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

What do you do if you want to grow food for y
our family

but you are losing your eyesight?

You don't give up.

 See what we are doing in Erin's garden so she can still work in it.

October: Late spring in the garden

Top jobs for October:

1.  Warming weather brings growth - weeds as well as the plants we nurture. Clear them out before
     they set seed.

2.  Spring is peak snail and slug time. Evenings are the best times to catch these pests, especially in

     damp weather.

3.  Root crops that have over-wintered (beetroot, parsnip, carrot) will send up flower heads now.

     Leave some for beneficial insects which love these flowers, and for seed for future crops.

4.  Keep checking for galls on your citrus trees. Remove them all and ensure the developing wasps

     are killed by soaking galls in water for several months or by heating in the oven or microwave.

5.  Get planting!

Sow these vegies:    Asian greens, asparagus, beans, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, 

                                    celeriac, kale, leek, lettuce, mustards, peas, parsnip, radishes,                     

                                    silverbeet, spring onions

Sow under glass*:   basil, capsicum, chillies, corn, eggplants, tomatoes, melons, zucchini


Sow these herbs:     chives, coriander, rocket, parsley

Plant:  potatoes

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

                              rocket, Warrigal greens, miners' lettuce, mandarins, lemons, limes,

                              grapefruit, tangelos, rhubarb


* See Success with seeds and seedlings for ideas on how to get best results with your seed sowing.




For more details of early spring jobs see: 

Season by season - Late spring


In season:   Onion weed

Do your bit for the neighbourhood - harvest the onion weed!

(If collecting from public areas, be sure the plants haven't been sprayed)

Little Cauliflower Frittatas with Onion Weed

300g cauliflower grated or blitzed to crumbles

1/2 cup chopped onion weed

1-2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 cup chopped Warrigal greens/silverbeet

1/4 cup chopped herbs*

1/4 teaspn finely chopped chilli

freshly ground pepper

1/2 stock cube, crumbled

1 cup grated cheese

4 large eggs

Mix together and spoon into a well-greased

muffin tin.

Bake at 180C for 20-30 minutes until just firm and

lightly browned. Makes 12.

* We used parsley, rosemary and marjoram. 

Also try thyme, dill and even a bit of mint.

(Also see our Facebook page for an Onion Weed

scone recipe. Here!)

*Kill the cut off roots and any seed heads in the microwave or oven before adding

to the compost unless you want a full scale onion weed farm!


Updated  10.10.17

 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!