Scarlet runner beans, Aspapragus, Squash & Spring Onions in raised garden beds

Scarlet runner beans, Aspapragus, Squash & Spring Onions in raised garden beds

We’ve been in our new home for nearly 5 months – and the decision to prioritise getting the garden productive is really paying off.

We’re enjoying homegrown salads nearly everyday, we have started freezing some vegetables for winter use, and we’ve heaps of greens in the garden to keep our hens laying lovely golden-yolked eggs. The kids are constantly grazing on cherry tomatoes, sweet peas and beans – as well as the apples the previous owners had planted.

Recycled timber beams from Bruny Island form the border of this bed - you can see the corn, perpetual spinach, cosmos flowers, bean poles, squash all thriving. The chooks are behind - probably waiting to be thrown some greens

Recycled timber beams from Bruny Island form the border of this bed – you can see the corn, perpetual spinach, cosmos flowers, bean poles, squash all thriving. The chooks are behind – probably waiting to be thrown some greens

New beds have been created – some prefab corrugated tin raised gardens for asparagus – also currently used for beans, spring onions and a massive squash plat. We also have recycled some timber to make two larger and wider beds which have growing in them corn, perpetual spinach, beans, peas, beetroot, flowers squash, salad greens, kale, eggplant and a pumpkin.

A work in progress - the netted fruit garden - it just needs a door and the soil improved in time for winter planting of dwarf fruit trees.

A work in progress – the netted fruit garden – it just needs a door and the soil improved in time for winter planting of dwarf fruit trees.

We’ve nearly completed constructing the netted fruit area – and I’ve been busy preparing the soil and planting a few things that will survive becoming established over summer – thornless blackberry, passionfruit, and blueberries. It’s 2.2 metres tall – enough room for dwarf fruit trees – I’m hoping to  source apricots, nectarines and peaches. I’ll post later about how we built it.

My quick start method in the netted garden is like making a garden lasagna (non-edible) - horse poo, then a layer of cardboard, then potting mix or top soil, then mushroom compost. In this photo you can see the area at the back I've recently done - though I haven't yet added the mushroom compost.

My quick start method in the netted garden is like making a garden lasagna (non-edible) – horse poo, then a layer of cardboard, then potting mix or top soil, then mushroom compost. In this photo you can see the area at the back I’ve recently done – though I haven’t yet added the mushroom compost.

Having started quite a few veggie gardens now I’m using my shortcut methods that I’ve found useful for getting things up and running quickly. It’s kind of cheating I guess but it’s worked for me in the past so I’m doing it again!

I try to add any manure I can find (I recently managed to get 52 bags of horse poo from a roadside seller – enough to last a long while!), then sheet mulch with cardboard. As part of my fortnightly grocery shop I add 10 bags of potting mix to my shopping list, and use them on top of the cardboard (about 10cm thick). I then top the lot with mushroom compost – and then plant seedlings into this and keep my fingers crossed they’ll grow. I do water everything in with Seaweed Booster.

I'm really excited by the progress of this garden bed - when I first started working on it the soil was so compacted even the weeds didn't want to grow there. After sheet mulch, about 10cm of topsoil, andsome mushroom compost it's growing silverbeet, flowers, leeks and most recently a passionfruit. It looks so abundant! (I wish I'd thought to take a before picture)

I’m really excited by the progress of this garden bed – when I first started working on it the soil was so compacted even the weeds didn’t want to grow there. After sheet mulch, about 10cm of topsoil, and some mushroom compost it’s growing silverbeet, flowers, leeks and most recently a passionfruit. It looks so abundant! (I wish I’d thought to take a before picture)

As you’ll see from my photos below everything is thriving so far. The cardboard will break down and next year I can plant more deep rooted plants if I want to.

It would of course be cheaper to buy a load of soil than buying potting mix – but I find it’s easier for me to budget, plus it gets delivered to my door as part on my free online delivery service. It also means I don’t get overwhelmed – I can do things when I’m ready not having to unload a whole trailer in one go because  I have to return it by a certain time.

I’m so glad I got busy early – and so thankful for the help I’ve received from friends and family in getting it done.

And my gladioli are blooming :)

And my gladioli are blooming 🙂

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