Backyard garden progress

The garden is now in full swing. Lettuce is growing like mad, Tomatoes are bearing heavily (some Queensland fruit fly issues), Heirloom beetroot, colourful carrots, Dutch Cream potatoes and Golden Bantam sweet corn are coming along and Giant of Stuttgart beans and Yukomo Giant snow peas are flowering well. Our unsuccessful crops were 1 melon plant and 1 eggplant + Pak Choy, all of which may not have had enough water when planted as seed. We have been fertilizing with seaweed solution every two weeks and weeding occasionally, however when a heavy mulch is applied to all plants there is very little weeding required. Check out the photos below for more details.

We have been swamped by a mass of Lettuce! Plenty for everyone at least.

We have been swamped by a mass of Lettuce! Plenty for everyone at least.

Tomatoes bearing heavily and soon to ripen. Queensland fruit fly has had some affect on yield.

Heirloom Tomatoes (Tommy Toe, Green Zebra, Black Russian, Waspinicon Peach and Jaune Flamme) bearing heavily and soon to ripen. Queensland fruit fly has had some affect on yield.

A simple fruit fly trap consisting of a used milk bottle (slit cut into the side) and a cheap fly bait (attached to hang inside the bottle lid) has an effective range of about 500m.

I got this idea while chatting to an old Italian man around the corner who grows the most impressive food in his small front yard. Every day he tends to his heavily bearing plants and trees of tomatoes, peppers, citrus and fig and it seems that almost every living plant in his yard bears an edible fruit. His design for a fruit fly trap consists of a used milk bottle (slit cut into the side to allow flies in and keep water out) and a cheap fly bait (attached to hang inside the bottle lid), which has an effective range of about 500m.

Tomatoes have been trained onto stakes, beans and peas onto an A frame of veg string.
Tomatoes have been trained onto stakes and beans and peas are trained onto an A frame of veg string.
Before we started our veggie garden we were told it was going to require a lot of effort to grow organically. This is not true. The main factors to consider are efficiency and ease of watering, efficient mulching (reduced weeding/water loss) and diverse crops.

Before we started our vegie garden we were told that it was going to require a huge effort to grow organically. This did not prove true for us. The main factors to consider, however, are; initial veg bed preparation (lots of manure incorporation!), efficiency and ease of watering (automatic drip means we don’t have to hand water every day), adequate mulching (reduces weed growth/water loss) and diverse crops (if some plants fail others are always there).

If you enjoy gardening, are used to a little hard work and are willing to think about practical solutions to problems then you may like to try growing vegetables organically. After all, choosing the “best” chemical for your garden problem is lazy and expensive + you might end up with some nasty residues in your garden fresh veg. Just remember organic gardening is not a new concept and doesn’t require you to grow dreadlocks and start wearing hemp pants, it’s how our grandparents and generations before knew how to grow food. Food was grown for taste and quality rather than purely yield. So go for it, talk to the older generation, read lots of books and grow a few things 🙂