July 16, 2010 at 1:11 am #252694
Hello one and All I am new here and this is my first post.
Please forgive any breaches in etiquette until I get used to the rules and regs here PLEASE.
My questions are these…
1. Can Blueberries be grown in Canberra and if so what are the best varieties and growing conditions.
2. What are the best Lemon varieties to grow in Canberra (the fruit will mostly be used for juice and making homemade lemonade).
I am pretty new to vegie gardening as well (well truthfully gardening in general).
A bit about me and my experience etc below if you wish to read it (feel free to skip this bit, just thought it might make it easier to answer my questions if you had some background info)…
This year and last year we put in 3 raised vegie beds (my beds are raised due to mobility issues I have from 2 workplace accidents in my 20’s), and had success growing Common Basil, parsley, mint, capsicums, lettuce (although they seemed to bolt), perpetual spinach (Still growing strong), rhubarb (didn’t go red – variety Sydney Crimson – don’t know why?), broccoli (had problems with cabbage moth caterpillars), tomatoes (4 varieties) and Strawberries (which have taken over half of a 4m bed and I only planted 3 plants). I also have 3 passionfruit plants on the Westerly wall of the house.
In the last 2 months my hubby has put in another bed and raised the tomato bed, so I now have 4 beds ranging from about 2m to about 4m long and about 2m wide. I also have another about 1m wide and 2m long on table legs. All of the beds have frames about 1-2m above the bed and a net hangs off each of these (we have possum problems and my first vegie crop of seedlings was eaten to the dirt in the first night).
The are all on automatic in-ground weeping watering systems. They are fed Seasol, a commercial slow release fertiliser, manure and I now have a compost bin (won it in February and am attempting to make my own compost for the first time, have NO experience) and this will go on the beds as well.
Sorry for the length of this post, but I wanted to give you some background on myself and my experience etc as well to make answering my post easier.
I don’t want to just buy a plant and hope it works as we are on pensions and our income is limited (I am on a DSP and my hubby is on a Carers). I am in my late 30’s and my hubby is 50.
ANY help greatly appreciated.
THANKING YOU in advance for ANY and ALL help that you can offer me.July 16, 2010 at 1:44 am #471505caddieParticipant
Sorry no help as I am in WA but good on you for having a go!!!!!July 16, 2010 at 2:49 am #471506
Thanx so much Caddie…
I am trying and it gives me something to do to get me out of the house, and home grown tastes OH so much better than store bought.
The surplus of tomatoes we had earlier this year, made a truck load of tomato passata (we planted 10 tomatoes in 5 varieties (2 different cherry, 2 roma, 1 salad)…
The spinach I have we have been easting, freezing and feeding to our pet rabbit as well as giving heaps to the neighbours.
The basil (I planted a PILE (a whole 2 x 1m bed) made a HEAP of pesto and is frozen in ziplock bags, cut up with olive oil ready for more pesto, and the capsicums I cooked up like the passata, ran through the food mill and made a great capsicum puree for adding to pasta sauces etc. (Didin’t what else to do with the capsicums).July 16, 2010 at 8:09 am #471507plumtreeMember
A Meyer Lemon would be a good choice in the Canberra climate. It is a good juicer but as with any citrus in a cold area you will have to ‘baby’ it until it gets established. Give it plenty of water and make sure it gets the sunniest spot in your garden.
Blueberries are a different matter! They are often thought of as a very cold climate plant but they have been hybridized for warmer climates and these are the sort most often sold in Australia.
I am in a similar climate to you and have found some success with vaccinium corymbosum, ‘Northern Highbush’. If you google the name you will find there are some suppliers in Victoria.July 16, 2010 at 9:29 am #471508bushyMember
Meyer will do ok in Canberra, but as its not a true lemon if you are looking for pectin from the lemon for certain recipes its not the one.
I grew lemonades in Canberra and they were fantastic, just find a sunny protected spot.July 16, 2010 at 9:41 am #471509Ajays MumMember
Try and find a second hand copy of ‘The Canberra Gardener’. My parents had it in the ’70’s and fed a family from their suburban block, and I had the newer edition when I lived there. It will tell you all you need to know about varieties that do best there! 😀July 17, 2010 at 1:15 am #471510dixiebelleMember
We are growing both…
Birgitta & Thornless…
…will come back & remember more to tell you & explain to you when not so sick…July 17, 2010 at 4:19 am #471511plumtreeMember
@Bushy…………the lemonade is every bit a cross just as is the Meyer.
Your point is well taken, however, and since you have had actual experience in growing one in Canberra it must certainly be the best to choose! That is an interesting concept regarding the pectin content.
@Dixiebelle………sorry you are not well and I hope you recover quickly.
I’m looking forward to your comments on the blueberries because I find them very difficult to grow. A lot of people seem very capable of growing them but my only real talent with blueberries is my ‘skill’ at killing them! The fact that you are in Canberra and we have similar climatic conditions make it all the more interesting. Take care!July 17, 2010 at 7:59 am #471512porgeyMember
Hi Shazinoz, I would definately get a lemon of some sort, I prefer Meyer, but any should be fine. I am not sure about Blueberries in Canberra but I have planted three down here. They are coping okay with the frost free winter chill but its the hideous summer heat and dry that I think will be the real challenge.
I suggest that you also google Woodbridge Fruit Trees and check out there dwarf & extra dwarfing apples. These are great for espailiering, ideal for smaller gardens and may make it easier for you to look after & harvest. In addition how about reducing your commercial slow release fertiliser in favour of manures & compost. Granted it is a bit more work but the soil and therefore your produce will be better. Best of luck and enjoy the gardening.July 17, 2010 at 10:13 am #471513
I will most likely eventually reduce my commercial fertiliser amount but until my compost is ready, that isn’t likely.
Also with my disabilities it is just easier for me at present.
At present I mostly use Seasol, a slow release fertiliser and some manure and compost (that are in the soil I buy (as they are new garden beds, this seems fine). I also add water crystals and shredded paper and the soil has other water retentive agents).
I have to weigh up the benefits of using more organic practices with my disabilities and what I can and can’t do physically.July 17, 2010 at 8:14 pm #471514WazzaMember
The COGS website (Canberra Organic Growers Society) has lots of practical information for gardening in Canberra, including growing guides and a planting calendar. Check it out at http://www.cogs.asn.au/July 18, 2010 at 12:45 am #471515porgeyMember
Its great that you are gardening as it is a benefit to you and everyone who grows. I find carting all the manure and compost around fairly hard work so it is definately a challenge and I do see the advantages of commercial fertilisers. I hope the COGS site is of great help but do look at the Woodbridge site as there small mail order apple trees may be really helpful. Happy gardening, cheers porgey.July 18, 2010 at 1:32 am #471516AndreKeymaster
Hello and welcome to Shazinoz :wave:
You will soon find that you have found a great site with lots of friendly people and advice. (Not that I can help you with your question though :uhoh: )
For the next 6 months or so, I’m also in north Canberra! (Watson)
There’s a get together of a few of us this Wednesday.
Short notice, but see if you can make it and meet a few local people.
Hope to see you there! (and hubby too :))
AndreJuly 18, 2010 at 2:48 am #471517Ajays MumMember
There used to be (maybe still is?) a commercial blueberry farm at Murrumbateman so that must be a good climate for them!July 18, 2010 at 8:45 am #471518bushyMember
Regarding blueberries, not sure how much cold weather tolerance has been bred out of the commercial varieties but the blueberry in its native region grows on the most exposed and high peaks of the mountains often totally covered in snow for 6 months of the year
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