umm.. another Suburban Permi Retrofit update ?!

Posted on February 11, 2010


Hmm, slow news month here at frugalist massive. Spending time urban wwoofing and visiting friends + family around melbourne has led to less net time like I anticipated – and the promised podcast is a bit behind schedule. Ah, hows about another photolog update ? [the crowd roars . . ] I’m going to play around with photos amongst the text this time so theres less clicking through. Lemme know if you dig it.

Dad’s pretty excited back in Sydney to have the first big yield from the garden. So much so he’s emailed dozens of photos, so I didn’t even take the photos in this cruisy blog post. Nice.


So – the vegie bed is looking pretty lush considering the 30-40+ degree days in the harsh dry western sydney sun. Thats some pumpkin vines intruding into the side-of-house garden beds on the very left and on the right of the shed is a “curripincher” or curry leaf tree which is happy after a prune and is about 10 years old.

first big sunny boy

Some reflections on the success of this productive little vegie bed, cultivated for the first time on clay soils over the last few months is a few good fundamental moves which we made to help establish it as fertile growing grounds.

  1. Nutrients + Micro-organisms: Starting with the compost bays before any growing started was a great first step. Creating your own soil and rich organic matter is a satisfying and economical way to get going. It’s not necessarily a quick way to get started but it worked out very well in this context. The compost and worm castings/tea have helped re-mediate the thick clay soils and allow decent growth for these vegies.
  2. Rain Water tanks setup with drip irrigation: Rain water is the best water for your vegies. It is missing the chlorine, fluoride and other wacky additives in our drinking water. It was also in regular over-supply in the second water tank. The drip system attached to a mechanical wind up timer made watering a one-turn and walk away job. Leaving more time for the gardener to tend to more delicate or detailed jobs (troubleshooting compost/pests, harvesting, transplanting etc)

    big chillis

  3. Regular care and nurturing: Particularly in the early stages there was a lot of care taken over the patch and the odd bit of improvised shading and added watering after/before scorching hot days. Dad isn’t doing fulltime work at the moment so it is a high yielding hobby which he gets a lot out of.

Theres probably many more factors in there but this is what seems to be some of the key ones. The beans have enjoyed the lattice up the side of the shed. This also helps cool the shed a little, perhaps we’ll send something over the roof one day.

Photolog tells a little more of the story, but there not much to it really. Just the joy of home-grown produce, yay.