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.

February: Late Summer in the garden

Top jobs for February:

1.  Still time to sow seeds of winter vegetables.

2.  Late summer fruits are ripening, including plums and grapes. Watch out for birds - and rats.

3.  Keep the vegie patch well watered and mulch, mulch, mulch - but make sure the soil is damp first.

4.  Watch out for Green Vegetable Bugs and their eggs.

5.  Cabbage White Butterflies decimate brassica crops in summer. Regular spraying with Dipel will

     help control these without upsetting other insects.

6.  Prune fruit trees after fruiting. Choose a warm, dry day to minimise the risk of fungal disease.

     Summer pruning helps keep fruit trees to a manageable size.

Contact us if you need advice

Sow these vegies*:    beetroot, bok choy, broad beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, leek,

                                     loose leaf lettuce, mustards, parsnip, radish,silverbeet, spring onions,

                                     swedes and turnips


Sow these herbs:     coriander, dill, rocket, parsley

Plant:  potatoes and garlic

Harvesting now:  beans, cabbage, coriander, cucumbers, lettuce, kale, parsley, silverbeet,

                              potatoes, mint, rocket, Warrigal greens, the last tangelos, rhubarb, plums,

                              strawberries, zucchinis


For ideas on how to get best results with your seed sowing, look here:

Success with seeds and seedlings




For more details of late summer jobs see: 

Season by season - Late Summer


Watch out for these!

Green vegetable bugs are sap-suckers and can cause serious damage to summer vegetable crops.

(The damage can be clearly seen on the green tomato shown below.)

In their early nymph stages they are small and smartly coloured in black, yellow and red.

As they mature they add shades of green to their decor, and as adults they are all green and about

15mm long.
When threatened or squashed they stink - hence their other name of stink bugs.

A quick squirt with dilute detergent in a spray bottle will quickly kill these bugs: just spray the bugs, not

the whole plant.



Updated  10.2.18

 the backyard vegetable is also 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.

Out of interest we measured the amount of produce over a couple of years.

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!