on Tuesday and quoted about $1,700 to take out the tree. He said yes it will need to come out but he said there's no emergency based on where the roots have gone to date but by 5 years we (or our neighbours) could see some problems. So we are going to hack at the branches and one root that has grown too high above ground ourselves and then take it out in a year-ish once we've designed and costed the granny flat properly. That way we don't need to look into our back neighbours place for too long. We'll just plan the removal for a day when our boater has his craft out on the water. Although I am fully expecting said boat to go out a few times and then rot in our backyard. What are the two best days of owning a boat? The day you buy it and the day you sell it :)

Freshwater

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 646
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Sydney, Australia
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #89 on: July 27, 2016, 06:38:32 PM »
In other news, we are setting up our raised beds this weekend in a new location (they are being evicted by the boat!) and I got two books out of the library about growing edibles to help us. One is for kids - so much easier to follow!

PDM

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 180
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Brisbane, Australia
    • Punk Dog Accessories - Blog
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #90 on: July 28, 2016, 06:49:55 PM »
It's nice to have helpers in the garden...here are my two unhelpful helpers...


kiwiozearlyretirement

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #91 on: July 29, 2016, 11:34:10 AM »
I think nns asked about blueberries in perth

The variety I rate is sunshine blue. Holds it's leaves all winter and laden with fruit. It was a nellie kellie brand and i think recently they have had trouble getting them from over east due to quarantine issues.
Maybe other perthites can recommend other varieties worthwhile. We eat ours for months just picked the first one the other day which is weirdly early. Everything is early this year. Mulberries laden and peaches flowering. Feels like spring is in the air too.

Astatine

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2434
  • Location: Australia
  • Blah. Blah blah blah.
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #92 on: July 29, 2016, 06:17:01 PM »
It's nice to have helpers in the garden...here are my two unhelpful helpers...

Cutest "helpers" ever!


HappierAtHome

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5514
  • Location: Australia
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #94 on: July 31, 2016, 04:26:32 AM »
Dad and brother took all of half an hour today to pull the kangaroo paw from the garden bed under my bedroom window. Brother says they look good in his front yard (he'd been reminding me he wanted them since I moved in!). The pinkabelle dwarf pink lady is now at one end of that garden bed, staked securely and probably completely unnecessarily.

Bro will be digging up (for his garden) the ornamental pears along the back fence within the next few weeks. This means I need to get on with ordering the avocado trees for that spot! I love some garden symbiosis. 

happy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3294
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #95 on: July 31, 2016, 05:49:24 AM »
Today I spied the beginning of a broccoli head on my wicking box broccoli. About the size of a 5 cent piece. Caused much squealing in delight. I've found broccoli really hard to grow and have only ever had one or two heads. I thought there would not be enough light on these wicking beds to get any broccoli and was content to grow them for the leaves.

So, I haven't tracked broccoli growing before....will the head gradually get larger?  Or will i just get a 5c size piece of broccoli?
Journalling at Happy Aussie Downshifter

Freshwater

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 646
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Sydney, Australia
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #96 on: July 31, 2016, 06:13:32 AM »
This weekend was spent fixing the backgate and pruning things. Our pine raised bed boxes got lifted and moved to a new location and next weekend we will cut out the turf underneath and fill them up with dirt.

Happy, your story about the broccoli reminds me of when we grew a single one inch carrot last year and dutifully shared it three ways. We have two capsicums the size of blueberries which is very exciting. They are on a plant in a pot that was a seedling that germinated in the worm farm. All seedlings in the worm farm are planted and then we guess what they are. It has been wrapped in wire for protection!

Anatidae V

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5920
  • Location: West Aus yo
  • Naps for all!
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #97 on: July 31, 2016, 07:05:57 AM »
My probably-sweet potato plants are still merrily growing away, along with the desperate strawberry plant. I won't know if my huge stash of succulent cuttings are successful for several weeks, when they'll finally put down roots...

PDM

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 180
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Brisbane, Australia
    • Punk Dog Accessories - Blog
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #98 on: July 31, 2016, 03:59:00 PM »
Today I spied the beginning of a broccoli head on my wicking box broccoli. About the size of a 5 cent piece. Caused much squealing in delight. I've found broccoli really hard to grow and have only ever had one or two heads. I thought there would not be enough light on these wicking beds to get any broccoli and was content to grow them for the leaves.

So, I haven't tracked broccoli growing before....will the head gradually get larger?  Or will i just get a 5c size piece of broccoli?

They'll get bigger. Here is an article with some picture. http://www.nwedible.com/harvest-broccoli-cauliflower/

I usually let atleast one 'flower' properly for the prettiest little yellow flowers on top of that broccoli heads.

happy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3294
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #99 on: August 01, 2016, 04:56:48 AM »
Thanks PDM. I forgot Erica had a post on this. The plants/leaves are still relatively small - probably not enough sun - so how big it will grow is not clear. Erica says "In other words, big broccoli plants with big healthy leaves will make big broccoli heads and stunted little broccoli plants will make stunted little broccoli heads." Anyway at this point I'll give it some time and we'll see.
Journalling at Happy Aussie Downshifter