I am so excited to do this post, the first of many I hope! I am joining in on the fun of showcasing my Sydney veggie patch as part of Lizzies Garden Share Collection initiative, a collection of veggie patches across Australia and the World.
It’s a great way for us to collect ideas on what to plant, at the season of the city/climate you’re in and contribute in all the fun.
I always wanted a veggie patch of my own, and when my husband (finally) started to clean out our garden he uncovered a whole stack of buried used bricks, in all shapes and sizes and all useable. What a fantastic discovery!! I could already envision the gorgeous veggie patch we were going to have and plans got underway to build up a raised bed using the old bricks, and bags of cement that were left over from our bathroom renovation 3 years ago.
The first patch was built in March 2013 and we planted many different varieties of chilies, capsicum, beets, tomatoes, eggplant, garlic, leeks carrots, celery, rocket, baby spinach, lettuce, thyme, parsley, basil and oregano. Along the back wall is a small passion-fruit tree which will hopefully take over the back fence as they like to climb.
It has become a daily ritual to start the day with a garden inspection or ‘grand tour’ as I like to call it. I take my cup of chai tea, go outside and study any new growth that may have appeared overnight. It’s so relaxing and rewarding to see the plants, fruit and vegetable grow right in front of your eyes!
I did along the way, take monthly photos to follow the progress of the garden.
We pulled up our carrots earlier last month after 12 weeks in ground.
What a cracker!! I couldn’t help but laugh at the stumpy funny little carrots that were being uncovered. Regardless of shape, these beauties were the crunchiest and most delicious carrots I’ve ever eaten and unlike any other store bought carrot ever.
It’s certainly not economical to grow your own carrots when you take into consideration the amount of time, soil, fertilizer, seaweed food extract and patience that went into growing these beauties, especially when carrots at the supermarket are $1.50 a kilo, BUT in all honesty they are such fun to grow and the anticipation in what weird shape we would uncover was certainly worth the wait and time and I’ve already got a crop of carrot seeds planted in seedling trays to have another go.
We have a small strawberry plant in a pot that stands over our outdoor setting. It produces the smallest little berries that pack a punch in flavour. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted strawberries so sweet from the shops or markets, ever. Up until early June, they were still strangely producing masses of fruit, however now that the cold and rains have set in, the plant is covered in fruit that will most probably never ripen.
Our Roma tomato tree has gone gangbusters; however now in retrospect I can see why people don’t plant tomatoes in autumn for winter. The plant is flowering and producing masses of fruit, but they’ll never ripen or reach their full potential. Never mind, I, now in June, have a bumper crop of green tomatoes waiting to be pickled and used up.
Our chilli plant (I forget what variety this one is! tsk tsk) goes from green to black and finally to red. It’s always a novelty eating bright black chillies with my meals. Strangely the chillies on the same plant vary in heat. I had my lovely girlfriends over for lunch and we all took a black chilli straight from the plant and into our mouths. Now, I always thought I had a wax coated tongue as my heat threshold is quite high so I confidently took a huge bite. I was crying eating my chilli while my girlfriend was so bravely munching through hers! I didn’t get it! We swapped chillies as we still had a bit left and lo and behold, hers was sweet and mine seemed to have stolen all the heat and packed it into its little body.
Our autumn patch has proved such a delight that I persuaded Mr. Wog into building a second patch, again using the left over bricks and a discovery of yet even more cement in our shed! The raised bed took my husband a weekend to build up, one Ute trailer full of ‘veggie patch soil mix’ from our local landscaping supplier at $55 for the cubic meter and lots of trips up and down our driveway with the wheelbarrow to transfer the soil from Ute to patch.
We’ve planted the following winter crop vegetables; purple kale, Brussels sprouts, silverbeet, peas, broccoli and some more basil. My carrot seeds began sprouting last week so they will be transplanted into this bed once they’re a little bigger and stronger.
I scored a lattice that was being chucked out – it’ll make for a great support once the peas take off and need something to climb.
We planted a Eureka lemon tree in the ground, at ground level before we completed the first vegetable patch. When we decided to create the second raised garden plant adjacent to the first raised bed, the lemon tree had to be dug up and transplanted back in the same spot, but at the raised soil level. Mr Wog said we couldn’t just fill the soil up and leave the lemon tree as is due to the fact the tree could get trunk rot. I was very upset at the thought of losing my lemon tree (it’s also where my very loved fur baby Pixie kitty cat is buried) but fortunately the lemon tree, 2 weeks in, is doing just fine. No leaf discolouring or distress.
The two garden beds, side by side
I look forward to updating you next month with the progress and growth of our two wonderful veggie patches!
Please take a moment to check out my blogging friends veggie patches by clicking on the above logo or clicking here