the backyard vegetable
Welcome to the backyard vegetable!
Why not have a go at growing your own fresh food?
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.
Note: planting and harvest times are based
on conditions in Melbourne's eastern suburbs.
Summer is on the way.
Berries are ripening, pea pods are filling out, broad beans are almost finished.
The first tomatoes are forming, cucumbers, zucchinis and beans are on their way.
New potatoes can be 'bandicooted' from beneath plants with flowers.
Sow now: beans, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, coriander, cucumber, carrots (some varieties),
leek, lettuce, mustards, parsnip, radish, rocket, parsley, silverbeet, zucchini.
Plant seedlings of tomatoes, chilli, eggplant
For more details, see: Season by season
Harvest now: broad beans, peas, broccoli, cabbage, kale, parsley, mustards,
silverbeet, lettuce, citrus.
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
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.
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!
A website re-vamp is underway,
and hopefully it is an easier read.