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.

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.


Sow these herbs:     coriander, parsley

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: 

Season by season - Early Spring


For Sale

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

shop-bought citrus.

 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  6.9.16

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!