Max Lindegger of Ecological Solutions has kindly agreed for Permaculture Noosa to post his newsletters on our site:

Harvesting time!!


You should be harvesting a load of vegetables from Broccoli to Cauliflower and Spring Onions to Cabbages from now on. It is getting towards the end of the winter planting season but there are still a few vegetables you can plant as seedlings if you get in early. The August planting calendar will look quite different as many of the winter vegetables would mature into the warmer spring months and require a lot more attention and protection from bugs. It is for the very dedicated Gardner only.

If you would plant Cauliflower as a seedlings now you would expect to harvest them towards the end of November and this is peak bug time – most of the time.

The weather in June was quite good for gardening with a mild start with some rain followed by some typical sunny winter days with chilly mornings which would have killed off some of the bugs. No frosts here at Crystal Waters which means a lot of Tom’s.

Maybe there was a little too much rain and too many foggy days for some of the vegetables in our valley.

You may have noticed some brown florets in the middle of your first-pick Broccoli. This is the result of water pooling in the middle of the forming flower. There is nothing much you can do ( maybe a paper bag over the head ( the Broccoli head!) in the evening and remove it in the morning. The eating quality seems to be not affected.

Some solid rain and showers meant little watering. Very few pests to report but there are a few mice and the odd Possum having a nibble.

I have planted a few long rows of Carrots again and it looks like germination has been good. I love home grown carrots but they are not easy to get going. This time I used coffee grounds to deter the ants ( ants may carry the seed away). Regular showers also helped with keeping the soild moist – a must for carrots at planting time.

I’m also a fan of Daikon Raddishes. They are really easy to germinate but are slow growing this time of the year. Thin the rows – the small radish size roots are terrific eating.

The White Cabbage Moth is still around and is doing some damage – mostly cosmetic. A frost would knock them.

You may have lost some Brassicas ( mainly young seedlings) to White Cabbage Moth ( the caterpillar). I keep an eye on all vegetables and if I see young larvae or the caterpillar I will spray with a Pyrethrum product about every week. Use as recommended. I find that a weekly spray will break their cycle. I spray with a hand sprayer in the late afternoon. Within a short time you will see the dead larvae. I only use Pyrethrum on annuals as this is a non – selective spray and will also kill beneficial insects. While this is an ” organic” spray only use it when required to save your seedlings. The spray will break down in the sun and is then harmless. Don’t spray edible parts of vegetables you plan to eat within the next week ( eg leaves of kale or the heads of Broccoli)

Most of Crystal Waters only receives light frost and the choice of cold tolerant vegetables is long and includes: Broccoli, Cabbage, Horseradish, Radish, Lettuce *, Onions, Leek, Peas * , Broad Beans, Spinach, Silver Beet  * , Turnip, Cauliflower, Mustard, Kale, Bok Choy, Tatsoi, Parsley, Mizuna, Mibuna and Wong Bok.

* denotes light frost only and should be protected during the night.

All the Brassicas have been wonderful eating and plentiful. Many varieties of Radishes can be grown in this area and they are not only great eating but wonderful to look at. I grow them in between Carrots ( some books suggest to mix them with Carrots but I have not found this very successful) and my experience has been that red Radish is better than the White one as it is much less vigorous and is ready to harvest after about 4 weeks or even less.It is quite tricky to grow really good Radishes. They should never be woody or too hot. Take it easy with fertilizer or indeed too much compost or the tops will be too big and the Radishes to spicy/hot. The Japanese ( Dikon) types are best grown on their own as they need some space. Dikon’s will store in the soil for a while if the soil is not to wet. In wet weather they may develop a black core – I still eat them but they don’t look very attractive.

Let an odd Broccoli, Mizuna or Tatsoi go to flower. The beneficial insects will love you for it. It is a good idea to have a flowering, indeed wild areas near the garden for birds, frogs and insects to mingle. Be careful when harvesting Brassica’s – we regularly find Frogs hiding in Cauliflower heads and Tatsoi. Mizuna when flowering is one of their favourite habitats.

When we have a series of wet days the Lettuces which spread seem to create a very humid environment which is attractive to snails. We had no problems when we planted two Cos Lettuces together or a Cos Lettuce with another Lettuce. Also planting two of the Asian Greens. two Spring Onions or even Leek seem to be OK.

If you struggle with too much shade in your garden during the winter months you may still grow vegetables like : Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Silver Beet, Endive, Radishes, Spinach and Turnips. They do prefer some sun but will perform reasonably with a considerably amount of shade.

Have a look at the New Green Harvest catalogue for some really exciting cultivars for many vegetables. Winter here definitely needs not to be dull. The colours can be amazing.

What to plant in July: Broccoli ( cool places only), Cabbage, Radish, Lettuce, Onions, Leek, Peas, Carrots, Broad Beans ( cool places) ,  Silver Beet, Turnip,  Kale, Lettuce, Endive, Chicory, Bok Choy, Tatsoi, Parsley, Mizuna, Mibuna, Wong Bok, Celery.

This month it is important to adjust planting to your local climate ( eg too late for Broccoli in warmer areas, OK in cool spots)

We will  have  Pecan Nuts and candles available at the Witta market ( 21. July) but are out of honey until the next season

Pat and John will have a good selection of seedlings – sun hardened and strong to make it  through all conditions.

Good gardening!!

max and Trudi

and Pat and John

EcoLogical Solutions – Consultancy & Education Services

Max Lindegger

59/65 Kilcoy Lane

Conondale QLD 4552

Tel: 07 54944741

email: [email protected]

I get often asked what the ideal pH was for various vegetables. I have included a list below. In my experience I have found that if you have a soil high in organic matter the pH is less of an issue. Still, for best results it is worthwhile to aim for a level close to the remanded.

Green Harvest sell pH kits and tools suitable for the home gardener. See here

Vegetable Optimal pH
Artichoke(globe) 5.6-6.6
Asparagus 6.0-7.0
Avocado 6.0-7.0
Beans 6.0-7.0
Beetroot 5.6-6.6
Broccoli 6.0-7.0
Brussels sprouts 6.0-7.0
Cabbage 5.6-6.6
Cantaloupe – Rock melon 6.0-7.0
Carrot 5.0-6.0
Catnip 5.0-6.0
Cauliflower 6.0-7.0
Celery 6.0-7.0
Chard 6.0-7.0
Chilli pepper 5.0-6.0
Chives 5.0-6.0
Cucumber 5.0-6.0
Dill 5.0-6.0
Eggplant 5.0-6.0
Garlic 5.0-6.0
Gourds 5.0-6.0
Kiwi 5.0-7.0
Leek 5.0-6.0
Lettuce 6.0-7.0
Mint 6.0-7.0
Mushroom 7.0-8.0
Vegetable Optimal pH
Okra 6.0-8.0
Onions 6.2-6.8
Parsley 6.0-8.0
Parsnip 5.0-7.0
Peas 5.6-6.6
Peanuts 5.0-6.0
Peppers – Capsicum 6.0-8.0
Potato 5.8-6.5
Pumpkins 5.0-7.0
Radish 6.0-7.0
Raspberry 6.0-6.5
Rhubarb 5.0-7.0
Rutabaga 5.0-7.0
Shallots 5.0-7.0
Spinach 5.0-7.0
Squash 6.0-7.0
Strawberries 6.0-7.0
Sunflowers 6.0-7.0
Sweet corn 6.0-7.0
Sweet potatoes 5.0-7.0
Swiss chard – Silver beet 6.0-7.0
Tobacco 5.0-7.0
Tomato 5.0-7.0
Turnip 5.0-7.0
Yam 6.0-8.0
Zucchini 6.0-7.0