DIY Projects & Guides
For many people their house is the single largest investment they will ever make. So it only makes sense we love to spend so much time and money on improvements both inside and out. With increasing popularity of home and lifestyle television shows like Better Homes and Gardens, The Block and Grand Designs, now more than ever people are willing to get their hans dirty and take on many project themselves rather then calling in the professionals.
Your Very Own Vegetable Garden
Do you dream of growing your very own market garden in your backyard? Not surprisingly you are not alone with herb and vegetable gardens now being one of our most asked about topics. It seems everyone is keen to stop wasting their money at the supermarkets and grow their own. And why not? Due to the recent popularity there is a glut of information available and even the brownest of green thumbs could get a garden up, running and feeding the family in no time!
Remember, a vegetable garden doesn’t have to conform to any particular design parameters. As long as you have a sunny spot, decent soil and the commitment to make it work you too can have a great vegetable garden. Size is no limitation, from growing your own herbs in pots on your windowsill through to large market size patches in your backyard, everyone can grow!
A Shopping List For Your Job
- Treated Pine Sleepers – ACQ treated pine sleepers are recommended for all vegetable gardens and children’s play equipment such as sand pits and cubby houses. ACQ stands for Alkaline Copper Quaternary, a chemical treatment used in landscaping timber production. ACQ treatment is considered a safer treatment method on timber used where human contact or consumption is present. CCA treatment contains Arsenic which is highly poisonous. Although considered completely safe and stable within the timber, it is good practice to use alternative treatments in these situations.
- Fixings and Fittings
- Drainage Gravel – A layer of drainage material in the base of your raised bed is essential to ensure your garden does not become water logged.
- Vegetable Garden Soil – Many experienced gardeners prefer to create their own soils using a mix of their own organic compost, mulch and manure. This will always be the most cost effective option, but not everyone has access to large quantities of home grown compost and manures. Our Vegetable and Herb Black Label Garden Soil is perfect for the job; it is ready to plant in and already a rich mix of sandy loam, chicken and pig manure, sand and organic compost.
- Geofabric or Bidim – A layer of filtration fabric between your soil and drainage material will allow free drainage without your soil clogging up your gravel.
- Sugarcane or Lucern Mulch – Don’t forget the mulch! Mulch offers protection to the soil from the harsh, hot sun and heavy rain. Mulch also helps with weed retention and both sugarcane and lucern mulch in particular will promote microbial activity.
- Kickalong Fertiliser – It is always best to add an organic fertiliser when setting up a new bed, this will give your new plants the best possible start! Always follow the application rate to prevent burning, and select your fertiliser to suit your planting application. Organic based fertilisers are recommended for vegetable gardens. Check out our Searles Kickalong for Vegetable Gardens.
Building A Raised Veggie Patch
How to make your very own raised veggie patch
Materials & Tools List to make a raised bed 2.4m long and 2.4m wide:
- Four ACQ timber posts, 200mm x 50mm x 2400mm cut in to 400mm* lengths (*depending on raised bed height required)
- Four (or Eight*) ACQ timber sleepers, 200mm x 50mm x 2400mm (*depending on raised bed height required)
- Drill or impact driver
- Wood screws (Bugle Head Batten Screws are perfect!)
- Geotextile fabric – 3mx2m
- Vegetable & Herb Soil
- Kickalong Herb & Veg Fertiliser
- Sugarcane or Lucern Mulch
Essentially you need to build a box with the bottom open to allow water to drain. Construction is simple.
- Clear and level an area in you garden or lawn approximately 2.4m x 2.4m (Larger if you would like a walkway surrounding your beds)
- Lay your first row of sleepers out on the ground in a square with alternative ends to the face of the corresponding sleepers.
- Using a drill (pilot holes may be required) or impact driver fix the first row of sleepers to each other through the face into the corresponding end of each sleeper.
- Attach the posts to the sleepers in each corner on the inside of the square using batten screws.
- Half-fill the box with drainage material such as gravel.
- If required, add a second row of sleepers to increase the height of the bed (2 levels of sleepers equal a 400mm high bed – perfect working height).
- Attach sleepers together and to the post using similar method outlined above.
- Then line the sides and base with a large piece of geotextile fabric. This will act as a silt trap and root barrier, preventing your soil from clogging the gravel layer. Tack into place.
- Add vegetable soil mix to around 100mm below the top of the sleepers.
- Add your Kickalong Fertiliser (or similar) to the soil and mix through thoroughly.
- Plant your seedlings as required and water in.
- Remember to mulch all your exposed garden beds with a quality mulch or bark. Sugarcane or Lucern Mulch is perfect for vegetable gardens.
- You can make your raised bed any size – this is just a guide.