Veggie garden ideas may be a popular topic of conversation as we are all spending more time at home and looking for activities the whole family can do together. The message of “Homegrown equals healthy” and trying to cut costs on the home budget has inspired people to start digging and get planting.
The challenge to get children making healthier eating choices can be made easier if you involve them in growing and preparing a variety of food. Vegetable gardens are a great starting point as you will find most vegetables are simple to grow and the kids will delight in watching them sprout to life. Here are some veggie garden ideas to start your very own.
Pick a location for your vegetable garden
For growing success, location, location, location is the most critical decision when starting your vegie patch. Try to pick a spot that gets up to six-hours of sunlight a day, so you can plant almost anything. However, there are lots of plants that can grow in partial sunlight or shade – you will just need to select plants that suit the amount of sunlight your vegie garden gets.
Good quality soil is also essential as this will help your vegetable garden retain nutrients and hold water for long enough to grow.
Picking a spot that has easy access to a water source will also make things easier getting plants established and flourishing.
Deciding what vegetables to plant
Once you know how much sunlight your veggie garden will get, you can decide the best vegetables to plant. A gardening calendar will help you work out which vegetables and fruits grow in which months and when to harvest depending on your location.
Tips for choosing cost-effective fruit and vegetables:
- Choose crops that aren’t resource heavy – varieties that don’t need a lot of water and that are not affected greatly by pests, such as an heirloom variety
- Grow vegetables that your family like to eat, that can be easily stored or preserved
- Select fast-growing crops so the kids reap the rewards quickly and keep their interest in the veggie garden. Radishes, lettuces and spinach all grow fast
- Choose plants which produce for long lengths of time such as green leafy vegetables like cut and come again varieties of lettuce, spinach and silverbeet
- Grow plants that give high yielding, multiple crops. For example, a climbing bean seed will give you many crops over a season, whereas planting a cauliflower will take four months and just produce a single picking
- Try cherry heirloom tomatoes as they grow quicker than the larger varieties giving less time for them to be eaten by bugs and produce crops for longer.
Planting your vegetables
Start by preparing your soil, make sure you turn the soil over to loosen it which will help it aerate and allow room for the roots to grow and spread.
Ideally, soil should be well-draining, crumbly, loose, easy to dig and enriched with organic goodies. If you already have good garden soil, dig through plenty of aged manure and compost to enrich it. However, if your soil is not so great, either clay or sand, consider building a raised garden bed and fill that with an improved soil mix bought from a landscape supplier. Look for a vegetable growing mix or an organic blend for thriving plants.
If you want to grow vegetables in pots, use a premium potting mix or an organic vegetable blend potting mix.
Then plant your seeds or seedlings and sprinkle a quality controlled-release fertiliser for vegetables over your vegie patch. Water them in well after planting and the continue to water regularly. A weekly/fortnightly liquid feed using a soluble fertiliser formulated specifically for vegetables or flower and fruits for plants such as tomatoes and capsicums is recommended.
Before you know it, you will be harvesting the first crop of vegies from your very own garden. The kids will love being able to pick vegetables, bring them inside and prepare them for meals. They will love eating something they have grown themselves.
If you need help making your veggie garden ideas a reality, contact Luke and he can help get this built in your garden, ready for you and the family to plant and harvest throughout the coming months.
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