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

February: late summer in the garden

Top jobs for February:

1.  Plant seeds of vegetables for winter harvest: carrots, parsnips, swedes, beetroot.

2.  For healthy plants and good crops, keep up the water to the vegie patch.

3.  Also water berry plants so new canes, the source of next year's fruit will grow well.

4.  Net fruit trees if you want fruit for yourself rather than the birds. Fruit trees can be pruned after
     fruiting. Choose a sunny day with low humidity to reduce the risk of fungal disease, especially

     with apricots.

5.  Provide water for birds, bees, and on days of extreme heat, possums.


Sow these vegies:    Broad beans, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, kale, lettuce,

                                   leeks, mustards, parsnip, silverbeet, spring onions, swedes, turnips


Sow these herbs:     coriander, dill, parsley, rocket; try planting a second round of basil

Plant:    potatoes, garlic

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

                              rhubarb, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, zucchini, basil, black mulberries, the last

                              of the blueberries, plums



For more details of late summer jobs see: 

Season by season - Late Summer


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 still loving:   Insect diversity!

Check out our new page on backyard diversity

 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  6.2.17

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!