Friday, 17 January 2014

a kitchen garden in just 6 weeks

Garden 7 weeks after planting!
You know, I never would have believed how fast a vegetable garden could grow until we made ours. I might have even laughed at you if you told me I could have a real, proper garden in that amount of time! But those raised beds, well they are just genius. I'm well and truly a convert!

Don't believe me? Well check this out. I took pictures every week for the garden's first 2 months to keep track of its progress. We were amazed at how fast everything grew.

Week 0- Still adding organic compost.







Week 1- All planted. Mostly with seeds except for a few lettuce, eggplant and marigold seedlings.







Week 2- Look at those seeds sprouting!


Week 3- Yes! Almost all the seeds sprouted!


Week 4- Everything is starting grow fast now.



Week 5- Starting to harvest lettuce now.



Week 6- Harvesting lettuce, radishes and pak choy.





When we built the garden, I was thinking long term. I desperately wanted a garden, but honestly, was worried I'd be too busy to keep up with one. My 3 little kids keep my hands pretty full. If I was going to keep my sanity, it was time to get real about the type of garden I could maintain. Raised beds were definitely the way to go. They meant no ploughing soil and they're really low maintenance. By mulching down between them, the weeds are easily kept out. They're also brilliant for drainage, which is one of our biggest issues, especially when we get flood rains.

Our garden was made with some of the cheapest raised beds available on the market. We had a hard budget for the beds and have added more to the garden over time as we could afford to. We wanted our beds to last a long time and be safe around the children (with no sharp/rusty edges or nasty chemicals leaching into the soil).

But, boy those beds can grow food! You can pack so much much more into a raised bed that they're constantly paying for themselves. They really make gardening so easy that even my kids can do it and how cool is that? Kids gardening, well that's just plain awesome.

So tell me do you grow in raised beds? Or do you garden the traditional way?

Want to see how we transformed the garden? Click HERE.

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12 comments:

  1. wow..that's awesome to see the progress photos..i plant directly into the soil but i think raised beds would make my life a lot easier especially with regard to the trees surrounding my house..the one on the nature strip is the healthiest in the street because it's benefitting so much from all the water and nutrients i add to the soil to the detriment of my garden..jane

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    1. They definitely make life easier (and save your back/knees as well:) You know I have heard that trees can grow their roots up into the raised beds looking for all the good water/nutrients... crossing fingers that doesn't happen with mine!

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  2. Thanks for all the detailed information and photos. This is exactly (but on a smaller scale) what I want to set up here for vegetables so it was great to show my husband and see what I mean!

    Wonderful blog you have here. I love the patterns you use for the children's clothing. Mine have almost grown now (youngest is 14) but I do have a married 24 yo and hope for grandchildren in the future! I'm not the best sewer on earth but I think I have to return to some of these gentle arts and pursuits.

    I am glad that Rhonda featured your blog. I have really enjoyed have a look around and hope to return often!

    Keep up the excellent work. What a great decision it was for you to make the tree change.

    Kaye

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    1. Thanks so much for coming over to visit my blog Kaye, it's lovely to have you here :) Sewing is so much fun and the Oliver + S patterns are wonderful!

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  3. I really enjoy your blog. Thank you for sharing us what you do. We might not be able to do the raised bed method but just reading about your ideas and garden success is enough to keep us inspired. Can't wait to start another gardening year.

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    1. Wow what an amazing place you live! Looks like you have a wonderful garden of your own :)

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  4. My husband's Italian uncle in Melbourne has a 3 tiered garden.
    Besser blocks surround the first level (with strawberries poking out the brick holes).
    The second level was several 40 gallon drums cut in half longways and fitted into a bit of a bodged up frame.
    The third level was a trellisy type of arrangement for the grapes.
    You name it - he grew it!

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    1. Oh, that sounds like an absolutely wonderful garden!

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  5. We started changing our current garden beds over to raised garden beds today! I really hope in 6 weeks our looks like yours!!

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    1. How exciting for you! I hope you get some good results. I'd love to know how they work out!

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  6. We have 5 raised garden beds in boxes ready to assemble and add to our garden. I was wondering, from where did you get your organic soil?

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    1. We buy our organic compost in bulk really cheaply from a neighbour who sells it by the truckload (he's a commercial organic farmer). You could probably buy in bulk from a nursery though? Or a landscaping place? Your gardening additions sound very exciting!

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