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

May: autumn in the garden

Top jobs for May:

1.  The cooler months are an ideal time to take stock of the garden and rejuvenate the garden beds.

2.  Cut out the old berry canes that have produced fruit in the past season and tie up the new ones

     which will provide next year's fruit.

3.  Clear out old tomato and zucchini plants as they finish fruiting. They may be harbouring fungal

     diseases so don't add them to the compost. (They can be used as mulch under bushes in areas

     that will never be used for growing these plants.)

4.  Gather fallen autumn leaves for composting or for the chooks to scratch about in. Scrounge extra

     from neighbours who don't want their fallen leaves.

5.  Watch out for those snails and slugs in the cool damp weather!

Sow these vegies:    Broccoli, broad beans, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, lettuce, leeks,

                                   peas, mustards, silverbeet, spring onions, turnips


Sow these herbs:     coriander, parsley, rocket

Plant:   garlic, rhubarb crowns

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

                              rhubarb, the last of the tomatoes and basil, Warrigal greens.

                              Bean pods that have dried on the plants can be collected and the seeds stored

                              for cooking or for future crops. 




For more details of autumn jobs see: 

Season by season - Autumn


Autumn is a good time to collect seeds for future crops or for the kitchen.

Above are seeds of wild rocket, lettuce, parsnip, beans, parsley and coriander.

Allowing some of your herbs and vegetables to flower and go to seed

will help attract beneficial insects to your garden.

We're loving:   Cherry Guavas

Psidium littorale

(Also known as strawberry guavas or lemon guavas if they are the yellow variety.)

Pretty, fluffy, white flowers precede these delicious fruit

on a small ever-green tree that is pretty much

disease-free and drought tolerant.

The fruit are small (2-2.5cm diameter) but when fully

ripe they pack a punch: sweet, juicy and tangy, as well

as high in Vitamin C. They ripen over a number of

weeks, and are wonderful to snack on while working in

the garden.

In warmer climates these plants can self-sow and

become an environmental weed, but in Melbourne this

is not a problem.

 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  10.5.17

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!