Thursday, October 30, 2008

Veggie Patch from scratch

We started this only last month- and have already eaten some of our efforts! We picked a small area (2m x 3m) of weedy lawn where the sun hits most of the day. I marked it out roughly and started to dig.... really hard work, the ground was so hard, dry and full of weed roots if was like digging carpet.

There was no way anything would grow in that, it was actually repelling water, so I dug in a bag of compost, 2 bags of cow manure and 1 bag blood & bone.

Eventually it looked like something like soil ....

(no need for gym membersip this year!)

We made a border with some recycled timber sleepers, then topped them with some mud bricks, bushrock and old house bricks (total cost - nil)!

Some cheap lattice things at the back from the reject shop as trellis for climbing plants, and hey presto !

I had been trying my hand at seed raising for the first time (not fantastic results but enough to have something to plant! ) so some of them went in, and some seeds direct to the soil.

I have bought seeds from a few sources who sell 'heirloom' or 'heritage' varieties, sometimes organic, but always open-pollinated and non-genetically modified. These are the varieties of foods that used to be around generations ago, but have been 'culled' by supermarkets nowadays if they don't travel well (think hard strawberries!) or withstand extended periods of sitting in warehouses. (Did you know supermarkets generally won't stock apple varieties that have a shelf life of less than 4 months? Wonder how long it takes from the orchard to your fruit bowl?)
Heirloom varieties do however, have better flavour and extended growing seasons, so ideal for small home-veggie-gardeners!

There are plenty of online companies in Australia, but the ones I like are:

I also got some seeds from my native gardening tutor, and some from a swap I did on Aussies Living Simply

So.... what did we put in???

Broad Beans
Peas (greenfeast)
Tomatoes (2x full size, 2xcherry size and 1 xplum type)
Pak Choy
Cos Lettuce
Mesclun Mix
Radish (kids project!)
Beetroot (rainbow)
Zucchini (black beauty)

hmm ...think thats it .... oh, and a big flat rock in the middle so I can stand on it to reach everything!

We later put more stakes in the front and planted some climbing beans (Blue Lake) in front of the border wall (making use of all spaces!)

It's all doing pretty well , considering our local water restrictions and our lack of experience!

Have eaten the radishes (very proudly harvested by our kids) and bits of various lettuces.
Its still only mid Spring so the best is yet to come.....

(7 weeks after sowing!!)

1 comment:

gerribol said...

Like your gardening edging mountain mum. I followed the link from ALS.