Morning lovely Beach Cottage people, hope you are well, today I’m doing a bit of backyard farming with a no-dig garden / raised bed and lots of veggie and herb planting here in Beach Cottage Land.
We are having lovely lovely weather here… just right for getting out in the garden, the heat of the Summer is gone and it’s safe to go outside without being scorched by the sun…
Temps in the mid 20s, beautiful sunny, warm perfect Autumnal days…good for planting no-dig raised bed gardens!
…the best weather in Sydney that I can remember for quite a long time…
Winter still seems quite far off in terms of the temps and the feel of the days, though I am sure within two weeks of its arrival and after the initial honeymoon period involving luxuriating in hot chocolate, woolly socks with pom-poms, winter pj’s and crocheted beanies I will be moaning for England that it is sooooo cold, which we all know very well that in Sydney it so is not.
So anyway this is my first no-dig garden as such and so far so good.
It all started the other weekend when I was thinking about planting up some more veggies and digging another bed from the lawn…
I am more and more drawn to growing my own stuff
…and the veggie beds that I planted last year, which were a spectacular failure in all sense of the word in terms of the vegetables (I do not count a harvest of red hot chilli peppers that no-one apart from me can eat as successful), but extremely good in terms of the herbs (go figure) had no more room in them for anything much….
The so-called veggie patch is full of herbs mixed in with random things such as some white flowers that I planted from a cutting which have now gone crazy, a French Lavender who is doing the same, various Rosemary bushes enjoying their life out on the beaches and providing our chicken with good flavour, and, a smattering of other hastily planted things shoved in the ground with hope and a prayer – like the sunflower seeds I pulled from my first Summer sunflowers, and are now, in the middle of Autumn nodding their bright and pretty heads all over the garden in the morning when I hang out the laundry
…so with not much space for much else in there and while spending the whole of Good Friday afternoon in bed with my iPad researching what to plant that is fail-proof for a new-to-Sydney-gardener-with-sandy-soil-and-a-hot-spot-back-yard-together-with-a-coastal-breeze and fuelled on by copious cups of tea and chocolate Hob Nobs I decided that a no-dig garden may be the way to go.
After a little bit of surfing I decided that good old Frank (as in Spencer) who at the time was watching English soccer in another room may well be able to turn his hand at building a no-dig garden bed….my internet sleuthing, you see, had led me to those lovely people at Google and asking their advice on how to do this no-dig backyard farming thing on a budget…
it really does not take one to be a rocket scientist to work out that the making of a square box without a base for a no-dig garden does not need $100 thrown at it from the DIY store offering kits to make your own ‘easy raised beds’….nup we would go this alone and continue our ethos of up-cycling and make this from stuff we already had…so from my warm, layered and white bed with iPad I planned and schemed how Mr BC could make this thing…
We had old wood, we had tools, we had Frank and we had enthusiasm…and he was up for the challenge…
The bed was simply made from old skirting boards batted together into a rectangle
The layers of the no dig garden are below – I read a lot on the layers and how to do them, there may have been some serious deliberating and much debate over this in Beach Cottage Land – and then I came across a back-yard farming website that said it really doesn’t matter how you go and how you do it – green light to just get going on it for me
I layered it up like this
1. smashed up rocks for drainage (if on concrete like mine is, ugly concrete at that)
3. layer of hay
4. layer of manure (I used cow manure because it smells so attractive for the neighbours)
5. layer of compost
6. layer of fertiliser
7. layer of straw
8. layer of potting mix
So far, so good and I am already seeing really good results, I am presuming that is from the goodness of the soil – I am just waiting to see now what happens with various other problems which might arise in the form of pesky little critters and insects that believe they may also like to get their grubby little mitts on my vegetables…
Oh and I painted the plant pots with white paint because well, you know I thought there was a distinct lack of white in my life
Do you have any tips and tricks for growing veggies?? Have you had much success or experience with no-dig / raised bed gardens?
Be seeing you