Growing Vegetables in Winter



The poor vegetable patch has been neglected since the big move, so I spent the whole weekend cleaning the raised garden-beds. Last seasons vegetables were pulled out to make room for the new seedlings. I pulled all the weeds out and dug a few bags of compost into each of the raised garden beds. Adding compost to the pre-existing soil can help to rejuvenate, condition and improve the overall texture of the soil. When I am getting a garden bed ready for planting I always make sure I add compost into the soil and a generous handful of either rock dust or blood & bone.

This season I have decided to plant out a mixture of leafy greens to a range of different Brassicas. In previous years, I always get over excited and buy too many cabbages and cauliflowers and then find that I struggle to give them all a home in the garden. This year I purchased only a few of the Brassicas and decided to plant a lot more lettuces as I will be using them much quicker.

In the first veggie box I have planted:
Silverbeet Rainbow          – Bok Choi
Lettuce Salad Mix              Spinach Ironman
  – Brussels Sprouts Green Thumb       Celery

Vegetable box number 2 has:
       – Red Cabbage                 Cauliflower Baby
Kale Sprout Green       Sorrel Rumex
Pak Choi
I added a thick layer of sugar cane mulch to help keep the soil and the plants roots warm. The weather temperatures are a lot cooler in the mountains and it is very common for young seedlings to collapse due to the extremely cold weather. The fertiliser that I will be using is a product from Grow Better called Organic Fertiliser. It is a pelletised blend of blood & bone, fishmeal, seaweed, composted poultry manure and zeolite. It is also BFA (Biological Farmers of Australia) certified organic which is  huge tick in my books whenever I am using a product on any edible crops.DSCF4041
Until next time happy gardening!
By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs


Busy Bees

What has been happening in the vegetable patch this month?©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2016The veggie patch has had a slow start to the spring season. It has been a tough few months for a lot of the plants due to the inconsistent weather. A majority of the vegetables and herbs have been slow to put on new growth, especially when compared to previous years. The tomatoes would usually have an abundance of fruit for this time of year here in Melbourne. It is only in the last 3 weeks that they have started to produce flowers.
However on a positive note the passionfruit and fruit trees are a different story. The bees have been busy pollinating all of the flowers and there is plenty of fruit starting to form on the trees!  ©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2016Over the next few weeks I will be giving all of the fruit trees a monthly feed with an all purpose fertiliser and plenty of water as this will encourage the fruit to form and have good flavour. As for the passionfruit I like to alternate between soluble and pallet fertilisers every month.
What is flowering or fruiting in your garden?
Until next time happy gardening!
By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs

Spring is in the air and a new beginning

Spring has finally arrived and it is time to start thinking about the type of vegetables and herbs to grow in the garden. Every year I buy an assortment of plants with no plan in mind as to where they will be planted. However, this year I wanted to try something different by drawing up a layout plan for where the plants will be positioned. The vegetable patch at the new house is going to be a good experiment as we have not grown any plants there yet. It is going to be a lot of fun seeing what plants will flourish in the conditions and to learn which ones might require extra care.
©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2016Here is a photo of the vegetable patch at the new house. There is a lot of work to be done but it is going to be a fun challenge! ©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2016And this is the old vegetable garden. I am going to truly miss this garden. Over the years it has developed into my dream vegie garden and it has been a lot of hard work. I have enjoyed growing a vast range of different vegetables and herbs but I have also learnt a lot by growing my own produce. I am looking forward to transforming the vegetable patch in the new garden into something spectacular and sharing that journey with you all.
©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2016Until next time, happy gardening!
By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs


Hanging in the Patch – New season stock

G’day everyone,

Back this week is ‘Hanging in the Patch’ and what I am planting for winter. Because the weather has cooled down the white cabbage moth and most of the caterpillars are no longer active. May is usually a good time of year to start planting all the winter vegetables because there is less pest problems and the soil is still warm enough for root development.
©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2015Spring and summer was very successful in the vegetable patch and I managed to harvest a lot of produce. Due to the success in the vegetable patch, the soil in the raised garden beds was needing some conditioning in preparation before the new veggies that are going to be planted. I removed all my annual summer veggies, then I mixed blood and bone and compost into the soil. This will help to rejuvenate the soil and encourage healthy growth for the next lot of plants.


After everything was planted I added a fresh layer of sugar cane mulch to help retain the warmth and moisture in the soil.




Here is a list of what I am growing in my vegetable patch for this season!

  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower ‘White Cloud’
  • Pea ‘Snow pea’
  • Pea ‘Sugar Snap’ 
  • Kale ‘Tuscan’
  • Lettuce ‘Multi-Cut’ 
  • Leek
  • Spring onions
  • Onion ‘White Globe’
  • Broccoli ‘Magic Dragon’
  • Brussels Sprouts ‘Green Thumb’
  • Spinach ‘Ironman’
  • Silverbeet ‘Rainbow’ 

Another aspect of my garden that I am currently excited about is my citrus grove. These trees were planted roughly 2 and half years ago and they have started to flourish in the last 7 months. Almost all the trees are baring fruit and have put on a staggering amount of growth.


 By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs