Time for a garden refresh – Planting

by | 10:06 am

This is the fun part of re designing and rebuilding my garden – planning what to plant where and when, growing the seedlings and planting.

While I was planning my garden renovation, I was thinking about my seasonal veggie and herb planting. I prepared my seed beds in the greenhouse in August, late winter in Melbourne, and kept them damp.

Next I chose a range of heirloom seeds for lettuces, basil, thyme and oregano that would fill the ‘ribbon’ space where I would build the 2 level edging feature. I thought of all the delicious salads we would be able to assemble from this harvest. Thinking of the 3 sisters planting, I also popped in some corn and pumpkin seeds to get a head start. The beans would be sown directly into the garden bed next to the corn. Next, eggplant, capsicum , Bokchoi and tatsoi. These would take longer to grow and give us a harvest of veges and leaves into autumn.

Garden redesign veggiesWe had mixed heaps of compost and organic fertiliser in with the new soil that had been added at the building stage. Then a layer of sugar cane straw had been spread on top. The mixture had been kept moist, so the soil should have started to have lots of microbial activity.

After we finished building, I cleared up the garden of any left over materials and stood back to assess which parts of the garden were now receiving more or less sun and what plants would do better where. I had been marking the path of the sun with sticks as the new garden beds were considerably deeper than before, but some trees were shadowing these new areas. All the seedlings were doing well and ready to transplant by the time we had finished building. I started with the lettuces and herbs.

I have kneeling pads so I laid them out along the bed edge and gently pulled back some of the straw to dig wide enough spaces for the baby plants. I spread the roots around each hole and backfilled the soil, patting it down firmly but gently and pressing around the plant for support. Each area had a mixture of lettuces, beetroot and herbs and it looked amazing.

Lettuces and leafy greens

I took a break and marked out where the corn and pumpkins could go. Then I marked out the likely spots for capsicum. The bokchoi and tatsoi were placed to form a border with the eggplant behind. I finished all the planting over two days and was very happy with the results. The hard part follows – making sure they get enough water and food through summer – seaweed based food for the leafy greens and animal based food for the veggies – all organic of course!

Well, I have to report that we had so many salads from all the leaf picking, as well as heaps of servings of the Bokchoi and Tatsoi leaves as side dishes. I just made a large batch of Melinda’s Pesto from all the basil and we are planning our second meal of Pesto pasta for this weekend. The oregano and thyme have been harvested and dried twice already and enjoyed in many dishes!

The first yellow capsicum was sweet and tasty and we are waiting on the next round, as well as for the eggplants which are forming.

Yellow Capsicum

Just as a heads up, Sam and I are launching Design by Open Backyards. We are offering garden advice, professional designs and build options to our readers. So, if you are thinking about tackling a job like this in your garden, or even your investment property, but would prefer some help, send your ideas and thoughts to Sam and I. Just click here to contact us and we’ll be in touch.