The back garden is a small patch of grass and a larger patch of concrete. The plan is for a number of raised beds on the concrete and to leave the grass as is. At the moment we are thinking of Apple Crate beds on a crop rotation basis. This area of the garden is a long term project though and we are in no immediate rush.
We are lucky in that just beyond our back gate is an easement (it cannot be built on as the water board need access to the pipes under it) on which we have been allowed to plant a few trees (our next door neighbour has the most amazingly huge fig tree which we are allowed to help ourselves to) and so our Orchard has taken shape. We now have a Peach, Plum, Cherry and a Lemon tree all along the back fence which will hopefully provide fruit over the next few years, they all seem to be doing quite well although the Cherry is a little slow to realise spring has arrived.
Inspired by an episode of the SBS show Costas Garden Odyssey R and I decided that the raised bed by our back door should be a wicking bed. We didn’t have a lot of money to spend so Costas corrugated prefab raised beds wouldn’t work for us. Luckily we were able to upcycle some wood planks we found into the raised bed. It took us a few months to get the cash together to fill it but all in all (not including plants) the raised bed has cost us about $300 (rather less that Costas $875 each). However maybe we should have done a garden plan before we made up the raised bed as I am not so sure we have chosen the right plants to put in it. Never fear I am sure we can move them at some point without too much drama.
So the wicking bed in pictures:
So we are planning to plan our garden and I am looking into gardening/permaculture courses that will give us a head start in making it work for us and be productive.
Further down the line (some 5 years away) we are looking at animals. Needless to say if we want to get a pig or a cow we will need a bigger plot of land but we plan to start off small. Chickens are probably the way to start for us (although I would love to keep geese if only for my Christmas dinner) and I have found a great way to try before you buy here in Melbourne. Book a Chook let you rent the chook and paraphernalia that come with them for as long as you want ($165 per month).
You will probably have noticed that I have not mentioned water here at all. We do not have a water system in place and are trying to figure out just what it is we need. A Water tank for harvested rain water would be a good idea but there are some rather large logistical issues we need to figure out before we get it, like where to put it.
WEED TIP: I have found that white vinegar sprayed onto Dandelions kills them after two or three applications.
What to do with your harvest will be the subject of Fridays post so pop back then to see what suggestions I can find for you.