Want fresh organic veggies this summer? You can start growing them!
It doesn't matter whether you have a huge backyard garden or live in an apartment, creating an at-home veggie garden is really easy and best of all you get to enjoy low cost, fresh greens right from your own home. Check out our five simple tips to get started.
1. Pick a growing area
This is an important factor - now, you don't need a big garden to grow veggies. In fact, all you really need is a sunny balcony or windowsill for a few planter boxes - so there's no excuses if you live in an apartment. Vegetables love sunshine and lots of it, so when choosing your growing area be sure to choose a sheltered spot that has access to sunlight. But make sure your spot also has dappled shade to protect your plants during the hottest parts of the day.
2. Choose your garden bed
Many easy-to-grow vegetables have relatively shallow roots so depth isn't too important. If you find rectangular planter boxes, you can maximise the amount of plants you can grow. If you have a backyard and you want to go the extra mile, you can build a raised garden bed enclosed in a wooden frame. You might also want to consider adding netting or chicken wire to protect your lovely greens from possums or birds.
3. Prepare food for your veggies
It's vital to purchase good quality potting mix for your garden bed or planters. You should also add a decent amount of organic fertilisers like chicken or cow manure, and then fold it into the mix to create a nutrient-rich base for your garden.
4. Start with a foolproof crop
For all you beginners, its smart to start your veggie garden with some of the easy-to-grow crops such as tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, rocket and silver beet. However, if you're feeling particularly confident or once you've established your green thumb, try growing beetroot, capsicum, broccoli, bok choy and radish. Buying seedlings instead of seeds will have you enjoying your veggies a lot sooner. It's also important to pick the healthiest plants you can find, preferably plants showing tips of new growth.
5. Make your veggies feel at home
Now, time to help your veggies settle in to their new home. Firstly, give your garden bed or planter boxes a good dig to loosen up the soil, then water well. Secondly, dig decent holes for each plant - leaving room for them to grow. Place the plants into the holes, firmly pat down the soil around the base of each plant and water well. Then add a generous layer of mulch (we recommend wood shavings or cane mulch for a budget-friendly and effective option) to stop your veggies from drying out on hot days, while also keeping them protected when it's cold.
And that's all folks! You're now growing your own organic veggies straight out of your backyard. Just don't forget to regularly water your plants. So now you can sit back and relax as they grow into yummy veggies just in time for your summer dining!
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