I have always wanted to have my very own fruit and vegetable garden. Ever since I was a child, I would grow plants from seeds I found in my fruit. I used to cut out plastic containers, fill them with dirt and wait patiently for the day when my plant would yield fruit.
Unfortunately for me (and my plants), my mother would never allow me to plant my seedlings into the ground. She always used to tell me that there was not enough room for the types of tree’s that I wanted to grow.
The Avocado plant
For a few months now I have been wanting to start my own veggie garden. I think it’s because I recently started growing an avocado plant from seed. My wife LOVES avocado and so one day I thought – “Hey, lets grow one!”. I jumped onto Google and started to research how to grow an avocado from seed.
It turns out that its actually really simple, but takes a fair bit of waiting around for it to sprout. The steps go something like this –
- Stick a couple of toothpicks into the seed
- Fill a glass with water
- Place the avocado seed into the water so that 2/3 of the seed is submerged (the toothpicks keep it out of the water by resting on the edges of the glass)
- Wait about 2-3 months
- Plant in soil
Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of when I started, but I can show you what it looked like right before I planted it in a pot and what it looks like as of this afternoon.
Anyway, after doing a bit more reading it seems growing an avocado tree is an even more long term proposition than I originally thought. Apparently it can take up to 15 years for some trees to bear fruit!
So in the interim (of the next 14.5 years) I thought it would be a good opportunity to kill 2 birds with 1 stone.
- Kill the weed patch
- Create a veggie garden in its place
The Weed Patch
For the last 4 years I have been saying that I really want to fix up this corner of our yard, which only grows weeds and simply refuses to grow grass.
Every time we have someone over to play pool/billiards at our house, we open the curtains to our very own weed patch. Seeing as I was on holidays for the last week, I decided I would finally get around to fixing this weed garden once and for all.
I did some shopping at the local home improvement warehouse and picked up
- 3 raised garden beds (2 x $45 and 1 x $65)
- 6 wooden stakes ($6)
- 10 meters (33 feet) of garden fencing ($15)
- 10 meters of weed matting ($5)
- 1 cubic meter (35 cubic feet) of soil – including some super smelly manure ($100)
- 1/2 cubic meter of rocks ($100)
- Garden edging ($10)
All up it cost about $390.
In case you are wondering why I got 2 raised garden beds for $45 and 1 for $65. It’s because they were on special when I first bought them and then they ran out of stock in the color that I wanted. So I waited a couple of days until they had more in stock. Unfortunately by the time I arrived to pick it up, the sale was over 🙁
At this point I had planned to show you a time lapse video of me setting everything up, but alas I was foiled by technology and poor camera placement. So all you can see is me walking around 🙁
Here is my failed time lapse attempt anyway.
The Fruit / Veggie / Herb garden
After spending what felt like an eternity ferrying dirt and rocks from the front yard into the backyard, I was finally ready to start planting my crops.
I went out and bought the following plants
- 1 x Basil
- 1 x Oregano
- 1 x Chilli (It’s multi colored!)
- 6 x Corn
- 6 x Lettuce
- 6 x Carrots
- 6 x Onions
- 8 x Capsicum (Red and Green) – I believe American’s call them “peppers”
- 4 x Tomatoes
- 2 x Strawberries
- 1 x Raspberry (Dwarf variety)
- 1 x Blueberry (Dwarf variety)
- 1 x Lemon (Dwarf variety)
Note: Seeing as I don’t have much room in my backyard, I wanted to make sure that any plants I purchased wouldn’t grow too large.Fortunately there are a heap of dwarf fruit plants available these days, which are grown specifically for small backyards or patios areas.
The final thing I needed to do was Ricky proof the garden. I did this with some wooden stakes and some fairly strong metal garden wire.
The finished product looks like this (Note: I’m mulching this weekend)
Hopefully I can keep every thing alive long enough to see the fruits of my labor. Thereby officially graduating from gardening amateur, to garden master.
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