the backyard vegetable!
Why not have a go at growing your own fresh food?
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.
Note: planting and harvest times are based
on conditions in Melbourne's eastern suburbs.
September: early spring in the garden
Top jobs for September:
1. Still worth hunting for citrus galls. They need to be removed and destroyed a.s.a.p. so as to
prevent the tiny wasps hatching successfully and reinfecting your trees and your neighbours'
2. Cut out dead berry canes and tie up the new sprawling ones. Spread some potassium - in the
form of wood ashes if you have a fire, or as potassium sulphate - around the berries as well as
your fruit trees to help with fruiting. Add some compost too.
3. Prepare garden beds for summer vegie planting.
4. Start spreading mulch over garden beds now while the soil is still moist.
Sow these vegies: Asian greens, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, mustards, rocket,
parsnip, silverbeet, turnips, onions, including spring onions, sugar and snap
peas. Sow tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, zucchini etc under glass
or in a cloche to keep them warm.
Plant: berry canes, strawberry runners, rhubarb crowns, asparagus crowns, potatoes
Harvesting now: beetroot, broccoli, lettuce, kale, parsley, silverbeet, potatoes,
rocket, mint, limes, lemons, Emperor mandarins, oranges, tangelos,
grapefruit, rhubarb (winter growing forms), perennial chillies
For more details of early spring jobs see:
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: Oranges and Grapefruit.
Oranges and grapefruit, as well as mandarins
and tangelos are ripe or ripening now. In
cooler areas grapefruit don't sweeten enough
to scoop from their skins with a spoon, but
one grapefruit juiced with an orange makes a
deliciously rich juice.
Other than gall wasps, and at times,
possums, citrus have few pests and
Homegrown oranges, mandarins and
tangelos, picked when ripe, unsprayed and
fresh from the tree, are so much better than
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
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!