Posts about Growing Vegetables on Eight Acres

by Liz Beavis

I started my first vegetable garden in 2008 after I was inspired by a DVD in which Peter Cundall (from Gardening Australia) dug up a lawn with a rotary hoe. We were able to borrow a rotary hoe from a friend and built a giant shade structure using secondhand shade cloth. I watered the garden using dam water and a fire-fighting pump. I grew vegetables from seedlings and seed. We had gluts of zucchini and tomatoes, and at other times virtually nothing grew.

Eight Acres - vegetable garden harvest

The relative success was luck more than anything else, as I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Since then, I have read just about every gardening book I could find. I’ve studied permaculture, biological agriculture and organic gardening. I’ve started two more gardens as we’ve moved house, and I’ve experimented and refined my gardening knowledge.

I have documented each revelation on this blog since 2010, when we were living on an eight acre property in Nanango (South East Queensland, Australia). We now live nearby on 258 acres near Kumbia. I have four raised garden beds and a food forest. We still buy vegetables from the supermarket, BUT most days the majority of our vegetables come from my garden.

I’m sure I still have more to learn, but you should find some useful information in these blog posts to help you get started too. You may have to adapt these to your climate or do more research, but that is the fun of growing vegetables!
Please email me or message me on Facebook or Instagram if you have any questions! Or if you just want to share some vegetable gardening successes.

Eight Acres - raised garden beds

A few vegetable garden basics

Here are a few pots that I think will help you to get started with your own vegetable garden:

I also did a series where I asked other vegetable growing bloggers how they would get started with growing a vegetable garden, you can find the summary here: Getting started with growing your own

Eight Acres - compost worms for vegetable garden

One of my favourite topics is soil and compost worms!

Find out more about soil:
Making use of microbes in the soil
Three essential principles of organic gardening
And compost worms:

My first worm farm
Setting up another worm farm
How to use worm farm compost
How to look after a worm farm


Eight Acres - vegetable garden basket of tomatoes

I love experimenting with growing different vegetables

Some are traditional and some are unique to our sub-tropical climate. I have also been trying to find perennial vegetables that don’t need to be replanted each year. Here’s a few posts about vegetables that I’ve grown:
Growing onions, shallots and spring onions
Growing chokos
Growing celery
Mushrooms in my kitchen
Growing pepino
Growing root vegetables
Growing snake beans
Growing jerusalem artichoke
My top 5 veggies for beginner gardeners
Perennial plants and trees - a food forest
Perennial vegetables and permaculture
Growing spaghetti squash
Growing broad beans
Growing tromboncino
Weird vegetables in my sub-tropical garden

One of the challenges here is winter

During summer we have very hot days, some years with lots of thunderstorms and some years it can be very dry. In winter, we still usually have relatively warm days, but nights can get close to freezing, and we often have mild frosts. I’ve developed a few ways to manage my vegetable garden in winter.
Preparing the vege garden for winter
Winter vegetable gardening in the sub-tropics

 Eight Acres - growing vegetables from seed

Growing from seeds

I love saving seeds and I try to grow from seeds when I can. Growing from seeds is cheaper than buying seedlings and you can more easily stagger your planting, and you can often try some more interesting vegetables compared to buying seedlings. However, sometimes if I’m not organised, I will grab some seedlings to get a headstart!
How to save seeds
Growing from seeds
Planting seeds or seedlings
Tips for starting vegetables from seeds

Gardening Books

And finally, I want to share with you a few gardening books that have helped me over the years…
A Postage Stamp Garden
Organic Farming with Worms
How plants grow - book review
The history or heirloom vegetables - book review
Teaming with microbes - book review
Three different garden books

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