Wherever you live in Australia, or the world, but especially for SE Qld residents, if your vegie gardens were or are affected by the floods in the future, there’s a number of things you need to consider before eating your veges and fruit, or restarting your garden. Some produce may be saved, but some needs to be eaten with caution or disposed of if your garden was affected by flood water.
Here’s some tips for vege gardens to get you back on track:
- It may take up to 4-6 weeks before your garden is free of flood water contamination.
- Don’t eat or preserve food from your garden during this time.
- Discard leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, soft berries and herbs.
- Thoroughly wash beans, peas, tomatoes, capsicums and zucchinis in water, then soak them in vinegar and/or a weak saline solution. Always peel and cook them well before eating them. These veges are highly susceptible to bacterial contaminations.
- For underground veges like carrots and potatoes, wash them in water and sanitise as above. Peel and cook well before eating.
- Produce with a protective outer skin, such as peas, melons, some fruit, corn or oranges should be washed and disinfected, then the outer skin removed before eating. If possible, also cook the peeled produce well.
- IF IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT!
- During the 4-6 week period, it’s OK to continue watering your garden bed, unless it’s raining, and also fertilise and compost. This will help with leaching and washing away any impurities from your plants and soil.
- It is recommended to plant fresh seeds or seedlings from a reputable nursery or garden centre to restart your garden.
Good luck and enjoy!