Our new vegetable garden

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

Over the past few weeks I have been spending some time out in the garden, it has been very neglected and while it was a little cooler I wanted to give it some TLC. Each Thursday over the coming weeks I will share with you the different projects I have completed in my backyard.


From sandpit to a beautiful garden
Our trampoline garden
Our new Vegetables Garden
Growing seedlings & How to store and organise seeds
Organising kids pool toys
Creating a potting bench and organising my gardening tools

A big thank you to About The Garden for helping me with this project


I have attempted many times in the eight plus years we have lived in this house to have a vegetable patch, but it just never survived.

This time it’s different, as I’m giving the complete backyard a makeover I am determined to make this vege patch flourish.  Now the kids are older they have been a wonderful help, helping me plant the seedlings, water the garden regularly and picking the fruit and vegetables when they are ready.

I’m also regularly browsing and getting great tips at the About the Garden website, learning that I need to fertilise my plants, using a range of Searles SeaMax Fish & Kelp*, Potash* and Flourish*.  See list here of more great products to use in your garden.

This is the garden before I turned it into our Trampoline Garden and Vegetable Patch

My brother (I’m so very grateful for his help) helped me to remove the sleepers and grass and put in the garden edging.  I dug out as much of the garden soil that was against the pool fence as I could so we could get some garden edging in to stop any dirt and water from going through to the pool.  While hubby was putting the edging in I removed as much of the old roots from previous plants in the garden as I could.

We then mixed Searles Organic Plant Food* with our existing garden soil and Searles Garden Soil Mix*

Then the kids and I had fun planting the seedlings.  After I planted them and took this photo I changed my mind and moved the carrots and spring onions over to leave room for herbs we are growing from seeds.  I used a tomato stand that I purchased from The Reject Shop.

I planted mini capsicums, cherry tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers (all to be used in kid’s school lunch boxes), strawberries (would love a load more strawberries, I am trying to grow some from seed, so fingers crossed they work!!) and spring onions because I always buy them in my weekly shop.  This is a good start for now, but there is plenty more room to grow more.

Topped the garden bed with sugar cane mulch

Strawberries are growing.  What is the secret to bugs and birds not eating them?

And I also have a passionfruit vine on the other side of the trampoline garden

My kids painted some pots with left over paint, here is my dwarf lemon tree, and I have also potted up a dwarf mandarins and orange. I will plants herbs that I am growing from seed in the other pots, when they are ready.

Oranges are growing!!!

These mini capsicums are great little bite sizes for lunch boxes

* I received products for editorial consideration, run in accordance with my disclosure policy.

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Vicki @ Knocked Up and Abroad October 24, 2013 - 7:12 AM

How neat does that look?? You’re going to love the benefits of that garden. We’re just about to plant a veggie patch too as we’ve just rented a community garden plot. It feels so nourishing doesn’t it planting your own food?! And kids love getting in on it! The strawberries are going to be hot property 🙂

I care October 24, 2013 - 7:37 AM

to keep the birds off you are going to need to net the strawberries,

Anne October 24, 2013 - 9:08 AM

Good luck Kat! You are already way ahead of me! In a burst of enthusiasm last spring I created a vegie garden in our poor sandy soil, mulched it with straw and manure from our cows and chickens and planted about thirty or more varieties of seeds and plants in hopes of having a bumper crop to share for Christmas and beyond……. twelve months later that energy has dwindled considerably after repeat failures and losses – possums ate my tomatoes, cockatoos all my passionfruit, snails and caterpillars got my strawberries and basil, rain at the wrong time rotted the blossoms from my citrus…and that doesn’t count the huge failures I made with over/under watering etc! I mean – really – who kills mint? So far we’ve ended up with one carrot the size of my thumb (tasted like cardboard but we ate it anyway), one watermelon, two pumpkins, a handful of strawberries, a corn cob that was only half-kernelled, The strawberry plants continued to grow like triffids with runners all over the bed and into the lawn, but are refusing to flower/fruit. I did get two tomatoes, harvested several meals of beans and snow peas and am a kale queen with my two plants still alive after all this time and continuing to give me and the green caterpillars a weekly feast. I’ve replanted seeds etc again last weekend and so far only the snow peas have decided to shoot. I’ve learned heaps, but doubt that year two will be bountiful either…self sufficiency is a lot harder than the books and television shows make out! But if you need any rosemary, thyme, parsley, marjoram or oregano I am your girl, I have enough for at least 10 families!! ha ha 🙂

Cathy October 24, 2013 - 12:29 PM

Haha Anne, you made me laugh with your description of your garden growing attempts. If it makes you feel any better I bought a little garden bed about six weeks ago, put it all together, filled it with fresh soil and planted a bunch of different things (tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce etc). The very next morning our bull terrier went out, dug up the entire garden and proceeded to sunbake in it. Gahh. So I erected a chicken wire fence around the garden bed and replanted and am now waiting to see how successful the harvest will be lol

