Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Lifestyle

Home loans made clear

Veggie Gardens in Canberra

By Hoo Haa 23 October 2011 38

Mrs Hoo Haa and myself are about to try our hands at setting up a veggie garden but we know very little about it.

Does anyone have any good tips or can anyone recommend any good resources/links/books to learn more about the subject (specific to our climate)?

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
38 Responses to
Veggie Gardens in Canberra
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 10:15 pm 04 Dec 13

KB1971 said :

Does anyone have a link to the guy who has a fish farm in his back yard?

I saw it in the CT (I think) a while back and now I cant find the article.

Aquaponics is got ham awesome.

I am far too busy to they it out right now, but in the next few years I’m gonna do a small set up.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 10:14 pm 04 Dec 13

BimboGeek said :

I’m a few weeks/months ahead of you, just started gardening after moving to a house with a garden from a flat with a courtyard. My soil is really dead so I’ve thrown some things in but only the ones growing in soil from the nursery or fertilised soil are growing well.

So when you get out in the garden, make it your priority to really improve the quality of your soil before you get really enthusiastic about planting. Plus of course get the weeding under control. People will try to tell you to just pour roundup on your garden and you need to tell them to bugger off and mind their own business. Weeds will settle down when the plants that are supposed to be there get established and the weeds aren’t given a chance to get comfortable.

And have a good look to see what trees and shrubs you’ve got that need pruning, too. I pruned the camellias and lavender really enthusiastically and my landscaper friend came around and told me I should have done more.

And people may try to tell you that composting is bad for your health or unsanitary. Be prepared to tell them to bugger off and mind their own business, too. I don’t know who these people are that have a problem with natural gardening but they don’t seem to know much about healthy eating.

Who the heck says that?

EvanJames 10:09 pm 04 Dec 13

I imagine anyone with a veggie garden has some tomatoes and chillies in by now. Maybe even some cucurbits pushing up (my zucchini seed has made a nice little plant). Anyway, the current strong and smoke-laden wind notwithstanding, if you can cover your garden later tonight it might be a good idea. We have a Day After Tomorrow scenario developing and there’ll be a serious bubble of cold air coming behind the storms approaching now. Although we shouldn’t see snow, it’ll be cold enough to upset them quite a bit.

Postalgeek 4:00 pm 04 Dec 13

KB1971 said :

Does anyone have a link to the guy who has a fish farm in his back yard?

I saw it in the CT (I think) a while back and now I cant find the article.

Do you mean aquaponics? You might find what you’re looking for with a Canberra+Aquaponics Google search. Plenty of stuff out there.

BimboGeek 3:47 pm 04 Dec 13

I’m a few weeks/months ahead of you, just started gardening after moving to a house with a garden from a flat with a courtyard. My soil is really dead so I’ve thrown some things in but only the ones growing in soil from the nursery or fertilised soil are growing well.

So when you get out in the garden, make it your priority to really improve the quality of your soil before you get really enthusiastic about planting. Plus of course get the weeding under control. People will try to tell you to just pour roundup on your garden and you need to tell them to bugger off and mind their own business. Weeds will settle down when the plants that are supposed to be there get established and the weeds aren’t given a chance to get comfortable.

And have a good look to see what trees and shrubs you’ve got that need pruning, too. I pruned the camellias and lavender really enthusiastically and my landscaper friend came around and told me I should have done more.

And people may try to tell you that composting is bad for your health or unsanitary. Be prepared to tell them to bugger off and mind their own business, too. I don’t know who these people are that have a problem with natural gardening but they don’t seem to know much about healthy eating.

dan w 3:38 pm 04 Dec 13

Yep Snarky, it is BRILLIANT. Can’t believe we do it any other way. Trying to spread the love of this method wide and far. Makes so much sense. Looking forward to going down the coast for a couple of weeks and not worrying about the patch drying out or the watering system springing a leak as well.

