Food & Dining The Vege Garden Thread

Discussion in 'Living Room' started by TadhgMor, 3rd Aug, 2017.

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  1. TadhgMor

    TadhgMor Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,
    some of you may have vege gardens, some may not but we have been keen gardnners for some time growing quite an abundance of organically maganged vege's oin our suburban back yard.

    I'd like to share with you our vege garden journey for this year and some of the tips-n-tricks to keep those veges bug and disease free whilst providing a substantial harvest for the table.

    the wife and I like to plan ot what our main patch will have for the season. Its importnt to work out where oyu want plants so that you minimise shade on the smaller things. i.e. dont plant Dwarf Beens behind a tomato plant or it will get nealr no sun at all!

    To this end here is our what our raised garden looks like and whats planned for it.

    upload_2017-8-3_13-59-2.png

    upload_2017-8-3_13-59-18.png


    upload_2017-8-3_14-0-0.png
     
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  2. TadhgMor

    TadhgMor Well-Known Member

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    There's a method to the plan.

    Overall rule is to not let the bigger plants shade the smaller ones.

    Tomatos along the back are seperated by Basil and Romano beans with Marigolds in the corners.
    Basil & Beans are "companion plants" to tomatoes, they share a slightly different nutrient requirement so as not to tax each other. Additionally the basil helps keep the bugs off the tomatoes.

    There's some debate over the nematode killing ability of Marigolds but we like to add that extra colour to the vege garden to make it look nice :)

    Society Garlic is also a companion plan that is supposed to help keep the bugs down. We have that in others areas of the garden and sometimes in with the veges.

    You can see that there appears to be a dirty napkin with "tomatoes cherry 2016" written on it. These are seeds saved from the previous year from the strongest plants. We've found that some veges adapt to the conditions in our yard and plants grown from the previous years seed are more prolific at harvest and appear to be more resiliant to bugs.

    We've started by planting the seeds n seed trays that live in our sunroom. This way they will germinate over this last month of Winter and be ready to go int the ground as seedlings after the last frost in September.

    upload_2017-8-3_14-25-52.png

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    upload_2017-8-3_14-26-54.png
     
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  3. apk

    apk Well-Known Member

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    Looks great, nice work.
     
  4. Propagate

    Propagate Well-Known Member

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    Great! Will follow this thread with interest. Tried a few times to get a veggie patch going and never had a great deal of success, this thread comes at a good time though, I've a few old bushes to pull out this weekend and the border will be turned over and made ready for tomatoes!
     
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  5. TadhgMor

    TadhgMor Well-Known Member

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    Prepairing the Soil

    While you can plant veges in nearly any soil and they'l grow, if you take the time to prepare the soil your efforts will be rewarded,

    Our vege garden has a base of old garden soil mixed with clay to stop it draining too quickly. This was then toped off with 2 tonne of a vege mix from the local landscape supplies. That was a few years ago when we first made it.

    Now its just the original base and whats left is good black soil. This was completely turned over two weekends ago and I then added 40L of chook poo and 40L of cow poo.

    It will now lie "fallow" for a while to let the worms and microbes do their job.

    It also lets you de weed the plot, without compromising your veges. You want a weed free vege patch for the best results, so they dont compete with the veges for nutrients. Less weeds also mean less bugs.

    I'll soon add drip irrigation and mulch to the top before leaving it alone for a while.

    FYI.. The dimensions of the short side is 2.4M and the long side is about 3.6m. We arranged it in an U so that everything is an arms length from the edge.
     
  6. IrishDigger

    IrishDigger Well-Known Member

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    I've turned over a few Vege Patches in my time and my recent project was to set one up for my daughter and her family, it was set out in sections and bordered by railway sleepers and all looked very neat and tidy, however she has now gone Permaculture and there is now stuff all over the place but to give her credit she is still producing good crops of veggies.

    I'm toying with the idea of a raised garden bed but was thinking of going bench high.

    Two of my favourite gardening shows in so far as getting good advice on gardening would be,

    Gardening Australia

    Vasili’s Online

    Cheers.

    IrishDigger
     
  7. mikey7

    mikey7 Well-Known Member

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    I'm watching this thread.

