Leafy Greens, Yes Please!

For a busy family, growing food in the backyard seems so simple and essential when the crops are blooming. From March to November last year, the garden produced so much silverbeet, lettuce, cabbage and parsley, as well as several crops of butter beans and green beans – enough to fulfil most of our ‘greens’ needs.

Post Christmas holidays the garden is run down, the only edible greens are a couple of clumps of parsley. It is tough to keep the plants alive through the heat of summer. Now the first rains of February have broken the spell, it’s time to plant, grow and eat greens from the backyard again… and never buy anymore silverbeet!

Hardy clump of Flat-leaf Parsley

Flat-leaf Parsley, a great low maintenance summer staple 

Building raised garden beds

One raised garden bed 3x3m

Filled with  soil Рready to go!

We built this on the weekend! Amazing family effort. The kids wanted to be involved in the building and filling, it was handy to have some ear muffs and gloves for them to wear.

The garden bed was designed to be 3x3m square and 0.4m high. Due to the slope of the ground, only two sides are the planned height – 2 sleepers, and the other two sides are 0.2m – one sleeper high. Enough materials left over to build another smaller raised bed, 2x1m large, 0.2m high, which was also completed on the weekend.

The raised bed was designed to use the full 3m length sleeper to avoid wasted off cuts. The post holes were dug 0.6m deep.

Materials used include: 8 x 3m sleepers and 3x 2.4m posts, 150mm bugle head screws, 3.5m3 premium organic soil. Total budget: $370 – a big investment!

Seeds of inspiration!

Organic seeds selected

Planted and set to flourish- 17 July

I have planted the seeds of seasonal vegetables that i’d like to eat. At this moment I have planted seeds that would normally be the summer crop in Melbourne – tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkin, beans, watermelon, etc.

My gardening style is rather intuitive – lots of trial and error. I do hope to learn some tips from local gardeners and understand a locally appropriate crop rotation plan.

Seeds are planted in small pots, using an organic seed raising potting mix from the local produce store.

With some watering each day, this should give me about 3 weeks to build the veggie garden – nothing like a bit of pressure to get motivated!