My NEW vegetable garden…


In mid July this year we moved house! And left our beloved veggie patch behind….

So naturally one of the first things I REALLY wanted to do after moving in (and after popping out baby #2!) was to set up our new vegetable garden. We got our hands on some second hand Little Veggie Patch Co apple crates….does that make them recycled, recycled…..and set about installing them in our very barren backyard.

filling our new vegetable garden, using the lasagne method

Filling our new vegetable garden, using the lasagne method.

my son is very interested in our new vegetable garden

Someone is excited about our new vegetable garden!












Using the lasagne layering technique we filled the bins.

To do this add:


a layer of straw (about a hands depth), top with a hands depth of good quality garden soil/compost mix (bought from landscaping yard), add a few good handfuls of Seamungus and repeat. Until you have filled the bins.

For the final layer I added 2 bags of pure organic compost per bin, a few more handfuls of Seamungus and mulched with organic sugar cane mulch.

A week later I planted our first lot of seeds and seedlings in our new vegetable garden. 3 weeks later this is what they look like!

Seedlings in our new vegetable garden

Along the left: zucchini seeds sprouting in each corner (I will let these trail over the side), in the centre: 1 eggplant and 1 tomato plant, along the right: carrot seeds sprouting.


Seedlings in our new vegetable garden

On Left: a row of basil seeds sprouting. Background and foreground: Rainbow Chard doing well. On the right: celery seedlings coming along. And in the centre: 2 draft tomato plants.












I love how easy these crates have been to net – this technique of the piping, bracket holders and black bird netting would be easy to replicate on any veggie bed that you could screw the brackets into. Small hooks along the lower edge of the crates hold the net tight and in place.

As the soil/straw mix in the bins ages and settles in, I will need to top up the bins with more soil and compost. I’ve got space for at least another 2 raised beds in this full sun area of the backyard, and I’m tempted to give wicking beds ago….


Possum proof netting. Simple plastic piping, held in place with brackets.

Possum proof netting. Simple plastic piping, held in place with brackets.

Stay tuned for further patch updates and to see me establish some fruiting trees on our block. Two passionfruit vines arrived from The Diggers Club in the post today and I’m going to use them along our back fence line as an edible privacy screen.


9 Responses

  1. Merri-Lyn Clark

    Hi Chloe I enjoyed your article and noted with interest that you are thinking about “giving wicking beds a go”. I strongly recommend this and, if prepared properly (no stones or scoria) with various size wood chips for the mulch layer and then good quality soil and of course an adequate watering funnel and overflow pipe they will work a treat. I estimate that we have reduced our watering by at least 50%. I recently set up a bed for my 90yo mum who loves her garden; we used a small, round poly water trough which worked a treat.

    • Chloe

      Thanks for the tip Merri-Lyn, I saw Sophie Thomson do a wicking bed on Gardening Australia the other week and I’ve seen some great examples at community gardens near me. Stay tuned for my attempt at one! Cheers Chloe

  2. Anne Buckland

    Hi there, I’m curious how you netted your crates. We have possums and rats (eew) here in urban Sydney. I can see you have attached brackets to the side of the crates. What have you got at the top to keep the poly pipe together? And is that 2 long bits of pipe or 4 smaller ones? And how easy is it to lift the netting to work on the patch? Thanks so much- loving your blog. I am a rank beginner trying to teach my kids where food comes from and there are very few Australian gardening blogs about a backyard patch. And none by a horticulturalist! X

    • Chloe

      Hi Anne,
      Thanks for your lovely comment. Ewwww to your rat problem 🙂
      Ok to answer your questions about the netting of our crates…
      1. The poly pip just stay together where they cross. I guess it’s the curvy bend in the pipe that does it.
      2. It’s only 2 pieces of poly pipe that are the same length.
      3. It’s easy enough to lift the net (put it this way, I’ve netted before without the poly pipe system, and this is A LOT EASIER!). We have little curved hooks across the bottom of the crate that we hook the net over to keep the top of it tight. A net that isn’t tight can be a hazard for birds as they get caught up in it.
      I hope this helps?
      Happy gardening 🙂 And well done on teaching your kids, you will be amazed at how much fruit & veg they want to eat when they grow it themselves!

      • Anne

        Thanks Chloe, I’ll be giving this a try! And the only vegetable the 4 year old will eat is silverbeet she has picked herself (wrapped in pastry, spanakopita style of course). It’s a start… Thanks again for your detailed reply, really helpful. Anne

  3. Tanya

    Hi Chloe,

    I have just got my hands on some apple crates however I am at a loss as to where to get the liner for them. I have done some research and found out I need food grade plastic, but I can’t work out where to get it. What do you line your crates with and where do you get it?



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