    Keep an eye on Aldi's vegie seeds too.. we got a heap of them (99c each), and we've had awesome produce from them. Just gotta keep the damn bugs off them.
     
  8. Tom Rivera

    Tom Rivera Property Manager Business Member

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    We spent a fortune building our last veggie patch only to find the nutgrass would happily grow straight through the weed-matting! One area seemed safe so we grew a few things, most of them were pretty stunted but still tasty. In the end I was so discouraged that I bark chipped every garden around the house and left them barren.

    @TadhgMor forgive me for my impatience with this years crop, have you got any photos of previous crops just prior to harvest?

    Also, I take it you hand weed and don't use any chemicals. Do the weeds eventually stop appearing so prolifically or do you just have to keep on top of it?
     
  9. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    Best way to stop grass from coming up in raised beds is layers of carpet.

    I dug out the soil and laid weedmat, then 2-3 layers of old nylon carpet, then another layer of weed mat. I carried the weedmat up the inside of the bed, against the sleepers and also curved the carpet a few inches up the sides too.

    Then, I added layers of straw and manure and compost to create the soil. When it needs topping up, every couple of years, I just add another layer of straw and manure.
     
  10. TadhgMor

    TadhgMor Well-Known Member

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    @Tom Rivera
    Certainly. We built this garden in 2011 at 600mm high but we've now reduced it to 400mm high since things like tomatoes can grown out of reach!

    Here the first planting.

    upload_2017-8-5_11-15-56.jpeg

    on its way...

    upload_2017-8-5_11-17-36.jpeg

    And that turned into this...
    upload_2017-8-5_11-17-58.jpeg

    We harvested about 50kgs of tomatoes, 20kg of Silverbeet, 5kg of dwarf beans and a bunch of other stuff. Fed us, the neighbours and a few others all summer :D
     
  11. TadhgMor

    TadhgMor Well-Known Member

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    Luckly we dont see much nut grass here in NSW, that being said we removed the top 100mm of soil before creating the vege garden. This ensures you get most of the weeds, their roots and dormant seeds in that top layer of soil. We put the old soil in the compost bin varied between layers of table and garden scraps. After a year in the bin its ready to come back to the garden enriched and weed free.

    We do hand weed. Over time there's less and less. For stuborn weeds we pour boiling water on them, that usuall kills them outright. Great for the pesky clover that pops up between the pavers.
     
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  12. Ambit

    Ambit Well-Known Member

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    Wow, impressive crop!! I used to have a permaculture vege garden but we kept renovating and moving and I stopped. Can't wait to be in a position to start again. I'll be following with interest.
     
  13. Kassy

    Kassy Well-Known Member

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    I'd love to build a vege garden! Still not used to the weather here though and don't really know when to plant. A few people at work say not to plant until after Melbourne Cup (because of the frost), then it gets cold here again in March. Doesn't seem like enough time? I am amazed people grow anything here.

    Your garden looks fantastic btw!
     
  14. Nodrog

    Nodrog Well-Known Member

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    The wife is keen on growing organic veges, herbs and fruit. Unfortunately it usually requires a lot of work from me at times especially building the structures.

    The back yard is perfectly North facing to capture the sun.

    The picture below shows some of the vege gardens, one at front and another in the background. The front vege beds consist of three tiers. This is a temporary vege garden until the one down the back is completed (see further down my post). Once that is done this structure will remain as is but be more focused on herbs, tomatoes, salad vegetables, cut and come again stuff and Asian greens:
    IMG_0136.JPG

    We will be building another netted tunnel containing a group of vege beds even larger than the structure shown in the foreground above in the section of the yard marked out below. It'll be next to the shade house (for growing seedlings) and the chook pen. The hedge you can see are all Jaboticaba fruit trees and a dragon fruit vine next to it:
    IMG_0143.JPG

    There are also about a dozen Large home made wicking barrels similar to these (another person's photo, not our yard) close to the house:
    IMG_0369.JPG

    There is an orchard down the back a small part of which is shown below. Things we grow include blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, apples (3 varieties), peaches (4 varieties), plums (2 varieties), kafiir lime, Tahitian lime, navel orange, pink grapefruit, madarin (2 varieties), pear (2 varieties), Kensington pride mango, custard apple, chocolate pudding fruit, avocado, olives, native figs, mulberry, Mayer lemon. I think that's most of it.
    IMG_0135.JPG

    And another shot of the orchard, the netted structure below left is a hedge of different varieties of blueberries:

    IMG_0133.JPG

    There's other productive stuff scattered around the yard including at the front of the house including lavender, mini bay trees, curry herb, scented geranium, aloe Vera. Space is where something just died.
    IMG_0139.JPG

    Other things my wife does include home brewing, preserving, cheese / sausage making, soap and cosmetics, drying and freezing produce, hobbies plus much more.

