Welcome to

the backyard vegetable!

Why not have a go at growing your own fresh food?

It's easier than you think!  

We work with you to give you the skills to get

started with your own vegie patch.

Ongoing support, on line or in person, is

available to help you become self sufficient in

managing your patch season by season.

Contact us

Note: planting and harvest times are based

on conditions in Melbourne's eastern suburbs.

Check the plants we have for sale:

Plants on sale now

December: summer in the garden

Top jobs for December:

1.  Finish planting out summer vegetables: tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, beans etc.

2.  Mulch, mulch, mulch! Spread mulch over garden beds now while the soil is still moist.

4.  Watch out for the green caterpillars of the cabbage white on the brassicas - cabbages, broccoli,

     kale etc. Enjoy all the other butterflies though!


Sow these vegies:    Asian greens, beans, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, leeks,

                                   mustards, parsnip, silverbeet, cucumbers, zucchini.


Sow these herbs:     coriander, dill, parsley, rocket, fennel, chives

Plant:    Potatoes. Seedlings of summer vegies such as tomatoes, eggplant and chilli can be

              planted out into the garden.

Harvesting now:  broccoli, lettuce, kale, parsley, silverbeet, potatoes, mint, rocket, limes, lemons,

                              Murcott mandarins, tangelos, rhubarb, perennial chillies



For more details of late spring jobs see: 

Season by season - Summer


For Sale

Diversity in the garden is important for attracting beneficial insects. We sell a

range of ornamental plants and herbs which not only add to this diversity, but

add colour and beauty to your patch.

We're loving:   Insect diversity!

Good rainfall in winter and spring has everything growing and flowering exuberantly. This in turn has

brought an abundance of insect life to the garden.

It is a wonderful opportunity to observe not only the huge diversity of insects and other small creatures,

but the interactions between them and the plants they live on and among.

The garden has become a jungle, with metre-high gone-to-seed parsley, dill and lettuce, and even taller

gone-to-seed silverbeet,
parsnip and coriander. Paths have all but disappeared under these overgrown

vegies and herbs. But it is buzzing. Literally!

Enjoy the photos here of just some of the creatures found here.

In order from left to right, and top to bottom these are:

Clerid beetle, common grass blue butterfly, wandering ringtail damselfly, brown lacewing, hoverfly,

hoverfly larva, brown lacewing larva, dart, cranefly, grass blue sp. butterfly, native drone fly, Australian

admiral butterfly, huntsman spider with egg case, vine moth caterpillar, beautiful parasitic wasp - black

and yellow-striped ichneumon wasp.

 the backyard vegetable is now on facebook!

Why grow your own vegies??

Home grown vegetables are fresh, involve minimal food miles and,

compared to commercially grown food, use less water and fewer pesticides.

For taste, nothing beats home grown produce.

Freshly picked vegetables and herbs have higher levels of vitamins and antioxidants.

Even a small vegetable patch in a backyard can be highly productive.

(With good conditions one tomato plant can produce up to 10kg of fruit over many weeks.)

Options for small spaces like balconies are possible,

as are small raised beds, if that is what you need.

We often recommend a no-dig garden as a good way to start a food garden:             

  • it is easy to set up on an unused patch of lawn or garden                      
  • it is easy to convert back to lawn whenever you want to
  • it is easy to add to if you want to grow more
  • it is suitable for rental properties
  • it is a good way to involve children in food gardening


Updated  20.12.16

The photos on this website are from an ordinary back (and front) yard in the

eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

During the year of 2012 this yard produced more than 590kg of food, with a

value of almost $1800 (prices based on conventional produce from our local

greengrocer.  Organic prices would be at least double that.)

For 2013  the garden has produced over 430kg of food, plus nearly 19 dozen

eggs, with a total value of more than $1900.

Despite having an intensively gardened property, our average mains water

use is 90 - 95 litres per person per day because we use rainwater and grey water,

and because the soil is very rich in organic matter. 

The gardener juggles family responsibilities and work as well, so producing

these amounts of food is clearly not a full time occupation.

Our backyards are valuable!