Itty Bitty Greenie

eco-fabulous finds for kids

Posts Tagged ‘veggie patch’

How Does my Garden Grow? (part 1)

This week we will be moving into our new house, and I will have the privilege of inheriting a *dream* garden complete with fruit trees, veggie patches and every herb under the sun. I’ve always wanted to grow my own food and am so excited about the possibilities, but the scary part is, I know very little about gardening and am terrified I might just kill off everything in record time.

While I try to be a good greenie in general terms, I must confess that up until recently, I’ve had little interest in gardening. And moving to the other side of the world only made the idea more intimidating, since the difference in climate, seasons, etc. still feel foreign to me and I wouldn’t know where to begin. But I’ve always loved the idea of growing my own food – not to mention the health benefits and cost savings – and now that I have children, I know this is something we can do together and it can be an educational and rewarding experience for our family.

But before I march out the back door in my gumboots and gardening gloves – this greenie has some research to do. Luckily, in my travels online, at the local library and in talking to the few green thumbs that I know, I’ve come across some great resources for the novice gardener. I’ve also been letting my three-year-old watch “Dirt Girl World” in the hope that something will sink in :)

Here are a few tips and tricks I thought might be worth sharing if, like me, you haven’t done much gardening but would like to. If you’re a seasoned pro on the subject, feel free to share some advice as well. I need it!

If you’re in Melbourne, these guys can be a godsend in your garden by taking the guesswork out of what to plant, when, where and so many other questions. They will come to your house and assess the aspect of your garden, give advice on soil, build your own custom veggie patch, etc. Bless! They’ve published a guide book, or their website is a great resource too.

If gardening organically is important to you, then finding folks who know the ins and outs is key. I used to traipse through the organic nursery at Ceres and buy my organic fruit and veg from the farmers market located on the other side. Now I’m going no further than the nursery itself in the hope that I’ll be growing my own. Again, this is intimidating. There are so many choices, and one can spend a good chunk of money… and these guys can help.

One trip to my local library and I had a new stack of reading that on everything from organic gardening to managing pests and more.

Oh, how I love that you can type anything into the search field of Pinterest and then proceed to burn hours of time sifting through the magical results. Check out my board on organic gardening to find some of the gold I’ve found on everything from growing tomatoes, starting seeds and other great tips for beginners.

Here are a few great websites I’ve found with helpful information to get you started:
Urban Farming Oz
Sustainable Gardening Australia
Environment Society of Australia‘s guide on checking your soil

Now I guess I just have to decide what to plant this winter. To be continued…


By Donna MacMullin

Creative Communications, Graphic Design, Communications, Blogging, Copywriting, Content Management

Project Veggie Patch

How much time do you spend wrangling with your kids to make sure they get their five a day? Getting kids in the garden from a young age can help them appreciate what’s on their plate and let them see how gardening, vegetables and cooking combined can create delicious meals.

Vegecation Melbourne shares tips on how to grow your own veggie garden. Where possible, get the kids to help to make this an experience you can share as a family.

Stake your claim: first things first, pick the spot for your veggie plot. It needs to go in an area that gets a lot of sun, in a place where your veggies won’t have to compete with the roots of trees and shrubs for nutrients.

Know your limits: don’t overstretch yourself; make sure the patch is small enough so you – and little hands – can reach everything that’s growing.

Prepare the ground: mark out the area and dig the soil over to the depth of about four inches. Add compost, decomposing leaves and fertiliser to make the soil nice and healthy and rich.

Get planting: choose your plants wisely – if you know your children like a particular kind of vegetable, make sure you include it on the garden menu. Follow the instructions on the back of the seed packet or given with the seedling; each plant needs different care.

Water well: your plants will need a lot of water over the first few weeks, and after that, establish a schedule of giving your seedlings a deep soak twice weekly to save water where you can.

Don’t let space be an issue: if you don’t have an outside space, create a green area inside: grow things like rocket and cress which can be grown on any surface indoors.

Vegecation is an educational program organised by Centro Box Hill that encourages children to get outside and learn what happens in the veggie patch. Vegecation Autumn will have an Oriental Garden theme where children can plant Asian vegetable seedlings to take home – bok choy, Asian red bunching onion, mild chilli and coriander.


What: Vegecation – a fun and engaging community school holiday activity
: Centro Box Hill North Precinct (opposite the food court)
: Tuesday 10 – Saturday 14 April 2012
What time
: 11am to 2pm each day, interactive play times: 11.30am and 1pm
: Aimed at children aged six – 15 and their families
: FREE to attend
: Every child receives a FREE apron and book bag

For more information, visit the Vegecation Melbourne facebook page or the Vegecation events listing on Time Out Melbourne.


By Donna MacMullin

Creative Communications, Graphic Design, Communications, Blogging, Copywriting, Content Management