08 Sep 2016

Why should I start a vegetable garden?

A lot of people ask this very question, and there are plenty of reasons why. One of the main reasons is to save money! With the increasing cost of living, it’s no surprise that many people want to reduce their grocery bills by growing their own veges. As well as the savings, growing your own vegetables bring health benefits, too. A lot of people have become cautious of the types of pesticides used by major farmers, and growing your own food means you can keep a closer eye on just what is going into it.

Furthermore, many people simply find pleasure in growing veges, fruits, and herbs, and then eating the fruits of their labour (pun intended). There’s a great satisfaction behind growing your own food and being able to serve up a meal using the very food you tended to and grew yourself.

What should I plant in my new garden?

One of the first considerations is what to plant in your garden. If you’re new to growing your own vegetables, it’s a good idea to start small. This gives you the opportunity to learn how to grow plants and vegetables, as well as learn what vegetables will be right for which seasons.

You can also begin your decision process by thinking of what fruits and vegetables your family enjoys eating. Choosing veges you already eat and enjoy will ensure that there will be little wastage. Keep in mind that vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and snow peas will continue to provide vegetables, but plants like carrots, corn, and sweet potato will only produce once. That means you’ll need to continuously plant more of these to keep enjoying them.

Where should I have my garden?

You don’t need a large plot of land to be able to start a vege garden. In fact, just a balcony can provide you enjoy space to start growing. There are, however, some basic requirements you’ll need to successfully grow your herbs and vegetables. You’ll need full sun, plenty of water, and good soil.

If you have these three elements, no matter the size of your garden, you’re sure to be successful. Make sure your garden has around 6-8 hours of full sun each day, and avoid planting your veges too close to any trees, as the tree will take all the nutrients it needs away from your growing garden.

How do I ensure my soil is of a good quality?

Once you have an area plotted into the ground, or a raised bed, prepare your soil a couple of days before planting your seedlings. Do this by loosening the soil and spread out fertiliser or compost in and amongst the soil. Spread the soil and level it out using a rake, and water it gently. Plant your seedlings a couple of days to a few days later, giving the soil time to rest.

As your plants start to grow, it is important to keep track of how your soil is going. Keeping the plants and soil watered is a must and be sure to add extra fertiliser when it is needed. Some nurseries will even sell soil that is made for vegetable gardens and has added nutrients and fertilizers added which are made for helping vegetables, herbs, and fruits to grow.

When can I harvest?

As a general rule of thumb, if it looks good enough to eat, it probably is. Plants like tomatoes can be harvested when they look ready, and more will continue to be produced on the same plant. Vegetables such as lettuce can easily be eaten when the leaves are still quite young. It is a matter of cutting the leaves you want and the plant will continue to grow, providing more leaves as the season continues.

Vegetables under the soil such as carrots and onions will need to be checked on before removing from the ground, but always check on the seedling information to give you a guide as to when it will be ready for harvesting.