Plant a garden that nourishes your family

Gardening is therapeutic for me. Getting out in the fresh air with the sun warming my skin… you’ll often find me in the garden pulling out weeds, removing dead branches and leaves, replanting new shoots and reshaping hedges. There’s something extremely satisfying about having a trim bush 😉

It’s even more satisfying to have a garden that you can eat. But it’s not always practical to have a big vege garden and if you’re new at gardening, it can be disappointing to see your vege garden fail.

Fruit and veges dont have to be planted in traditionally purpose built ‘vegetable gardens’. Sometimes you just need to be creative and use what you already have.

This is my herb/vege garden planted in a narrow retaining wall along our side fence which is approximately 30cm wide. Vege gardens can be ugly so it is at the side of the house that’s away from the living area, between my laundry and washing line.


Fom left to right I have planted mint, chives, marjoram, thyme, basil, rosemary, mini eggplant, parsley, strawberry (x3) and cherry tomato (x3).

Don’t do what I did, and get herbs you think you might use, get ones that you know you will use. I use the basil, chives, parsley, tomatoes and strawberries the most. I rarely use the rest unless im making my vegetable soup. The baby eggplant is a new addition.

Of all the herbs, I find coriander the hardest to grow and have tried many times. I don’t think it likes the eastern Australian coast very much. (Tips please!!).

Recently I grabbed a bag of used coffee grounds from the garden shop cafe and sprinkled it around the plants then watered the garden well. Within a day the garden started to flourish with the boost of nitrogen from the coffee grounds. Especially the strawberry and tomato plants. Iv finally got some decent sized strawberries and tomatoes growing.

If you’ve got an unused space in an existing garden or rockery or if you have containers, buckets, pots these are all perfect places to grow an eating garden without setting up a formal garden that might take up half your backyard and look like an eyesore. I find smaller containers need watering more since they dry out quicker. I like to have a garden that can maintain itself for weeks at a time when Im too busy.

I plan to plant more edible plants and fruit trees around my garden amongst my regular plants. Having flowering plants amongst veges is good for attracting bees and germinating your plants. Here are some ideas for inspiration:

Sylvie from Not Just Trash shares a great way to repurpose used plastic milk bottles to make a bottle herb garden. Plastic bottles make the best planters - click for a do it yourself tutorial:

Vegetables, herbs and flowers can thrive in wine boxes—or in other crates. Wine box planters are great for small space gardens. Get step-by-step tutorial for a wine crate garden at TidyMom.net:
www.www.tidymom.net.net

 

Plant a Perennial Food Garden - Gardening - Mother Earth Living:
www.motherearthliving.com

 

See the reasons and ideas as to why we will expand our garden using kiddie pools this year. The ways to use kiddie pools to grow your garden are clever and can be done at home.:

 

 

 

Helpful resources:

 

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