Snarky 3:29 pm 04 Dec 13

dan w said :

After years of regular old veggie garden beds, I put in a Wicking Bed this spring, and cannot believe the improvement…

That’s brilliant! Thanks for the link 🙂

KB1971 2:35 pm 04 Dec 13

Does anyone have a link to the guy who has a fish farm in his back yard?

I saw it in the CT (I think) a while back and now I cant find the article.

dan w 2:33 pm 04 Dec 13

After years of regular old veggie garden beds, I put in a Wicking Bed this spring, and cannot believe the improvement in production, reduced water consuption and time and effort. With water restricitons only likely to tighten in the future, this is the way of the future. And as a bonus you don’t need a watering system. I haven’t watered my veggies for about a month now, and they’re going super strong. And it was relatively easy and quick to make.

Here’s how: http://milkwood.net/2010/05/11/how_to_make_a_wicking_bed/

In a nut-shell you build a water resevoir (I used one layer of sleepers lined with builders plastic), fill it with slotted ag pipe, gravel and water, add a layer of weed mat or similar to stop soil from getting amongst the gravel, then add a layer of soil (I used another layer of sleepers to contain soil). Mulch. Plant. Top up the resevoir once every 10 days in a drought, or way less if it rains which fills the resevoir. The soil acts like a sponge and soaks up the water. Plants are encouraged to grow deep (read: strong) roots to get to the wetter soil. Chuck in an in-garden worm farm (see milkwood link above), and the worm castings will fertilise your entire ‘watertable’.

The only downside was having to hand water seedlings until their roots got established. I had to do this for the first week or so after planting, but then you can literally see once they’re established, and you can forget about them and watering and just watch your garden boom!

For anyone building a new veggie bed, I cannot recommend this highly enough! When you want to go next level, get a fish pond, dump the overflow water from your pond in the wicking bed’s inflow pipe, and watch your plants lap up the nutrients.

poetix 1:37 pm 04 Dec 13

This thread almost makes me want to do some gardening!

But I know I’d rather go to the beach than garden.

I do admire all these energetic people. Watson should be on a farm somewhere.

Watson 12:50 pm 04 Dec 13

ayajam said :

Cabbage white butterflies are territorial I read somewhere. So I cut out a little white plastic butterfly shape and pinned it to a stick next to my brussels sprout plant! Lo And Behold! the two circling butterlies turned round and went elsewhere, and I have had no new grubs in 2 weeks. I have no clue where I read or saw this, but really thank whoever it came from!!!

That is an awesome tip. I’ve not planted any veggies from the cabbage family since mine were all eaten when I tried broccoli and cauliflower previously. I might try again, armed with this knowledge. Though may be a bit hot to plant those.

ayajam 11:57 am 04 Dec 13

Cabbage white butterflies are territorial I read somewhere. So I cut out a little white plastic butterfly shape and pinned it to a stick next to my brussels sprout plant! Lo And Behold! the two circling butterlies turned round and went elsewhere, and I have had no new grubs in 2 weeks. I have no clue where I read or saw this, but really thank whoever it came from!!!

sepi 1:42 pm 24 Oct 11

I recommend Ezy Vegies too – they have a sample garden in Canberra, and recomend what to do every month.

To start out, either buy a raised bed, or set aside a small patch of your existing garden that is fairly sunny.

right now I would plant a few different lettuce seedlings, radish seeds, pea seeds, and some cherry tomato plants. Sprinkly parsely seed over the whole lot. And put in a rosemary plant.

Water them a lot, (daily in hot weather), every second day in cooler weather.

Pile up straw or dried leaves around them for mulch to keep the soil shady and wet.

MissChief 1:21 pm 24 Oct 11

We tried this method with great success

http://www.food4wealth.com

EvanJames 12:46 pm 24 Oct 11

I cycle onions right through the year. You have to get your varieties right to make this work, there’s early, mid and late varieties, I’m into the late varieties now and have also started putting in spring onions, which are fast and don’t much care what season you plant them. I’ll be cycling those 2 weekly. When you have seeds you can easily do this. Carrots ditto. Beetroot are like radishes, no-fail, quick, trouble-free AND you can eat the leaves in fancy salads.

