10 Great Tips to Starting Your Own Veggie Garden
The return to a much more wholesome way of eating seems to be taking off in many households, as people become more conscious of where their food comes from and how it gets to your plate.

10 Great Tips to Starting Your Own Veggie Garden

More and more people are choosing to grow their own vegetables, rather than purchasing them from the store. But growing your own veggies requires a bit of planning and preparation if you want to get the best harvest. Here are 10 key essentials for a healthy and delicious garden. Grow your own Vegetables!

1. LET THE SUN IN

You need a minimum of 6 hours of sun a day, preferably North facing, without obstructions that may cast shadows.

2. BUILD UP THE SOIL

Building up the soil is possibly the most important step in growing gourmet veg. Without healthy soil, sufficient water and regular fertilising, your plants will not be able to grow healthy, strong roots, which enable them to reach enough nutrients, encouraging lush and productive growth. Good drainage is also extremely important. Just as too little water can kill your plants, over watering will have the same results, as it will cause root rot. To blend your own soil from scratch, mix an equal part of compost, river sand and organic matter (compost). Mix in kraal manure and bone meal.

3. ARRANGE PLANTS FOR MAXIMUM YIELD

Planting in triangles allows for 10-14 percent more plants in each bed. Although always consider what the full size of the plants will be when fully established to prevent over- crowding though, or some plants won’t reach their full size or yield and will become more vulnerable to diseases and insect attacks.

The combination of Marigolds and raised planters keep unwelcome visitors away from your crops.

4. COMPANION PLANTING

Companion planting has been around for thousands of years, dating back to traditional gardening methods found in ancient Asia. Companion plants are plants that are mutually beneficial to one another, providing protection or improving the growth of certain vegetables. For example, herbs such as parsley, basil, garlic, chives and coriander repel insects to prevent a dreaded bug infestation. A more detailed list of companion plants can be found on www.organicgardening.com.

5. STRETCH A SEASON

Add a few weeks to each end of the growing season by keeping the air around your plants warm, even in cold weather, with the assistance of mulches, cloches, row covers or cold frames. Best practice includes putting your winter garden in a spot that will receive lots of sun, using windbreaks when possible and applying deep mulches under row covers to extend the harvest of your vegetables.

6. SUCCESSION PLANTING

This will enable you to grow more than one crop in a space during a growing season, enabling the harvest of 3 or 4 crops from a single area. Read more about getting the most from your succession planting when growing your own veggies, here.

7. AVOID PESTICIDES

To make your own organic pest control mixture, mix 2 crushed garlic cloves, 1 crushed red chilli, 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to 1 litre of water, and spray onto infected plants as needed. Refrigerate the mixture and keep it for up to a week.

8. PRACTISE REGULAR GARDEN MAINTENANCE

Remove dead leaves, water daily, and mulch in excessive heat.

9. GROW PLANTS VERTICALLY

Growing your own veggies vertically is a smart solution for those with limited outdoor space. Numerous vegetables, including tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, pole beans, gourds, melons, squashes and pumpkins, can be grown vertically which has the added benefit of keeping the fruits off the soil, preventing rotting and infection from pests. A strong trellis or other suitable framework can be easily customised to fit nearly any area. Have a look at our Food Gardens page on Pinterest for more inspiration.

10. HAVE FUN!

Growing vegetables can be fun and rewarding. You get to spend time with nature and your family, soak up some Vitamin D, and the reward for all your hard work is not only a beautiful vegetable garden, but some delicious, home-grown meals as well.

Happy growing everyone!

Bougainvilleas – So Bright & Bold

Cheer Up Your Garden With Some Bougainvillea Colour! Expert advice on growing this cheerful climbing shrub called the Boungainvillea.

Architectural Plants

Today’s blog is list of plants, shrubs and trees which can be used as architectural form plants to create an eye catching piece in your garden. By adding a couple of carefully chosen plants, trees and shrubs one can go far to increasing the appeal of your garden and adding interest and dimension. Turn dull uniform areas, into modern, jaw dropping show ‘pieces’.

Butterflies in the garden

Everyone is charmed by butterflies! They represent metamorphosis, hope through change and are symbolic of the life-cycle of all living things. Some are brilliantly patterned and coloured with kaleidoscopic markings.

Let Your Garden Shine

Who wouldn’t want to follow this path into the cool night air? So you’ve spent hours perfecting your garden; considered the most functional layout, the prettiest features, comfortable furniture, interesting plants, and your lawn is your personal victory. It’s such a pleasure to have such a beautiful and calm space to enjoy. Weekends with family and friends, perhaps by the pool, pets and children frolicking in the open air.

Attracting Garden Birds. Feeders & Beyond – Everything You Need To Know

Enjoy the beauty and heart-warming joy that garden birds bring. Learn how to attract various different birds to your garden.

Companion Planting for the Veggie Garden

It’s now a well-known fact that certain plants grow better when planted near to each other as they improve each other’s well-being and protect each other from attack by insect pests. Now this is the kind of gardening I like, letting Nature lead the way and do the work!

Child Safety in The Garden

Every year, many children are rushed to the hospital due to accidents that occur in the home and garden. Checking your garden is safe for the littlest members of your family is important and here are some tips and advice for making yours as safe as possible.

Artificial Greening – Our Growing Range of Artificial Plants

Don’t be fooled! Faux is the new cool! The new possibilities for using synthetic or ‘fake’ plants for greening up your interior and outdoor living spaces are reaching new heights, quite literally!

March is for Garden Maintenance

Essential garden maintenance tips on activities you need to perform during Autumn. A winter-ready garden guarantees a lovely Spring garden.

HELPFUL GARDENING TIPS FOR MARCH

The climate starts cooling down and in particular night temperatures go down. So this is the time of the year when you still practice summer maintenance but at the same time start planting and preparing for cooler climate gardening.

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