We’re seriously short on time. So when we wanted to start our veggie garden, we knew it had to be fuss free and something that wouldn’t drain our time each day.
What we’ve managed to create is a veggie garden that didn’t require any digging and we don’t have to water ever!! This is where we get most of our leafy greens and fresh herbs from which give us year round fresh produce.
Get The Most Out Of Your Waste
When we hooked up our plumbing here, we decided to make the most of our grey water. Our grey water is the waste water from our shower, bath, laundry tub and washing machine. The kitchen sink and toilet are considered black water and should always been treated properly through a waste management system.
If you’re going to use your grey water, you need to make sure you’re putting the right things down the drain, especially if you’re going to grow food from it. No one wants to be eating a lettuce that’s been watered with bleach right!
I swear by Natures Organics for all our home and personal care. They legit have everything you could need from floor cleaner to face cleaner. They’ve been around since the 50’s, their line is specifically designed to be grey water friendly, they’re Australian owned and they give a shit about our planet. I find the biggest issue with eco friendly products is the price point can be a little steep, Natures Organics is more than reasonable, if not the cheapest option most of the time.
Anyway, we ran our grey water out from the bathroom with some PVC pipe until we reached the start of our slope. We then attached a slotted pipe so the water could slowly soak out of the pipe and into the garden. We made sure the slotted pipe ran slightly down hill and secured it with a few good rocks. At the end of the pipe, we added a cap so that any water that wasn’t absorbed the first time through, would back up and soak out.
Find Your Local Mulch Dealer
Did you know some local dumps have free or really cheap mulch? Our local lets us take 1 free ute load of mulch each day. Crazy right?
The free mulch can have some rubbish in it which takes a bit of time to pick out. The other option is a finer ground mulch for about $20 a ute load. Either way, it’s a cheap deal. This stuff isn’t the best quality of course but to build up your base and get your veggies in the ground, it’s all that’s needed.
We started by bringing home a ute load every time Chris had an early finish at work and started burying the slotted pipe, making sure it was at the top edge of the garden so the water could run down through the plants below. From memory, we used about 4 ute loads to build a garden bed that’s about 8 metres long and 1 metre wide. We made sure we marked where the pipe runs incase we ever need to get to it in the future.
Over time the growing of plants, constant watering and breaking down scraps will only improve the mulch over time.
Don’t Buy Your Seedlings From Big Name Places
Sure, it’s convenient to hit up your local Bunnings for some veggie seedlings but did you know you can get insane bargains from your local markets? Yandina Markets for example has a stall that sells 30 seedlings for $15!!!! That’s 50 cents each!!!!
Buying from your local markets also ensures that what you’re buying will grow well in your climate. The bigger guys can ship their seedlings around between stores so you never can be too sure where they’ve spent the last few months of their lives and what climate they’ve adjusted to. Your local market stall holder on the other hand is going to be a local to your region so you have a much better chance of your little sprouters loving their new home in your veggie garden.
Close Your Eyes & Dig A Hole
Okay not literally, that would probably be dangerous but don’t be too careful with what you plant where. We spread our seedlings out as much as we can to give everything a better chance at thriving.
By scattering and planting at random, you’re not only slowing down the rate that bugs and disease can spread from plant-to-plant, but you’ll soon see where each variety does best over the season. I’ve noticed for instance that our cauliflower doesn’t like being on the high side of the garden, and does much better on the lower side and our shallots reach mamoth sizes towards the end of the garden instead of at the start of it.
So mix it up, play around and see what does well where. It will be pretty obvious pretty soon how everything’s performing and where it should be planted next time so make sure you take note. Start a little black book for you to look back on next season. This will eliminate your need for trial and error every season.
Let Some Stuff Go To Seed
We have a shit load of lemon basil and lettuce growing in our garden because we just keep letting it go to seed. This is honestly the easiest way to create an abundant veggie garden with heaps of variety. It also saves you having to go and buy new seedlings each season.
Some of it we pull out, pick the seeds off to put in storage and feed the rest of the plant to the chooks. Our seed drawer now has a nice little stash of rosella, basil, pumpkin, carriander, dill, capsicum and god knows what else.
Some of it we will shake into the garden to keep them going. The garden at the moment has tatsoi, dill, broccoli, cauliflower and shallots going to seed which we plan on leaving to do their thing and sprout even more.
We’ve done so well out of our garden these past few months and it’s so awesome being able to step out and pick fresh ingredients for our meals. Chris’s favourite salad consists of random leaves he picks and tosses in olive oil.
We’ve had veggie gardens in the past but they just never seem to do that well when they need to be watered by hand. This is hands down the easiest and most rewarding way we’ve ever grown and if you’re in the position to do so, give it a shot for yourselves and let us know how you go!