Anne October 25, 2013 - 8:55 AM

Oh yes Cathy I feel your pain – my 40kg puppy likes to ‘help’ me too. I should hire him out as an excavator. Then there’s the chickens with their scratching and the cows with their munching (I think Dolly our 20yo jersey is a part goat in disguise)…it is always a challenge1

AbouttheGarden November 19, 2013 - 11:05 AM

hehehe….. it’s OK, we all fail, I’ve killed cacti (who knew that was possible?!)….. the best tip I could give is to:

1. Start small with 1 or 2 vegies…… some vegies can be like toddlers – temperamental (that’s snow peas for me, my MIL grows beautiful peas, I kill EVERY VINE), so start with just a few things like tomatoes lettuce (grow fast too), nail them & next time introduce a few more varieties to your vegie patch.

2. get good soil to start, it’s all about water & nutrients…… so don’t cheap out on potting mix or compost, get the good stuff, the Searles product range is awesome, plus they have a great selection of organic products if your looking to give that a go. If you don’t want to dig, you can plant directly into a potting mix bag, instructions here http://www.aboutthegarden.com.au/index.php/how-to-grow-salad-in-a-potting-mix-bag/

3. MULCH MULCH MULCH, this makes a massive difference to the amount of watering you need to do, plus it keeps the root system of the plant cool (lettuce etc, don’t have a deep root system, so it’s very close to the surface & can burn). Best of all the mulch breaks down & becomes part of your composting routine.

Seriously, I’ve never been a great gardener, but this year (so excited) I grew lettuce, beetroot, sweat potato, herbs, strawberries & cherry tomatoes. I failed at snow peas & pumpkin, but I will conquer those *determined*.

Kat has kindly put a link to the About the Garden website above, check us out!

Miss Maudy October 24, 2013 - 11:11 AM

I don’t have to worry about birds eating the strawberries in the vegie garden. The dog eats them as soon as they get a hint of colour on them! Little blighter.

AbouttheGarden November 19, 2013 - 10:48 AM

LOL….. my dogs do the SAME THING, they get into my cherry tomatoes too, I’ve had to throw a bird net over then weigh down with bricks to stop them getting in & eating all my produce….. I guess they like organic stuff….. hehehe

Marita October 24, 2013 - 7:23 PM

I had no idea there was such a thing as mini capsicum. Wonder if they will grow here in Victoria. Always had far more success with my veggie garden when I lived in QLD. But will have to give it another go this year.

AbouttheGarden November 19, 2013 - 10:47 AM

They are available through garden centres Marita…. just a note, some varieties of these can be ‘spicier’ as they are leaning more towards a chilli, check with your nursery before purchase 🙂

Browningtown October 31, 2013 - 9:18 AM

this is fantastic!!! I have a sandpit I am turning into a veggie patch & I stumbled across this post (newby to your site – IN LOVE!) and I got more inspiration to actually do it! It’s officially on my xmas list to do in school hols! Thank you

Katrina October 31, 2013 - 1:49 PM

Welcome Browningtown!! Glad it inspired you, it would be a fun task to do during the school holidays!!

AbouttheGarden November 19, 2013 - 10:44 AM

Definitely a drab to FAB project Kat! I can’t believe the transformation of your yard it looks beautiful and if I was a vegetable, I think I’d want to be planted at your place next to the pool…..lol.

Keep it up! Hot tip with the 5IN1™ Organic Plant Food, dig it in every time you replant your veggie patch (or use other organic matter like manure), your plants will thank you for it & also it will build the soil & improve the water retention. Has made a massive difference to my own vegie patch, I only water once a week (twice in hot weather)…. well worth investing the coin 🙂

Happy Gardening to you Kat & best of luck with your continued gardening journey

Leanne - Lime & Mortar October 15, 2014 - 1:54 PM

Oh mini capsicums… my kids would love those! We have LOTS of fruit growing but no vegetables. I think i need find space for mini capsicum though 🙂

Katrina - The Organised Housewife October 16, 2014 - 1:12 PM

They are the perfect size!.:)

Chloe - Garden Maintenance Adviser October 19, 2015 - 11:16 PM

I love how you turned the garden makeover into a family activity! It’s very nice that your children wanted to help you with all that chores, many would be reluctant to the idea. On the other hand, you managed to turn your garden into a wonderful place to spend time in. There’s fun for the children and fresh vegetables, which will provide vitamins. I really hope your dwarf trees grow well, I know it’s difficult to take care of them sometimes.


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