And Coridander, you have to cycle that as it bolts to seed in the warm. I had great coriander all winter but now am depending on the self-sown ones coming on. I wonder if there’s some way of preserving it, coridander glop or something?

Cucumbers are odd things, you pretty-well have to have a program of putting in 1 seed every 2 weeks. If you can make a really warm, moist, fertile growing spot I think they do better, but in the normal garden they don’t seem prolific or long-lived. I’ve got some Yates ones and Mr Fothergills ones, and can’t determine if one’s better than t’other.

I’ve started crop-rotating, it’s sensible and cuts down on having to deal with soil-borne diseases, and deficiences later. It’s good to have a map of your garden to keep it all working. And remember it’s plant families. So this year I have tomatoes and chillis in one bed (same family), leafy greens in another with the onions, cucurbits in another (zucc and cucumber, given up on pumpkins!), spuds in another… Less problems to deal with ultimately. After your gross feeders have been in a bed, that’s the time for onions and carrots, as they’ll enjoy the depleted soil.

Transplanting the tomatoes should work, I do it all the time. Take plenty of dirt with them, don’t do it in the heat of the day, and saturate them in their new spot/pot, keep out of sun until they’re over the shock. Volunteer tomatoes are WINNER tomatoes. And I highly recommend Tommy Toe. It’s a large cherry style, but the taste is mind-blowing. In salads, you’ll be in tomato heaven. I make passata in autumn from them too, and it taste so good.

Watson 12:17 pm 24 Oct 11

EvanJames said :

Watson said :

I have literally hundreds of self-seeded tomato seedlings in my flower beds atm! I reckon if the “feral” ones think it’s time, then it must be time. 🙂 I find they can usually deal with some mild frosts too, despite common believes.

This is interesting… apparently, things that have self-seeded are adapting to your environment. If you are keen, mark the best self-seeded plant (or a few of them) and save seeds from them, as these will do better in your climate and soil than the originals.

I had Tommy Toes coming up in August, yes August, and left a few to see what woudl happen, they’re still going, albeit slowly.

But one in particular is being marked, and when it produces fruit they”ll be saved.

Watson said :

I can highly recommend potatoes for a confidence boost too. Takes longer than the leafy veggies, though I was harvesting my first ones about 6 weeks after planting. They don’t seem to care much about water or the condition of the soil. You can harvest some when they’re little baby potatoes and then wait for the main crop when the plants flower. Oh the joy of digging up a patch of potatoes!

I’m a recent-comer to the joys of spuds. I have some in a non-garden area that have leaves every year… one day I’m going to have to get busy with a fork. Very annoyed that these healthy plants got done-in by some disgusting grub (it was green) and it wont’ happen again! I’m going to get some fancy seed varieties and try again. Meanwhile, I have got some of those new Low GI Carisma spuds from Coles to sprout (you’d think they’d make them sterile to keep their copyright) and they’re going gangbusters.

The joy when you find perfect spuds in the ground is something to experience, I agree. And you can use spuds to work the soil for you… ground that is hard or not fun to cultivate can be cultivated by the spuds, for you.

Watson said :

Zucchinis are prolific too. They get mould issues if their leaves get too much direct moisture, but it doesn’t usually affect their productivity much. Finding a monster zucchini is always fun. Though they are not very tasty when they get that big.

I have learned my lesson and only plant 1 seed nowadays. I put one in yesterday actually, and expect to see it pushing up before the week’s end. They do seem to suffer from mildew, which has no effect, and if you’re worried just make up a solution of milk and water in a squirty bottle and go over the plant, that fixes it.

Best to keep harvesting the little fruit, and when the plant is a couple of months old, plant a new seed. The old plant will get all leggy and woody and unproductive, so have 2nd one coming on.

I put in some Lebanese cucumber seeds too, I find I have to keep cycling those through the summer.

