Veggie Gardening Can Be Dangerous! - Sep 16, 2009

This week the boys and I dug up the veggie garden. First we had to pull out all the spent winter vegetables including Broccoli, Broadbeans and Brussel sprouts. I've never grown Broadbeans before and after tasting them this year I won't be growing them again. The kids thought they were disgusting and I had to agree.

We spread cow manure and blood and bone over the composted sugar cane mulch then we dug it all in using long handled shovels. My life was in danger with a 4 and 5 year old banging me in the head on numerous occasions.

While we turned over the soil we picked out all the curl grubs. These white grubs with a copper coloured head eat the roots of your vegetables and the only safe way to remove them is by hand.

Once the soil was dug over and nice and soft, we covered it again with a fresh layer of sugar cane.

This weed free mulch keeps the soil cool and moist during the heat of summer.

I have been more selective with my vegetable selection this season. I have given up trying to grow eggplant and capsicum because where I live the season is too short and the frost kills them just when they are starting to fruit.

We have planted cucumbers, zucchini,beans,tomatoes,basil,lettuce,potatoes and garlic.The boys gave up helping when a huge blue tongue lizard came out from under a buxus hedge and wandered across the path. "How fast can they run and do they bite?" was all Dan wanted to know.

Tim Pickles is a CNP horticulturist and director of Tim's Garden Centre 2 Queen St Campbelltown 46267022.