    As you can see the theme of our retirement is all about a "productive" life style.

    Her friends often ask her if she misses work having retired early, not for one minute!

    Well the above keeps the wife entertained but I much prefer sitting on the deck enjoying her home brew:
    IMG_0132.JPG

    And people here think I spend all my time on the forum:eek:.

    Sorry I just realised I got a bit off topic but thought others might be interested to see how we spend our retirement.

    Getting back to vege gardens my wife is unfortunately away for an extended period caring for her ill mother until she can get into a high care home. So there's not a lot happening at the moment. When things get back to normal I'll continue to post ongoing photos of how the veges are progressing.
     
    Last edited: 5th Aug, 2017
  15. Lemmy a fiver

    Lemmy a fiver Well-Known Member

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    I've been slack with the rat traps lately & unfortunately paid the price over a 48 hour period.
    Lost all my snow peas & broccoli in that short time frame.
    Its not the first time its happened either, I've lost many multiple beds like this a few times in the last decade.
    Can't believe I fell for this again? But I did ! Can't afford to not be vigilant around here. 20170805_134902.jpg
     
  16. Nodrog

    Nodrog Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately we've come to the conclusion that up here in Maleny you've got to net most things.

    Actually speaking of snow / snap peas and brocollini we're getting a bumper crop of these at the moment. That much surplus that I'm feeding it to the chooks. My favourite "wasabi" lettuce and lettuce / greens in general are all doing really well.
     
  17. TadhgMor

    TadhgMor Well-Known Member

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    @austing Wow! very nice and this is exactly what my wife and I aspire to for our retirment. A mimimum of a hectare and exactly what you've done with yours :)
     
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  18. TadhgMor

    TadhgMor Well-Known Member

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    Today I racked in a kilo of blood and bone with potash, a liberal sprinkle of water crystals, plus installed the drip line and tested it. We then added a layer of sugarcane mulch which we wetted down so it sticks. Its windy here today and the stuff was flying all over the yard as we emptied the pack.

    We'll add a second layer of mulch before we plant since the the birds tend to nick it for nests.

    upload_2017-8-5_15-31-48.png

    upload_2017-8-5_15-32-6.png
     
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  19. Mac Fields

    Mac Fields Well-Known Member

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    ok, I've got to contribute here, just so any new posts in the thread remind me that I've got to tend to our (rather unproductive) vegie garden....

    Unfortunately, I didn't quite get my mother's green fingers :oops:, maybe they'll grow, with some effort...:rolleyes:

    Great stuff @TadhgMor and @austing's garden is just fabulous.
     
  20. TadhgMor

    TadhgMor Well-Known Member

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    Herbs.

    Most herbs can be grown anywhere anytime and many are perpetual. They're great for growing in pots if you're a unit dweller. Just put them in small pots on a sunny window sill and pick as you need them.

    Basil is generally not one of them since it hates the cold and dies off in late Autumn.

    Oregano, Mints, Taragon, Rosemary, Thyme and others can be grown year round and can live in the rest of your garden. Oregano and Taragon make a lovely ground cover, you can make low hedges out of Rosemary, @austing's pictures show some great examples.

    This is a mint, its seven years old now and still going strong.
    upload_2017-8-5_15-40-33.png


    here's some of our Oregano ground cover
    upload_2017-8-5_15-43-14.jpeg

    The blank spot to the to left is where we had a chocolate mint. Yep you read that right, chocolate mint.

    The first time we grew some we coudn't belive the quite strong flavour it had. Much of it ended up in deserts before something liked it more than we did and it died. Time to plant some more.

    If you like mints, there are many varieties to choose from such as peppermint, spearmint, applemint, citrusmint and others.
     
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