I've been sucked in - and i'm lovin' it!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Flamin' Mongrel, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. Flamin' Mongrel

    Flamin' Mongrel Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi SSC crew. My story....well, our family moved to a nice big 4000m2 block and a soon found myself wanting to grow food....I started back in June or July last year and was keen to try growing from seed only!
    I made 2 big raised beds from some old wood and next thing you know, I have planted, brocolli, kale, beans, carrots, and a bunch of other stuff....I had some success and some failures, some my fault and some from the local animals (i think!). I currently have 2 beds (2400 x 900) with capsicum, chilli, tomato, cucumbers, corn, climbing and bush beans, lettuces, and a half wine barrel of mint!
    I have just built another 2400 x 900 bed last week and have started to prepare it for growing. I am trying the hegul-culture method with ferns, stick, logs, leaf matter, worm casings, clean fill (from a gumtree ad that was building a pool!) and some cardboard. I watched Marks video about NOT buying the premium compost from the landscape supply store, so now, i am on the hunt for some more cleaner fill (more dirt than sand) on gumtree. Then I will add some compost and manure.
    Oh....Im on the Gold Coast in QLD....semi rural.....and my block is on a big slope. So this will be a challenge I'd like some help with in due course.
    Thanks for having me - looking forward to asking, answering and participating in my new hobby.....
    Some photos of the beds after yesterdays 230mm overnight downpour....I was so worried everything would be lost.
    IMG_6812.jpeg IMG_6810.jpeg
     
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  2. GKW

    GKW Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    G'Day and welcome.

    I'm also new to backyard fruit and veg and are working through the failures and successes of my labours...it's a never ending learning curve.....but I'm really enjoying it.

    I too have taken to the hugelkultur method which has also helped get rid of some yard waste and aids with veg bed health.

    There's quite a few SE QLD'ers on the forum so help / pointers re growing fresh produce in your part of Australia will be plenty.

    Best wishes

    Greg W
     
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  3. Wedgetail

    Wedgetail Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi FM welcome to the forum with veggy gardening it's the first 20 years that's the toughest gets easier after that just kidding it never gets easier. Cheers Dave
     
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  4. DTK

    DTK Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Welcome FM. Another SEQer here. It's a great hobby and you are in the right place (forum) for help and support. Dan
     
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  5. Flamin' Mongrel

    Flamin' Mongrel Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Thanks Greg - I find myself googling and using my PlantDetect app alot at the moment - not sure I can 'learn' it yet...information overload....but im trying!

    I have soooo much yard waste - 1/3 of the property is bush (I want to ask about planting fruit trees here later!) so there is plenty to fill the bottom of my new beds!

    And - The beds survived Saturdays downpour! Yay!
     
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  6. Flamin' Mongrel

    Flamin' Mongrel Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Thanks Dave - I'm in growing hobby mode at the moment....I have plenty of others to keep my brain and limbs and stomach busy!
     
  7. Flamin' Mongrel

    Flamin' Mongrel Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Cheers for that Dan - I'll try to be active and ask questions.....Super noob - I can assure you!
     
  8. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi FM welcome!
    I love it when I read that people are giving growing their veg a red hot go and mostly succeeding.
    That's what keeps you going when the critters take it all!
    Re your bush, could I make a suggestion after seeing what the fires have done.
    Could you aim to keep the bush and actually strengthen its quality for koalas etc?
    All our native wildlife are going to need every square inch we can give them for years to come.
    Just because your area was not directly involved doesn't mean your bit of bush won't make a difference. Critters will move in there if conditions are right which makes room further down the line for displaced animals to have somewhere to live until their usual range recovers.
    I've just watched a story about Numbats, a small striped pointy nosed critter we've taken for granted to date. But now apparently there are only 1000 left in southern WA! All those from eastern Australia have gone due to fires, farming and development. They need deep litter and fallen rotting logs where termites live because like several others of our natives, they only eat termites.
    Now if we go back to regular burning to remove that litter, they'll disappear for good. So we have to preserve small ranges for them.
    Let's not allow the same thing to happen to many of our other small critters down the east coast since the fires.

    I'm sure there will still be enough room for your vegies and fruit trees on an acre as well as some for the wildlife. 6 of those beds you are building will grow all the veg you can keep up with while an area 50mx 25m will house all the fruit trees you can keep up with. If you give your house, lawn, flower garden and driveway 800m2, that leaves half your land for bush. Even then, the big native trees will be quite far enough away from the house to guard against fire and storm damage.
    Just my thoughts.
     
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  9. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    You can buy compost but cheap potting mix with a handful of blood and bone is probably just as good as a $9 "compost" 25l bag so you might as well buy the fill in bulk and then add your own homemade stuff as it is far superior to commercial and goes further. Heavy mulching also breaks down in the bed and mixes with the soil over time improving the fertility and water holding capacity plus increasing microbes, worms, fungi etc.

    Welcome to SSC :)
     
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  10. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Another thing about adding blood and bone which is always especially beneficial is that it generally comes with 10% potassium added.
    It will be called something like Blood & Bone Blend.
    B&B needs to have the added K (potassium) to balance the nitrogen.
    This is a very old trick but one many people don't know about.
     
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  11. RobinsSea

    RobinsSea Active Member Premium Member

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    Welcome, Flamin'!

    Our neighbour was building his pool, and was kind enough to chuck all his dirt into my backyard, where I'll - bit by bit -filter out the rocks and roots and then slowly soil-build with compost. I find those building pools are usually quite keen to avoid having to take it all to the tip.

    As I'm edging towards retirement, I reckon I'll have another 20 years or so of soil-building raw material in that pile of dirt! No, it's not clean fill, but that's alright: the rock and stuff can be used for other purposes, too, like the base of swales and that.
     
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  12. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I second that interest in pool diggings!
    It can be quite good quality soil or if yours is heavy it can be lightened using sandy pool diggings.
    All for free, double bonus! :p

    Rock in fill can be used for filling hugelkultur beds. Just a bit heavy but only has to be done once.
     
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