Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Beetle Shack gardening Column - April 2013 {a video walk through our patch}

Well hello everyone,

Welcome to the third installment of The Beetle Shack Gardening Series. As we’re well into Autumn, I thought a little video that Em & I made of our front garden at the end of summer / early autumn would be in order.

We were harvesting eggplant (two different varieties), green beans and chillies (cayenne & a thai variety that I don’t remember), and also checking out some of the early autumn planting.

Since March we’ve got garlic, kale, broccoli, leek, coriander and silverbeet on the go, along with a few varieties of bush and climbing peas.

Late tomatoes are now about to come out and potatoes will go in where they were (spuds are great crop to break the cycle of Solanaceae (tom’s etc) and Brassicas (kale, brocolli, cabbage etc) and give the soil a rest (tomatoes in particular are hungry little bastards and will suck up every bit of goodness they are planted in).

As many of you probably know, crop rotation is a critical part of organic vegie gardening; it’s the first line of defense in the fight against pests and disease, and also critical to the building up of nutrients in the soil. The general idea is that different plants suck up different nutrients from the soil, and also have different pests (a cool side note is that often one plants enemy is anothers defender and so multi-cropping selected plants gets the bugs working against each other).

Planting the same crop repeatedly on the same patch allows a build up of disease, perfect conditions for pests along with the depletion of nutrients needed in the soil to grow fully developed veg (this is just one reason why industrial row monoculture row cropping is a bad idea and requires so much chemical fertilisers, herbicides & fungicides).

Enough with the lecture. I hope you enjoy the little snippet into our garden.

If you're interested in learning more about our approach to gardening and self sufficiency, head over here and read an interview with Dave about just that- Living Differently (adorable illustration included).


  1. breathtaking Em and Dave! wonderful, amazing and inspiring! Those eggplants look beautiful x

  2. Great garden set up you have there and it will only thrive and grow in the years to come...when you're feeding 5 or 6 hungry mouths..!? ;)
    You guys make a great team. Well done. Alison

  3. Loved getting a peek into your garden. Loved the link to the article as well. A rabbitry? I can't wait to see that!!!

  4. that made my heart sing!!! beautiful and inspiring - thank you, Bryony

  5. Beautiful! Simply beautiful - I especially adore the brief moment of the two of you talking (& your gorgeous giggle, Em!)& the rumbling sounds of nature around you. Thank you for inviting us into your patch.

    You passion is inspiring.

    Sar xx

  6. Just wondering if you are aware that potatoes are solanums, same as tomatoes? They probably shouldn't follow each other since they both suffer blight and the same mildews etc. Hope that might be helpful.


  7. hey there mavisandfrank,
    dave here.
    you're spot on with the solanaceae comment. i forgot to clarify that i was planting a green manure crop between the toms and the spuds... it's still not an ideal rotation but that patch has only had tomatoes on it this year and never previously so it should be okay.

    the chooks have ripped out a few things that were taking space in another bed so i might end up putting the potatoes in those anyway.

  8. Sad that's all the photos are hidden because of new policy of photobucket :(
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Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em