Another Gold Coaster

Comfort

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Dec 30, 2016
58
32
61
Gold Coast
Climate
Sub-Tropical
I am on the Gold Coast on just under an acre.

I started witha couple of I ground beds but our clay soil made it difficult so I upgraded to two simple timber raised garden beds which I have run for a few years now plus a large stacked herb beds

Early in 2016 I created 4 x IBC wicking beds and 4 x wicking barrels.

I also built a Hybrid RGGS (rain gutter grow system) using pvc storm water pipe and grow bags.

All the new additions did well this year but I got slammed by the Quensland Fruit Fly and lost bucket loads of Tomatoes and Capsicums in particular. They have never really been that much of a problem before. Some of that is because till I got the wicking beds/buckets and the RGGS the hot weather was too hard to garden in. But now I have crops running right through summer.

Researching fruit fly traps and baits online was how I found this website/forum. So I have both traps and baits out and new crops of Tomatoes and Capsicums showing fruit so I am living in hope they make an impact.

Also at the beginning of the year I created a 600 x 600 x 600 continously flow through worm timber worm farm. I got the plans online...called Vermibin VB24. The castings have now built up over 400mm and I am harvesting black gold regularly. The worms multiplied so fast I have now built an additional 1800 x 600 x 600 worm farm with three bins. Each are now about 1/3 full and worm stocks are building and my 10yo daughter has plans to start selling worms when stock levels build. I built the worm farm, I paid for the materials, I feed them. I apparently have to build her a website... but she gets all the money?!?! A fair exchange in her mind.

I just purchased 35 lm of new colorbond off gumtree which will be converted into 2 or 3 more wicking garden beds in the next few months ready for the cooler months.
 

ClissAT

Valued Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Sep 27, 2015
1,841
885
361
Pomona, Qld
Climate
Sub-Tropical
What do you feed your worms, Comfort?

If I leave my yellow zucchini to grow to full size they usually have been fly blown so I have to eat them that day & be sure to cook them well!;)

This year I have had real problems with my fruit fly traps. I use 2 types of bait in plastic bottles & proper bait traps. The liquid evaporates within a few days leaving a black sludge in the bottom but no fruit flies. It's just the heat of this year. Both the proper traps & the home made bottle traps are having the same problem.

So far my mangoes are holding up ok with no fruit fly attack, well the ones I manage to save from the bloody crows! I've been picking them a lot greener than usual but often hard at that height to tell if the fruit is mature enough to pick. I have a 5m bamboo picker.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LoveInNature

Comfort

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Dec 30, 2016
58
32
61
Gold Coast
Climate
Sub-Tropical
What do you feed your worms, Comfort?.
Vegetable scraps from the garden and from our local fruit and vege shop. I try to puree them most of the time as the worms devour them. Horse manure for bedding and food......in my larger farm I am trying slightly aged horse poo in one bin and we'll aged poo in the other with the third bin using only vegetable scraps and coco coir as bedding. I powder egg shells and handfuls of sand every month or so and lime every couple of months or when the bugs start to get bad.

They love hessian bags too I found. I put 2 or 3 hessian bag in a compartment. The bags in contact with the bin contents rots out and they just love it.

I found a way online to get them to breed rapidly. Take about 20-40 adult worms or so and put them in an ice cream container with 3/4 sandy soil with no organics and then 1/4 puree of aged vegetable scraps on top and then seal the lid .. This triggers them to go into an egg laying frenzy. The thinking is basically the don't like the soil as bedding so it stresses the worms and because they think tey are about to die they lay eggs as a trigger. You can leave them in the container for several months topping up the food as necessary and until the first round or two of eggs all hatch and the original adults start to die.. I don't wait that long and after about 3 or 6 weeks when I can see lots of eggs in a test scoop I empty the lot back into the main bin and start again.which returns the original adult worms a flush of new baby worms to soon hatch.

I did a test with shredded cardboard but that did not seem to trigger the same level of egg laying but I have not tried it enough to be sure and that could be just environmental changes.

We just did a pantry clean out today so I ground up any dry goods we were throwing out from puffed wheat, rice, dried chick peas etc and have fed them this so it will be interesting to see how they like that.

I have bad clay soil and the neighbours mango is stunted and the one over the ack rarely fruits..... I think a lot of work would be required to get them to grow well and to produce. But my partner and daughter love them so maybe one day....
 

ClissAT

Valued Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Sep 27, 2015
1,841
885
361
Pomona, Qld
Climate
Sub-Tropical
Thanks for all that wonderful info, Comfort.
I wouldn't use my own horse poo because it would just magnify the soil imbalances & deficiencies.
But one day soon I will go to a racing stables & get a full load of stable cleanings which will be everything mixed together.
It should compost really well & be properly balanced.
So if I have the energy I'll do a small batch with worms in.
I saved my Mother's compost material in horse feed bags & it's full of compost worms so it will make an excellent starter.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LoveInNature

Mark

Founder
Staff member
May 27, 2012
5,066
1,437
411
Bellmere, QLD
www.selfsufficientme.com
Climate
Sub-Tropical
Welcome to SSC @Comfort thank you for joining!
So I have both traps and baits out and new crops of Tomatoes and Capsicums showing fruit so I am living in hope they make an impact.
Best of luck with these methods but the only way I can beat them is by exclusion netting (or picking fruit when young, if possible, before the fruit fly sting). We should chat more in the relevant threads to keep adding to the discussion and make it easier for others to follow I suppose...
Easy and cheap DIY Fruit Fly trap
Fruit Fly Trap - commercial type
Fruit Saver fruit tree net to protect against fruit fly, birds, & animals
QLD fruit fly Vs Medfly (Mediterranean)
I found a way online to get them to breed rapidly. Take about 20-40 adult worms or so and put them in an ice cream container with 3/4 sandy soil with no organics and then 1/4 puree of aged vegetable scraps on top and then seal the lid .. This triggers them to go into an egg laying frenzy.
Speaking of discussions, this would be a very interesting thread to create on its own if you would like to? :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: LoveInNature

LoveInNature

Active Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Dec 16, 2016
44
21
41
Brisbane
Climate
Sub-Tropical
@Comfort
Welcome aboard.

I so love that your daughter is so enterprising. I love to hear how the children develop ideas and run with them.

At Christmas we hatched our first batch of quail eggs. Over the 3 days the kids never went near an electronic device other than to update people about the chicks. They are now so involved in our latest Giant/Goliath batch of eggs we set yesterday.

All the best!
 

ClissAT

Valued Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Sep 27, 2015
1,841
885
361
Pomona, Qld
Climate
Sub-Tropical
Today I caught out the corner of my eye, a Qld fruit fly stinging my yellow zucchini!
It was so quick I almost missed it. :eek: