Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Building Your Own Vegetable Garden from Scratch

In November last year I attended a full day class with The Veggie Lady , Toni Salter in her own backyard. I learnt so much in the "Backyard Veggies 1 Class" and left equipped, keen to have a go myself, at planning and building my own vegetable garden, in my own backyard.
You can take a look at what the class actually covered in my previous post
"A Day Out with The Veggie Lady" maybe it is something, you would also enjoy doing for a day out.
After a couple of weeks of family Summer holiday break on the NSW South Coast, we returned home and spent a few days at the end of January, building our own vegetable garden!
First we picked a very sunny spot, we have a section of our yard that gets the north sun for most of the day. My lovely neighbour Kerry, who is a veteran at growing her own vegetables, had previously told me that if she had our property "she'd grow veges right there in the front yard", so that is where we chose to locate our beds.
First up we took a trip to the recycling yard at the end of Oxford Falls Rd, and picked up some second hand hardwood.

Then we borrowed our neighbour Fred's electric saw, Fred is the neighbour who has every tool you need for every job! I then called in my husband Paul and younger son Jake's muscle power, for the task of using the saw and cutting the timber. We measured twice and then cut once and things began to take shape.

We built our four garden beds on the no dig principle, which I learnt about at Toni's class. Using neighbour Fred's wheelbarrow (as well), I wheel barrowed in some soil to level the ground before beginning.

After enquiring as to the best way to hold the timber beds together, I purchased some star pickets and coach bolts from my local hardware shop and we fixed the timber beds together.
I hammered in the star pickets.

My husband then drilled some holes at each end, of each piece of timber.

Then we secured each corner with a galvanised coach bolt.

The no dig garden consists of layers and the beauty of it is, you save a lot of effort and energy as you don't need to dig up the ground before starting.
The first layer was 10 layers of sheets of wet newspaper. (I had been saving the local newspaper for about a month for this purpose, even more recycling, Yay!)

The next layer was 10cm of Organic Lucerne, which I purchased from my local nursery.
(That is our dog Logan there too, as usual supervising my work in the garden!)

Then a layer of compost, which I had available from my own composting.

Alternately you can purchase a product called "Green Life" from your local landscape supplier or from your local tip if they sell landscaping supplies. Kimbriki tip on Mona Vale Rd, does and it is good value by the trailer load.

Then a layer of 10cm of Organic Sugar Cane Mulch, which I also purchased from my local nursery.

Then a layer of "Green Life" or any rich organic matter/soil.

Then finally a surface mulch layer of Organic Sugar Cane Mulch to finish.

There it is, our vegetable garden ready for planting, and just like it is with cooking, it is also with gardening..."its all in the preparation folks!"
Next time I'll share my experiences with, growing from seed, planting seedlings and the joyful part, the first harvest we enjoyed at our table.
Have you ever grown your own veges?


The Veggie Lady said...

Brilliant Jane. Well done. Can't wait to see how much you produce from these beds. Good luck and happy gardening! xx Toni

Anonymous said...

Great stuff Jane, I have a large vegie patch where we supply the kitchen with fresh vegies all year round - and it's great place for the spirit and the soul! Steve

Anonymous said...

Love yr vege gardens Jane.....I think I'll build one just to get Jesse off the computer and onto the drop saw! Annie

Anonymous said...

What a great blog! I will have to follow your ideas and improve my vegie patch, which is looking a bit miserable! Thank you! x Rosemary

Anonymous said...

Thats an awesome blog girl, just have to find the time to do some digging!