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.

** Plants for sale: youngberries, loganberries **

(See below for details)


August: early spring

Top jobs for August:

1. Complete the hunt for citrus galls. They need to be removed a.s.a.p. so as to prevent the tiny

    wasps hatching successfully and reinfecting your trees and your neighbours' trees.

2. Cut out dead berry canes and tie up the new sprawling ones.

3. Spray peach and nectarine trees with a copper based spray if curly leaf has been a problem. This

    need to be done as the buds are just swelling and turning pink.

4. Prepare garden beds for summer vegie planting.

Sow these vegies:    Asian greens, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, mustards, rocket, parsnip, turnips,

                                   onions, including spring onions, sugar and snap peas.


Sow these herbs:     coriander

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, the first tangelos,

                             grapefruit, kiwis, rhubarb (winter growing forms), chokos, perennial chillies



For more details of early spring jobs see: 

Season by season - Early Spring


For Sale

We currently have a few remaining thornless loganberries

and 'thornful' youngberries.

Loganberries (shown on right) are a cross between raspberries and brambleberries, purplish red when ripe.

Youngberries are a bramble berry, shiny black when ripe, more like a blackberry but with their own delicious flavour.

Both are prolific fruiters, but don't expect fruit in
the first year.

$5 or $3 depending on size and maturity

Contact us!

Good stuff to grow for winter food and winter colour and perfume.
We're loving:   Kiwi fruit.

And so is this juvenile King parrot!

Birds stealing the fruit is a sign it's time to


Kiwis store well inside and ripen nicely. Store

some in the fridge to extend the ripening time.

... and beetroot, chokos, citrus. Yum!

Winter is a time of plenty.

- beetroot soup makes a warming winter meal, and fresh beetroot salads are always wonderful.

can be added to any soups, curries or casseroles, or steam them with a mix of other vegies,

add a splash of white wine, some tasty cheese and freshly ground black pepper.

Lemon and lime
cordial can be made up with boiling rather than cold water to make a delicious hot

lemon drink - especially good if the cold virus strikes. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice for a

real citrussy freshness.

 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  21.8.16

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!