Hey lovely,

Today I’m so excited to share the progress of our veggie patch with you. We’ve always had a veggie patch at the places we’ve lived, mostly started by us.

In the last house we had two big veggie beds. When we moved into this house in Jan 2013, there was small veggie patch but heaps of room and potential (the area was all paved and there was a shed, despite the house having the most enormous shed and another two small ones around the other corner). I couldn’t wait to grow a huge veggie patch and really start to produce veggies for us to eat.

Before Pic 1 - a tiny bit of space to the side, and a crappy clothesline

Before Pic 1 – a tiny bit of space to the side, and a crappy clothesline

A big shed, wasting space

A big shed, wasting space

 

We’ve now had the chance to open up the area and plant some big veggie patches, and a cat run is on the cards for the two delinquents.

A few weeks ago I stopped buying lettuce, kale and spinach from the supermarket and already I have SO much room in the fridge. I’ve just used the last of the bought kale, and now I’m able to use the kale from the garden.

I love knowing what has gone into my food, and being able to just walk out into the garden in the morning and pick my greens for my morning smoothie.

A few things I’ve learnt:

  • Herbs are expensive to buy – always plant your own herbs
  • If you don’t have a compost bin – get one. You’d be surprised how many scraps we have, and you can also throw in lawn clippings, and once it breaks down, it provides lovely food for your garden
  • Consider companion planting, but don’t let it rule every decision – experiment with things in different areas
  • Always try to purchase your seedlings in the little containers that separate them. It’s so hard to separate the other ones by hand but they can’t all grow big together
  • Find out what is in your soil. The certified organic soil company couldn’t deliver to us in time (I was a little devastated) but I called around settled on one that was basically just compost and soil. Some companies had chemical fertilisers in their soil. No thanks.
  • Don’t wait for your lettuce to form one big bunch like you receive in the supermarket. Start cutting the larger or outer leaves and using them as soon as you think you can. It will keep the lettuce going for ages.
  • Ditto for other greens
  • Things like lettuce, spinach, rocket and kale don’t need a lot of space, will produce heaps and grow pretty much all year round- give them a whirl, you’ve got nothing to lose
  • You don’t need a lot of space to grow your own veggies. Check out Liz from I Spy Plum Pie who is growing veggie patches and composting from her apartment
  • We bought all organic seeds, and mostly organic seedlings, but there were some things we couldn’t buy organically, so we went to Bunnings for those. They might have been selectively grown, but because they’re so small, I can’t see they’ve been exposed to too many chemicals and obviously now they’re at our house, we aren’t using any chemicals so that will work for me

Anyway, enough of that, here’s some pics.

A big shed, wasting space

We’ve come a long way!

 

Tomatoes - some are thriving, some are taking their time. The basil completely kicked the bucket, so we've just bought more seedlings

Tomatoes – some are thriving, some are taking their time. The basil completely kicked the bucket, so we’ve just bought more seedlings

 

Carrots

Carrots

 

Kale, beetroot and beans

Kale, beetroot and beans

 

Lettuce and rocket - was ready so quickly!

Lettuce and rocket – was ready so quickly!

 

Marigold - loved by plants everywhere

Marigold – loved by plants everywhere

 

Nastertium - a good companion plant, but you can also eat the flowers in salads etc

Nastertium – a good companion plant, but you can also eat the flowers in salads etc

 

Mint. A must-have smoothie/ juice ingredient. Always plant in pots

Mint. A must-have smoothie/ juice ingredient. Always plant in pots

 

Potatoes, about to be covered with more soil

Potatoes, about to be covered with more soil

 

We’ve still got a long way to go. The veggie patch was only planted about 4 weeks ago, and we’ve heaps more to do on the house, but but I’m so thrilled to be able to produce my own veggies. Yaayyyyyyy!

Robyn xx