THERE is something deeply gratifying and enriching about growing your own carrots, lettuces, potatoes and corn to feed and nourish your family.
Beyond the many health benefits on offer, cultivating a vegie patch saves you money on grocery bills and offers a fruitful way of spending quality time outside with the kids.
Little ones especially love being in charge of tending to their own plants.
Ventura Homes offers handy tips on how to get started and make the most of your vegie garden.
1. What vegetables to plant?
The list is endless in October. We suggest you try asparagus, beetroot, carrots, lettuce, potatoes, peas, parsnips, cabbage, broccoli, cucumbers, leeks and radishes.
2. Finding the right spot?
Though vegetables are pretty easy to grow, they do have some basic needs that you must meet in order for them to thrive throughout the season. These include: choosing a spot that enjoys full sun. Vegetables love a good sunbathe – and we’re not talking an hour or two of sun. More like 6-8 hours at least (they’re greedy). If they don’t get enough sun, they won’t be as productive.
They also need a good soil base – one rich in organic nutrients that will encourage root growth.
Also, ensure your veggies enjoy plenty of water. Lying in the sun all day is thirsty work, so make sure you water regularly (but don’t drown your plants).
3. Pest control
Don’t want your hard work thwarted by some hungry little caterpillars? Don’t despair! We have some tips on how to keep your vegies pest-free. These include: simply picking off snails and caterpillars by hand is one of the easiest ways to stop them munching away at your vegetables. Just don’t throw them into your neighbour’s garden!
Plant ‘companion’ vegetables close to one another like basil and tomatoes, or climbing plants with carrots underneath. This can help confuse the pests.
Sick of aphids ruining all the fun? Plants such as mint, fennel and sunflowers will help to attract ladybirds to your garden – and they just love feasting on aphids! Or, grab some white oil insecticide from your local garden centre, which will soon put an end to these little pests.
4. Only plant what you need
The idea of an overflowing vegetable garden is nice but are you really going to eat them all? To create a successful vegie patch, it pays to start small. Give your plants their own space and don’t go overboard. You can always plant more seedlings later once you’ve got your garden set up and thriving.