Wednesday, July 15, 2009

no dig veggie garden

This past Sunday I finally put together our no dig vege garden. I love growing my own vegies and herbs - the beautiful rich greens, delicate flowers and fragrant aromas. Growing vegies and herbs is great for so many reasons - I particularly appreciate the convenience of having a variety of food & flavours growing right at my back door - no matter how disorganised I am in regards to getting to the shops there is always something to cook for dinner!

The before shot.

Our plan is to develop this area of the garden in two stages. Firstly the raised no dig vege garden where we'll grow lots of veges and herbs and secondly a lower vege garden that will feature the essential lemon tree and veges & fruit vines on the ground (zucchini, rockmelon, cucumber).

Create a base for the garden using cardboard.

The idea of the cardboard base is to create a foundation that will stop weeds growing through into the garden bed. I cut up cardboard boxes that we had used when we moved house.

Water base very well to aid its eventual breakdown.

It is important to water well after every step.

A layer of sheep manure.

I love the smell of manure - it is so rich, wholesome and earthy.

2cm layer of sheep manure

On top of the thoroughly watered cardboard base goes a layer of sheep manure - about 2cm thick.

8cm layer of straw

Another fantastic smell is fresh straw. Breaking up a straw bale and being overcome with its delightful aroma is one of life's simple pleasures. An 8cm layer of straw covers the sheep manure. It is important to use straw that is free of weeds.

Second 2cm layer of sheep manure

Cover with a final layer of straw.

Finally - plant seedlings into pockets of compost.

The final step of planting veges and herbs is the best. So far we have planted capsicum seedlings, lettuce, silver beet, spinach, basil, and oregano. We've also planted carrot seeds. In the centre of the garden bed are marigold flowers - which are edible and also useful in repelling pests.

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