New Raised Garden Bed Excitement Continues…

Only a few weeks in creation and happy rows of baby vegetable plants are forming in my new raised garden bed.

There are rows of baby beet plants, mixed lettuce, a few sweet 100 tomato plants, some dwarf beans, raspberry canes in the background, and one or two basil babies.  With the new spring warmth and wet they are getting going fast.

Happy Rows of Mixed Lettuce
New Order and Possibility in the Garden

Help Please! Snails are eating my baby passionfruit vine!

Dear readers, please could you give me some advice, so I can share, about a non-toxic way to stop the snails eating my baby passionfruit vine…it is almost leafless!

Thank you…leave the info in the comment box.

Some days later…the passionfruit vine is making a comeback!

On the advice of a friend I sprinkled coffee grounds around the base of the vine…..and it may be a shortlived cut-back on caffeine by the snail family, but so far so good.  The vine is busily shooting up some new leaves…and time will tell.

Meanwhile the lettuces are launching ahead.

Some time soon I will get to my old patch and clear more room for the rhubarb, and plant a few potatoes….

Melbourne Botanical Gardens…Revisited

The Childrens’ Garden and the Cafe Garden were a joy to revisit a couple of weeks ago.

It was great to have more time to focus on the pleasing order that a structured garden returns to the soul.  There were patches of great order…columns of cabbages, and then a rumple of rhubarb…..lavish lettuces and happy nasturtiums….


Cabbages all in a row.
A Rumple of Rhubarb
Lavish Lettuces
Lemons and Happy Nasturtiums
Bountiful Broadbeans

New Raised Garden Bed Excitement

Home made new raised garden bed takes form in my garden

Providing new structure in your garden or your life gathers the energy and focus to move forward and create something new. I was excited to have my partner finish building the new raised bed before I went way for a few days.  Keen to fill it and get some planting done.  Upon my return some of the seeds have already sprouted and some of the raspberry canes are shooting leaves…..These photos are of the new Home Made Raised Garden Bed.  I was able to line it with newspaper and old horse-feed bags, and fill it with a mix of topsoil and compost from the council recycle center.

Garden News from Abroad

Organic gardens on terraces was the topic in the DNA- Daily News and Analysis from Bangalore recently.  Professor Viswanath Narayan talked about planting on terraces in Bangalore to reduce heat…primarily for the good of peoples’ health..also to cool the house and reduce energy bills.

Carbon footprints are reduced.  Pollution is reduced as kitchen waste can be composted and returned to the soil.

We are encouraged to start with one pot a week.  As you grow the number of pots…don’t forget, go vertical as terrace space is generally a small confine.  Start with leafy green veges as these are the easiest to grow.  Grow what you like to eat, and use often…eg) tomatoes, mint, parsley, coriander, basil,and chillies.

Think about the possibilities….workplaces, schools, companies….

Moving on to Indianapolis….this city has an urban gardening initiative.  Intended to promote community, economic development and local, sustainable agriculture.  Regarding the issue of contaminated soil, especially with lead, Gabriel Filipelli, a professor at Indiana University, suggests capping the contamination with a layer of new mulch and clean soil before planting, or build new raised beds.  He says heavy metals tend to sink.  Soil testing would be prudent.

Something else caught my eye…Vegetable Gardening as Art??

a recent post in the Cornell Daily Sun, by Chris Palermo, was about a student artist — Maggie Prendergast.

Maggie’s senior thesis for her art degree was entitled  “Photosynthesis”.  She created a vegetable garden as public art in the Arts Quad.  She wished to raise issues of land use, sustainability and local food production.  She apparently followed the inspiration of Franz Haeg, and architect who planted a series of gardens called Edible Estates, which encouraged people to replace their lawn with a vegetable garden.

On this note..a new piece of art is under development in my own backyard…my partner has just constructed a new raised bed and we have just filled it with a mixture of topsoil and compost from the local council green recycling site…

further installments to follow!

Growing Your Own Organic Vegetables….Hot Topic


This week an article in the New Zealand Herald newspaper reported that it is ‘trendy and hip’ to have raised garden beds and to plant in containers. Do not forget the compost and mulch we were urged. Raised beds are considered

• Ergonomic
• Great for keeping out small children and dogs

Cats are another story…We are told not to worry if our vegetable patches are not as lush and neat as the photos in the glossy magazines. Do your tomato plants look like the latest ground cover?

Like anything – for perfectionists and procrastinators -JUST DO IT – and perfect as you go!

In the Huffington Post I discovered a new word. LOCOVORE seems to mean someone who eats locally grown food. There was a discussion about

• “ethics” of eating locally rather than supporting energy-sapping transportation of food across many miles.
• Energy efficiency
• Supporting more ecological farming practices
• Reduction of excess packaging
• Avoidance of pesticides and other toxins
• Greater connection and accountability regarding more humane treatment of livestock and workers
• Supporting local community had a discussion about fruit trees in your garden. Regarding overwhelming bounty…give it away not only to friends and family as suggested…what about the local retirement village, foodbank or school? Bottle, jam, stew and freeze…it is a lot of work on a hot summer’s night…get your friends around? Ask your local garden centre for best growing tips for your area – regarding soil, climate, fertilizers etc.