My Cos lettuce that went in last autumn are works of art, if there was a lettuce show on now, I’d clean up. It’s a shame to eat them. Furiously eating spinach (the real sort) before the heat has them bolting… lots of spanakopita in the freezer!

Ooh, some good advice there. I intended to keep some of the tomato seedlings because my 6yo daughter cried (big teary sobs!) when I told her I did not order those particularl tomato varieties from the Diggers Club this year. It was so exiting to show her that they decided to grow back in huge number for her. I wasn’t intending to leave them in the same flower beds though, crop rotation and all that. So I hope they will cope with being transplanted?

And I had honestly never thought about planting new zucchini or cucumber plants mid-season! I just remained loyal to my original ones but especially the cucumber didn’t produce much at all after a while.

That reminds me, staggering your planting for some things is good practice too. Like one row of carrots and beetroot every couple of weeks, so they are not all ready at the same time. Same with leafy veggies, I suppose though I rarely grow those. Lettuce is rabbit food. 😉

Classified 11:29 am 24 Oct 11

You really can’t the beat the flavour of stuff grown at home, especially if you take a bit of time look after things. There’s something really nice about picking or pulling up veggies, taking them inside for a wash then cooking them. Eating veggies that were in the ground or on the plant a couple of hours before a meal is served is something I love.

EvanJames 11:13 am 24 Oct 11

Watson said :

I have literally hundreds of self-seeded tomato seedlings in my flower beds atm! I reckon if the “feral” ones think it’s time, then it must be time. 🙂 I find they can usually deal with some mild frosts too, despite common believes.

This is interesting… apparently, things that have self-seeded are adapting to your environment. If you are keen, mark the best self-seeded plant (or a few of them) and save seeds from them, as these will do better in your climate and soil than the originals.

I had Tommy Toes coming up in August, yes August, and left a few to see what woudl happen, they’re still going, albeit slowly. But one in particular is being marked, and when it produces fruit they”ll be saved.

Watson said :

I can highly recommend potatoes for a confidence boost too. Takes longer than the leafy veggies, though I was harvesting my first ones about 6 weeks after planting. They don’t seem to care much about water or the condition of the soil. You can harvest some when they’re little baby potatoes and then wait for the main crop when the plants flower. Oh the joy of digging up a patch of potatoes!

I’m a recent-comer to the joys of spuds. I have some in a non-garden area that have leaves every year… one day I’m going to have to get busy with a fork. Very annoyed that these healthy plants got done-in by some disgusting grub (it was green) and it wont’ happen again! I’m going to get some fancy seed varieties and try again. Meanwhile, I have got some of those new Low GI Carisma spuds from Coles to sprout (you’d think they’d make them sterile to keep their copyright) and they’re going gangbusters. The joy when you find perfect spuds in the ground is something to experience, I agree. And you can use spuds to work the soil for you… ground that is hard or not fun to cultivate can be cultivated by the spuds, for you.

Watson said :

Zucchinis are prolific too. They get mould issues if their leaves get too much direct moisture, but it doesn’t usually affect their productivity much. Finding a monster zucchini is always fun. Though they are not very tasty when they get that big.

I have learned my lesson and only plant 1 seed nowadays. I put one in yesterday actually, and expect to see it pushing up before the week’s end. They do seem to suffer from mildew, which has no effect, and if you’re worried just make up a solution of milk and water in a squirty bottle and go over the plant, that fixes it.

Best to keep harvesting the little fruit, and when the plant is a couple of months old, plant a new seed. The old plant will get all leggy and woody and unproductive, so have 2nd one coming on.

I put in some Lebanese cucumber seeds too, I find I have to keep cycling those through the summer.

My Cos lettuce that went in last autumn are works of art, if there was a lettuce show on now, I’d clean up. It’s a shame to eat them. Furiously eating spinach (the real sort) before the heat has them bolting… lots of spanakopita in the freezer!

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Region Group Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site