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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


  1. With limited sun you may struggle to grow bigger crops like the zucchini, broccoli, corn ect. On the bright side if you start filling the gaps with more lettuce, spinach, silverbeet while you pick the others you will have replacements. Another great thing to get planting would be fennel, celery and some curly kale. To keep the pesky caterpillars away I use Yates Dipel it only kills caterpillars and not any other insect. Most other insects in the garden are good as they keep other insects out. Also its organic. If you also want to see more growth in your garden get some fish emulsion and mix up in a watering can and water ever second week. Your plants will love you and after a lot of rain in puts plenty of nutrition back into the soil.

  2. I have envy! I hope to visit the lovely Lizzie soon and see her garden and her chooks and guineas.

  3. I often have the same great intentions after reading up on what I should do, however I normally end up getting excited/impatient and diving straight in. Hoping the blog hop will help me develop some discipline with my garden but its great to see that other people also go for the whole hulk approach.

  4. Granny Jo12:09 pm

    We grow most of our herbs and veges in pots and have citrus trees in pots too. My husband can take all the credit though- I just pick them!
    We buy most of our seedlings from the Caboollture Markets. It's a bit of a trek to get there but well worth it as the plants there are great value, plentiful and healthy:)

  5. Granny Jo12:11 pm

    Oops! Typo! It's Caboolture!

  6. Thanks everyone for your positive feedback and I'm heading to the shops to buy some Dipel Lizzie. I've got a little fish emulsion left and will hit the veggies with that too.

    Feeling revegginated! :)

  7. I would love to have a couple of beds like this! They look so neat and must be so much easier to tend. Must start saving!

    Yours looks wonderful and so green!

  8. Thanks Clare. I've only got one so it's a bit crowded, but I talk to them daily... that counts doesn't it.

  9. Kerry, Honestly after working with Dipel I am a happier person. I find that most home-made sprays for insects don't deter them for long enough. Look forward to seeing your garden next month.


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