A couple of days ago while visiting a yoga studio in Hawaii I started to converse with an older lady who had come to a class that was about to start. She spontaneously wanted to share with me about “a very interesting article that she had just read…” about opening up more land locally for people to lease small lots to grow their own food. Well, that was a sign post to me that this is a HOT TOPIC!

This lovely lady went on to talk about the need for us to return to more natural ways of GROWING OUR OWN FOOD.

Ecological Gardening is defined as growing food using scientific ecological principles.Natural ecosystems are very diverse with lots of intricate interdependent relationships existing between all components. That is to say the interconnectedness of all things is a necessary part of the system’s sustainability. Any discourse on Quantum Physics will remind us that nature will fill any voids. Keep on planting or be forever pulling weeds.Ecological gardening combines natural weed management, soil ecology and crop management. It is very easy and requires minimal time and effort.

Sally Dutton has degrees in both Marine Biology and Chiropractic. She loves to share knowledge about being healthy and healthy lifestyle practices.

Organic in the Garden – Popular Raised Garden Beds and Their Uses

Raised garden beds are not a new idea but with the increasing popularity of zinculume and modulated timber units, more and more people are seeing the benefits of them, young and old.

Nearly all nurseries, hardware stores and garden centres will have several different types and sizes to suit all kinds of requirements. From small options for singles living in units to larger models for bigger yards and families. I have even seen models suitable for use on a balcony, though these are usually glorified planting tubs and boxes.

The benefits of using them are many. Typically used by the elderly where bending over to do traditional gardening is limited, but also used by younger people looking at getting into gardening.

Raised Garden Beds have some additional uses in the garden and around the yard.

Raised Garden Beds can be used to make compost. Layers can be continually added and when full can be planted directly into. The compost can also be removed and used around the garden as you would with a traditional compost heap.

Fish Ponds
Using commercially available pond liner, raised garden beds can be easily transformed into fish ponds or backyard aquaculture systems. Their ease of construction and relocatability makes them ideal for this use.

Storage Boxes
When you have excess sand, gravel, compost, mulch or bark around the yard, it can look messy. Raised garden beds are ideal for use as storage facilities for these types of garden products.

Sand Pits
If you have children, no backyard is complete without a sandpit to play in and build castles. One issue with sandpits has always been cats and other animals walking in and leaving their calling cards. Raised garden beds are great for sandpits because they are easy to cover with a tarp at night. It is of course, important to ensure any sharp edges are well covered to avoid children damaging themselves. Rubber capping (Bailey Channel or similar) can be fixed to the top of tin beds to remove any sharp edges.

Raised garden beds have a lot of uses around the yard and garden. They can be adapted to suit your requirements and also come in premade versions ready to set up and use.

You could also try to make your own Raised beds from scratch using scraps of iron and timber. By making your own you can build them to suit the size and space of the area they are being utilised. This way you do not have to search for a perfect fitting commercially available unit.

Eric J Smith describes himself as being “Passionate about Organics”. He is committed to Educating people on the importance reducing the chemical load on our bodies and the Environment. Eric is Married and has 2 Children. Eric and his wife Narelle represent Miessence Certified Organic Skin Care, Cosmetics, Home & Nutritional Products.
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News from the Garden

My Raised Garden Bed is happy today.  The sun is shining.

Did I mention that the parsley is fresh and vibrant.  I came in from the garden chewing a piece.  Last summer I came upon some marigold seeds which I planted….now they are re-seeding after flowering well.  The time must be flying by as they have cycled already.

I reminded myself to take a bag with me on my next beach walk to collect a little seaweed…

Save Money and Be Healthy : Grow Your Own Organic Vegetables

Raised Garden Bed or Container Garden : Grow Your Own Food

Healthy living is more than just about what you eat.  How about the aspects of slowing down, connecting with the earth, listening to the birds and creating your own organic vegetable garden?  The joy of DIY sure beats the rising prices in the shops.

Here are a few tips to start or upgrade your patch:

  • You can collect seeds from the veges you already have in your fridge…. dry them out and plant them.
  • Look for treasure in your garden…self or bird seeded plants can be relocated to your vege patch. I found a strawberry plant amongst my roses one day…it has become two strawberry plants now as it grew to dividable stage.  Also a tomato plant was found alongside my shasta daisies…it has taken over a corner of my raised garden bed, is braving the frosts and I look forward to early tomatoes.
  • Ask a neighbour for seeds and seedlings….have a coffee together.
  • Ask a friend…they may be pleased you are finally taking interest in their vege patch.
  • Being a little warmer this morning than it has been…I was inspired to weed my raised garden bed.  I found two ripe and ready cocktail tomatoes.  The silver beet is robust!