Starting your own veggie garden doesn’t have to be daunting – start small!
Whether you have a big backyard or a small terrace balcony, we have these six easy tips to assist you to start your very own veggie garden.
Location, location, location!
Where you start your garden is one of the most important aspects for thriving plants. It should incorporate the right amount of sunlight, air circulation and convenience. When mapping out where you want to put your veggie garden, be sure to choose a location where your future plants can receive their recommended amount of sunlight all year around. Without adequate sunlight, plants will struggle to photosynthesise and may become tall and weak as they search for light. By checking the sunlight recommendation on the seedling tag, you will be able to ensure you are giving your plant the right amount of sunlight, as some plants require a lot and others require a very little amount of sunlight.
Another key ingredient for photosynthesis is quality air circulation. While intense wind can cause damage to your plants, it is essential that they still receive a light breeze. You should make sure your plants aren’t surrounded by tall structures and are still able to sway when there is a breeze. Planting your veggie garden in a convenient location is an important step to make sure you have quick and easy access.
Be picky with the plants you choose.
Choosing the right plants for your environment is important. Herbs are a great starting point for any garden as a useful and simple option. Herbs that grow well in spring include mint, dill, parsley, sage, thyme, coriander, chives, basil and oregano. Plants like tomatoes and lettuce can be grown in small spaces and flourish in spring conditions, with tomatoes beginning to fruit in late December.
Make the space work for you!
It doesn’t matter if you have a lot of room or not, growing your own veggies can be done in any house or apartment. For a space saving option, try growing herbs or small plants on a kitchen bench or windowsill that receives sufficient light. This convenient option can allow you to add the produce straight into your cooking with ease. Another space efficient alternative is to grow plants in a super stylish vertical garden. Choosing plants that can grow up a trellis will save you a lot of space while adding a splash of greenery to your house.
Focus on quality soil.
Whether you’re planting your veggie garden straight into the ground or using pots, a successful garden starts with the soil. The best way to make sure your soil contains the right nutrients is to include compost. Mixing equal parts of compost and soil will enable your plants to absorb the nutrients in the compost which includes; nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
The correct watering schedule is crucial to ensuring your plants are getting the correct amount of water. Not enough water will dry your plants out, but too much can create what is known as root rot. Some plants such as orchids have fiddly water requirements so while it’s best to check labels and talk with your local nursery, a general rule of thumb is to give your plants a thorough soaking about once a week. This will encourage them to grow deeper roots and absorb the nutrients throughout all the soil.
Furthermore, by checking how dry the soil is few times a week, you are also able to understand if the plant needs more water. You should aim to give your plant more water if the soil is dry about an inch beneath the surface.
Prepare for setbacks!
Keeping a close eye on how your plants are growing is important to make sure pests and diseases aren’t bothering them. Weeds will reduce the growth of your plants by competing with them for water, nutrients and sunlight, so be sure to stop them in their tracks if they pop up. A mixture of compost and straw can be placed around the base of some plants to limit the growth of weeds. If a small number of damaging insects appear on your plants, you can safely pick them off by hand to stop the infestation. However, for bigger infestations be sure to try an organic insecticidal soap sprays to stop the infestation from growing.
With so many veggies that can be grown in spring, which ones are you most excited to try?