Growing my own veggies

I want to have a veggie patch  in the new garden I said to K2. I have a vision of going out into my back yard and picking my own lovingly tended organic veggies and serving them up for dinner.

Then reality struck. K2 didn't really see a veggie garden as a decorative feature so it had to be hidden on the south west side of our long, narrow block.  We live in inner suburban Brisbane on a small 400sq m block of land that's mostly house.

On the up side I did score a fabulous raised garden bed which seems to be envied by my friends who have to garden on their knees.

Our landscaper did all the hard work which included filling the bottom half of the raised bed with free draining material and adding some luscious looking soil on the top.  I bought some Rooster Booster organic fertiliser to add to the soil as well and a big bag of sugar cane mulch for the top.

In need of instant gratification, I headed off to Bunnings and bought up big on a wide selection of plants.

I consulted the Gardening Australia Veggie Guide iPhone app, bought a copy of the Gardening Australia Magazine and even considered planting by the moon.  And then I just did it, throwing all caution to the wind, cramming as much as I could into my tiny patch at the end of March. 

Two months later success has been mixed.  With a south west aspect sun in winter is limited and some plants definitely cope better than others.  We've also had a lot of wet weather and some plants, such as black jack zucchini, didn't stay around for long while the others are struggling along.

Best success has been with the garden greens, a mix of lettuce types and asian greens.  We have enjoyed quite a few salads from the patch but growth hasn't been as strong as I would like.  Perhaps I should have fertilised more with my Rooster Booster.

Unfortunately I'm not the only one who is enjoying my greens.  I seem to have a continuous parade of caterpillars who are munching away.  The raised bed makes it a lot easier to see them but I would love to know if there was a safe spray I could use to deter them.  That's hopefully where my friend and fellow blogger Lizzie Moult who writes Strayed from the Table comes in with The Garden Share Collective. Any suggestions Lizzie?

The Garden Share Collective is a web hop about the veggies, herbs and edibles we grow and how to help problem solve and gain motivation to grow more food organically, sustainably and successfully.

Update: Summer 2015
I've revamped with a tomato tree thingo which will encourage vertical growth.  The passionfruit vine is in danger of taking over the world but I've pulled it off the lime, lemon and mandarin trees and I can see a little bit of fruit set. Hopefully the new greens I've planted will escape the pests.

I also welcome suggestions from all you garden gurus out there.  Next time I'd like to do it better.
Kerry Heaney