A year’s supply of vegetables for two in just 20m2

Ryan Garratt and Sam Hidalgo anticipate the huge yields at Heronswood this summer

Within the grounds of Heronswood lies the Diggers mini-plot.
Comprised of four beds, it’s used to educate and inspire Australian gardeners to grow as much of their own food as possible given the limited space often available to them. The original Diggers trials were conducted by Dr Will Trueman 26 years ago. These trials were extensive and
the results recorded rigorously; from sowing date, days to harvest, through to weight of harvest. From this, the highest yield varieties were combined with the matrix planting system, and the mini-plot was born. Over the years the mini-plot has trialled other growing approaches, such as the native American concept of the Three Sisters; pumpkin, beans and corn in the one hole, with the corn growing to provide a frame for the beans to climb, and the pumpkin trailing on the ground below.
This summer we revisit the original mini-plot recipe.
Our four 5 x 1-metre beds will be planted out with our highest yield mini-plot varieties and arranged in the matrix system, giving us maximum space for plants without overcrowding.
The mini-plot, as described in The Australian Fruit & Vegetable Garden, for our climate zone will be alive and growing at Heronswood for the summer season.  We look forward to rigorously recording our results and seeing how they stack up against Dr Trueman’s.

More

Choosing Beautiful, Edible Plants

Bernadette Brady talks about creating art with vegetables at Heronswood

Garden Pyramid

Clive Blazey explains the Diggers guide — our Garden Pyramid

Gardening with Flowers

Choosing the best Diggers selections for the cutting garden

Grow Your Own Berries

Tim Sansom gives his tips on pruning and training for success with your cane fruit crop

Grow Your Own Food (Early Summer)

Bernadette Brady helps you start growing your own food in just 1-3 weeks

Grow Your Own Organically

Bernadette Brady explains how we make 'weed tea', control pests and serve organic food in our restaurants

How to drought proof your garden

How to drought proof your garden

Maximising yield by summer pruning fruit trees

Julian Blackhirst explains the essentials to improve yields from your orchard.

Moon Planting

St Erth's head gardener Julian Blackhirst explains the lunar planting cycle

Plant Ratios for the Backyard

Clive Blazey's thoughts on providing the right balance of plants in your backyard

Q&A - Green Manures

Trials manager Ian Magnus answers questions about using green manures to boost soil fertility and water retention

Q&A - Mulch

Bill Bampton, head gardener at Heronswood, explains our success with making and using mulch

Q&A - Seeds

Seed manager Evette Jungwirth answers your questions about growing from seed successfully

Q&A - Soils

Hugh Hunkin answers your questions about soils and why they are at the root of most gardening problems

Soft green succulents for a lush green garden

Bill Bampton transforms Heronswood’s gravel garden

Spring Gardening

Bernadette Brady recommends getting your hands dirty with some tasks in the spring garden

Subtropical Growing Zone

Tim Sansom explains the heat generated by “Hot Zone” discussions

The “Hauteculture” of Espalier

Bill Bampton talks about turning an untidy orchard into a bountiful border

The best flower selections for ‘This goes with that’ summer borders

Clive Blazey, author of ‘The Complete Guide to the Flower Garden’, discusses the power of intelligent combination

Tips for keeping your plants healthy throughout the seasons

With air-conditioning becoming the norm in many homes across Australia, we asked indoor plant expert Jason Chongue to share his top tips to growing indoor plants in all seasons.

Tomato Growing Problems

Caromy MacDougall explains some common tomato growing problems and how to minimise them

Veganics and plant-based living

Plant-based living launches Veganics The vegan movement is gathering momentum for many reasons from animal welfare to climate change, and this is creating a wave of change across all industries from wine, to clothing and even gardening.

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