Friday, 2 September 2011

Reviving the Vegie patch

Here is a glimpse of my daily uniform.

Clogs & a Marimekko apron is how you will find me on any given day if you drop in for coffee.
But not today.........
.........Today I'm donning the Blunnies.  My other love.

Did you know that Blundstone boots have been being made In Tasmania since 1870!!! *pls see note at the end of the post

Spring is here....glorious sunny days!

Along with incredible Sunsets with glimpses of storybook moonlight.

I am chasing my tail a little with getting my seedlings organised but I just haven't felt like it.

But now the sun is out I want to be in it.

Doing stuff.

So this morning I got out my seed packets and got organised.
I gathered up some of the reserved toilet rolls and collected some of the amazingly rich soil from my chicken coop, raided the recycle box for some newspaper and found my string.

We may be building here soon and so my vegie patch lies fallow as it will have to move elsewhere.  In the meantime I am using every other spot possible to plant my vegies & herbs.

It is a myth that you 'need' a vegie patch or space for that matter.  You can grow vegies & herbs in very limited space & with very little money. You just need to be savvy!

Over time we have raided hard rubbish and collected old pots to use to plant in.  You can use old polystyrene containers that fruit shops will give you if you ask- for FREE!

There is no reason that you can't plant your vegies in amongst the rest of your garden.  There are no rules and vegies can look really beautiful. People just have in their mind that you HAVE to have them in a patch- NOT SO- who knew!

Last year at about this time I re-invigorated my vegie patch after leaving it fallow.

I wrote about it in length here.
I have left the vegie patch fallow this year as we are going to be building where the vegie patches lay.

So,  I have planted most of my vegies under the fruit trees that are in pots.  They get all the sun as the fruit trees have been without their leaves over winter. PERFECT!  We have the trees in pots as we are still unsure about where they will end up.  I wanted to use up the space below each tree.  I see all empty space as an opportunity to plant something!
Underneath the Dwarf Nectarine I have Vietnamese mint, Silverbeet & Giant Red Mustard

In my garden I have Thyme, Parsley, Chillies, Sage, Oregano, Rosemary, Vietnamese mint, Coriander.  Some are in pots, some are in the ground.
Under the Blood Orange is more Vietnamese mint & Giant Mustard

There is also Silverbeet, English spinach, Giant Red mustard, raddichio, Perrenial Artichokes.

Today I have planted seedlings for Climbing malabar spinach.  It is the most beautiful plant and has succulent leaves that are great in salads or stir fries and some more Cavalo Nero.  I talked about that beautiful veg here.

Seedlings are quite fragile and need gentle handling until they go in the ground.  I like to buy heirloom variety seeds if possible.  I have been buying my seeds from Diggers for years.  If you live in Melbourne and are interested in Vegie growing, then visiting the Digger's garden is a MUST!!!!!!!!

I don't like the waste of the plastic seedling containers.

Here is a great way to plant your seeds using your old toilet rolls.  We all have them and they usually just go in the bin.

There really is nothing like eating food you have grown yourself- go on have a try at it!

Here's what you do:

 Lots of people use egg cartons but it is not so easy to plant directly into the ground. I love this method.

  • old toilet rolls- label with what you are planting
  • string
  • old newspaper
  • seeds of your choice
  • good quality soil (I dig mine out of my chook pen- so full of chooky goodness!)
Place folded up newspaper on a tray.
Water well so newspaper is sodden.
Place 4 rolls together on top and tie with string- this helps keep cylinders upright as they get soggy.
Fill with soil to the top.
Place 2 or 3 seeds in each toilet roll.
Press into soil & water gently.

The wet newspaper will help keep the seedlings moist.
Plant out when seedlings are about 10cm tall.

When you are ready to plant you can just cut down one side of the roll and plant directly into the soil. the cardboard will disintegrate over time. 

N.B. You can achieve the same result by folding newspaper into a cylinder and tying a few together with string to help support. Toilet rolls are just easy as they are ready to go!

*kind readers have alerted me to the fact that Blundstone boots (although still owned & operated by the original Tasmanian family) have indeed succumbed to Chinese manufacturing :(
Here's a tune I have been enjoying this week:


  1. Didn't they offshore the making of Blunnies? I remember a big uprising about it... thanks for this post Roofie... I want to grow herbs on my little balcony and this has inspired me! Besitos..xx

  2. Oh, I wish I could have a garden! I do have a couple of herbs on my window sill. Loving the application of toilet paper rolls here, very sustainable!

  3. Hi again - yay, spring is here. I love growing vegies too and i am lucky to have a big garden. Check it out if you are interested. That is a great idea to use the toilet rolls. I think they would be really great for cucumber, zuccini, pumpkin, melons etc those bigger seeds. I will try it. Nice one. Happy picking!

  4. i put only vintage, beaten up r.m williams boots this week and got into the garden too! The biggest delight for me was discovering the rogue asparagus spears that have popped up amongst the lettuce,..and that the dutch cream potatoes had sprouted leaves already! C'mon warmer weather!

  5. btw - LOVE the aprons and clogs! Where do you get the aprons from?! xx

  6. Oh the shame of all this space we have here and we grow practically nothing. Nothing except the tomatoes my Mum gives us every year, and what grows wild around us. When I see what other people, like YOU, and my parents, and various friends, grow in their suburban gardens, I hang my head. I would LOVE to, but the bit we did years ago fell by the wayside when the crazy hours on the road crept in. :-(

    You give me hope though. I do think we will again someday. Someday. :-)


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