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

late spring in the garden

Top jobs for November:

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

2.  Prepare garden beds for these summer vegies: spread layers of straw and manure and add
     some wood ash or potassium sulphate to provide potassium for healthy fruiting.

3.  Spread mulch over garden beds now while the soil is still moist.

4.  Butterflies are out and about. Watch out for the green caterpillars of the cabbage white on the

     brassicas - cabbages, broccoli, kale etc. Enjoy all the other butterflies though!


 Pest alert!

Cabbage white butterfly caterpillars can ruin cabbages, broccoli etc in the warmer months.

Slugs and snails can demolish small seedlings overnight.

Check here for ideas on controlling them



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

                                   mustards, parsnip, silverbeet, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, zucchini.


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

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

              planted out into the garden.

Harvesting now: beetroot, broccoli, lettuce, kale, parsley, silverbeet, potatoes, mint,

                             rocket, limes, lemons, tangelos, rhubarb), perennial chillies



For more details of late spring jobs see: 

Season by season - Late Spring


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:   Silverbeet

Silverbeet is starting to go to seed. Leave

some  to provide for future crops, and keep

harvesting the leaves.

What to do with it all?

Use it in soups, cook it up with sauteed onion

and garlic, add it to pasta sauces.

Here's another good way to use it:

2 cups cooked brown rice

large bunch silverbeet, blanched and chopped

1 onion, chopped

3 eggs

a slosh of olive oil

1.25 cups grated cheese

1 tblsp each chopped dill, marjoram, mint

 black pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients, saving 1/2 cup of grated

cheese. Spoon into a greased pie or lasagne

dish, press down and sprinkle with reserved

cheese. Bake for 40 minutes until firm and


Serve with a tomato sauce made from 1

chopped onion, sauteed in olive oil, garlic,

800g can of tomatoes, or equivalent fresh

tomatoes, a teaspoon of honey and half a

teaspoon of harissa paste.

The 'silverbeet' pictured here is a fortuitous

cross between silverbeet and beetroot. It

self-sows in the garden in various shades of

red, often with a delightful beetroot flavour in

the stems.

 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  22.11.16

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!