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.
** 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.
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:
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
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.
Borsch - beetroot soup makes a warming winter meal, and fresh beetroot salads are always wonderful.
Chokos 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
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!