Our dream is to be self sufficient with our own veges.
We started a couple of years ago by clearing all the golden palms from the side, and building 2 brick raised beds to enclose a paved patio. In went my favourite herbs - chillies, galangal, mint, Vietnamese mint, pandan. Then an L shaped vege bed next to the fence - bought topsoil to fill it - duhhh, dense and turned to mud when wet! - and struggled to grow Chinese cabbage, bokchoy. Cucumber on a trellis didn't do too badly, and amaranth (bayam) grew ok, chives thrived. Eggplant grew well, but slowly dug in composted material and mushroom compost.
When the big mango tree behind it died last year, we chopped most of it off, and dug out all the shade-loving plants which grew under it, and built a really raised bed, filled it this time with "garden soil" - again not the best, got too dry and had to have heaps of worm castings to help it along (we have a 3-tiered worm farm), grew tomatoes, eggplant, basil, snow peas, radishes (no good), carrots (disaster) and beetroot (nothing to show but leaves), put in nasturtiums, marigold and coriander as companion plants.
A third bed, behind this one, raised but not so high is the permanent home of 3 asparagus plants. OK we knew now to get "enriched garden soil" this time! What a difference! the asparagus plants are thriving, we actually harvested a big fat spear this year, just to taste it - yumm. As companions, I put in parsley, tomatoes and chillies, all did well, chillies particularly, tomatoes (Tom Thumb) are finished and parsley went to seed.
Then 2 more beds, beside the asparagus beds for potatoe - tried the mulch method, disappointing, a small harvest, lots of lovely leaves!
Then our neighbour was throwing out a lovely hardwood stair stringer, too good for the dump, so we pulled out a banana patch, and built a long bed, in front of the brick raised bed, filling it with lots of compost, mulch, and enriched garden soil. This has turned out to be the best bed of all, gets sun in winter and I crammed in silverbeet, choysum, celery, baby caulis, broccolini, tatsoi. purple beans, sugar snap peas - a real Chinese garden!
In the summer months, after the radishes, beetroot etc got dug out,I grew snake beans in the raised bed, the eggplant continued to fruit, but unfortunately dried out in the heatwave in December while we were away on Hols.I found that the basil had selfseeded to cover the bed almost completely!
I dug over the L-shaped bed, fertilised it and in no time, found that the amaranth had self seeded and covered the bed like a carpet.I dug some of it into the ground as green manure put in silver beet, radishes - both doing well, and celery - no sign of life!
The "Chinese Garden" is now filled with tomatoes, basil and coriander, and hopefully, the snowpeas will germinate.
Kale and mustard greens in the brick raised bed are doing really well, will be picking some baby leaves for salad next week.
No photos of my new plantings yet!