Leading landscaping expert and Adbri Masonry brand ambassador Jason
Hodges lists out a step-by-step plan to create an edible garden right at home.
Australia’s leading masonry manufacturer Adbri Masonry along with Jason
Hodges had earlier identified the growth of edible gardens as a key outdoor
landscaping trend for 2014, going into the summer of 2015.
Adbri Masonry Marketing Manager Karl Wood attributed the trend to increasing
urbanisation and decreasing amounts of personal space, encouraging homeowners to
make the most of their outdoors to improve their health and wellbeing. The
‘Outdoor Room’ is expected to become one of the most valued rooms in the house
Jason describes the Outdoor Room as the healthiest room in the house
where the family can grow organic fruits, vegetables and herbs, and share them with
family and friends while enjoying the fresh air and sunlight.
Jason advises homeowners to begin their organic adventure with raised
garden beds. When planning their new edible garden, it would help to list out
the objectives, specifically what they expect from their garden such as herbs,
vegetables or fruits.
Adbri Masonry and Jason Hodge’s
StepByStep instructions for an edible garden
Step 1: Mark out the shape of the garden patch, keeping in
mind how much space and depth will be required to plant the chosen items. Once
the shape is defined, use marking paint to mark a line on the ground around the
TIP: Ensure sufficient space is provided to work and walk
around each garden patch.
Step 2: Excavate a trench approximately 50-100mm wider than
the block and approximately 200mm in depth around the shape of the marked garden
patch. Remove turf and debris from the area to avoid them growing back.
TIP: Place the turf in green bins but the soil can be
saved for reuse in the soil mix for the raised garden patch.
Step 3: Bring in roadbase and spread it throughout the footing
of the veggie patch to a depth of approximately 50mm. Compact the roadbase flat
using a plate compactor.
TIP: Use rebase, a recycled roadbase for the footing as it
is not only better for the environment but can save on costs too.
Step 4: Prepare a sand and cement screed mix of 4:1 and
spread the mix over the roadbase using a timber float to a thickness of
approximately 30mm. Get the sand and cement mix level using a spirit level.
TIP: Getting the level in the base is important and worth
spending some time on.
Step 5: To lay the first course of blocks, start at one end
and place blocks onto the screeded sand and cement mix, gently tapping the
blocks into position using a rubber mallet, and getting the level correct with
the spirit level. Continue laying blocks around the trench until the first
course of blocks is completed.
Step 6: Continue laying blocks by simply stacking them on top
of one another, using a small hand broom to sweep dirt and debris off the top
of the course below to ensure the blocks are being laid on a nice flat surface.
Lay the blocks to the desired height, noting the maximum unreinforced heights
specified for the retaining wall.
Step 7: The next step involves the installation of the
capping units to get a clean and flush garden wall; using a suitable landscape
grade outdoor adhesive (such as landscape liquid nails), put 4 ‘blobs’ of
adhesive on the top of each block on the top course and firmly place the
capping unit on top of the glue. Repeat until all capping units are firmly
secured to the top of the wall blocks.
Step 8: Use a wheelbarrow to bring in the soil, mulches and
potting mix. Spread the soil evenly throughout the new veggie patch until half
way up the top of the capping unit.
TIP: Consider using organic soils to keep it healthy for
Step 9: Once the garden bed is prepared, begin the planting process;
consider layering the plants, starting with taller fruit trees in the centre
and working out towards veggies and herbs, which can be easily accessed all year
Step 10: Hose
down the blocks and water the newly planted garden patch.