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.



Winter is here!

Top jobs for June:

1. Prune out all the citrus gall wasps. These tiny wasps lay their eggs into the bark of the new

    growth on citrus trees. Lemons, limes, grapefruit and Japanese seedless mandarin are

    particularly susceptible.

    Tangelos are less so; cumquats, Murcott mandarins and Imperial mandarins are not troubled at
    all in this garden.

2. Apply copper spray to prevent curly leaf on peaches and nectarines. Kocide or Bordeaux are

    good options. Spray in June and again in July. Do it before the pink flower buds have started to

    form. After that it is too late.

Sow these vegies:    Asian greens, cabbage, lettuce, mustards, rocket, dwarf peas and spring



Sow these herbs:     coriander, parsley

Plant:     garlic, rhubarb crowns, asparagus crowns

Harvesting now: Dried bean seeds, lettuce, kale, parsley, silverbeet, potatoes, rocket, mint,

                             limes, Japanese seedless mandarins, oranges, the first grapefruit, persimmons,

                             rhubarb (winter growing forms)



For more details of winter jobs see: 

Season by season - Winter


Good stuff to grow for winter food and winter colour.

We're loving:  Bottled Tomatoes!

Nearly missed the bulk-buying tomato

season this year, but thankfully a grower in

the Dandenongs still had boxes of

unsprayed tomatoes, and delicious ones


They're not the usual Roma variety: their

juiciness means there is more liquid in the

bottles, but they are so much tastier.

bottler ate rather a lot in the process.


 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 161.16

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!