Peter's veggie patch

Following on from the excesses of the last couple of decades, many of us now realise that sustainability and self-sufficiency is the way to go. A simple veggie patch can help get you started on the path to the good life.

The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens may seem an unlikely spot to grow your own vegetables but it’s home to one of the most famous veggie patches in Australia, Peter Cundall’s veggie patch. Established in 1997 for the ABC TV’s Gardening Australia, the garden flourishes under the organic gardening techniques implemented by Peter, including companion planting, green manuring and crop rotation.

Initially planted on poor, waterlogged, sandy soil, the garden’s base was enriched using organic matter such as mushroom compost, blood and bone and chicken manure, all of which can usually be found locally and cheaply, or you can start your own compost heap with leftover food items. Crop rotation, meaning the same crop is never planted in the same bed two seasons in a row, prevents the build up of pests and diseases. It also helps keep the soil healthy by ensuring it isn’t stripped of all its nutrients by one crop.

If you are planning a trip to Tasmania, you can visit Peter’s veggie patch or get useful tips online to help start your own compost heaven.

Written by Debbie McTaggart