Ultra-fresh organic veggies at your fingertips? Yes, you can grow them!
No matter whether you have a sprawling suburban garden or live in a multi-storey high rise, it's easy to create a home veggie garden and enjoy low cost, incredibly fresh greens at your fingertips. Simply follow our quick tips to get started.
Tip 1 - Choose your growing area
This is important - you don't need a big garden to grow your own veggies. A sunny balcony, even a few window planter boxes are all you need to get started as a veggie farmer, so there's no excuse even if you live in an apartment. What vegetables do love is sunshine – and plenty of it. Choose a sheltered spot that allows access to sunlight with some dappled shade to protect delicate leaves form scorching during the hottest parts of the day.
Tip 2 - Select your garden bed
Many of the easy-to-grow veggies have reasonably shallow root systems so depth isn't a priority. Look for rectangular planter boxes that let you maximise the number of plants you can grow. If you have a backyard and you're feeling energetic, build a raised garden marked out by a wooden frame. Consider adding chicken wire or netting to provide protection from predators like hungry birds or possums.
Tip 3 - Prepare a feast for your veggies
Buy good quality potting mix for your planters or your raised bed. Add a decent serving of organic fertilisers like cow or chicken manure, and fold into the mix to create a nutrient-rich base for your veggies.
Tip 4 - Start off with a failsafe crop
Unless you're a seasoned green thumb, it pays to start your veggie garden with some of the easier crops to grow. Lettuce, silver beet, spinach, rocket and tomatoes are virtually failsafe. If you're feeling confident, add beetroot, bok choy, capsicum, radish and broccoli to the crop. You'll be eating veggies far sooner if you go for seedlings rather than seeds - always select the healthiest plants you can find, preferably those showing tips of new growth.
Tip 5 - Settle your veggies in
Here's the exciting part – introducing your veggies to their new home. First, give your planter boxes or garden bed a good dig to loosen the soil. Water well. Give your seedlings a decent watering too so that they slide out of their pots with ease. Next, dig generous holes for each plant – allowing room for growth. Pop the plants in, firmly pat the soil around the base of each plant, and water well again. Add a decent layer of mulch (wood shavings or cane mulch are budget-friendly and very effective) to prevent your veggies drying out on hot days while keeping them snug when the weather turns chilly.
That's it! You're officially growing your own organic veggies. All that remains is to water your vegetables regularly, and sit back as they grow into yummy greens just right for healthy summer dining. Bon appetite!