Spring is here; it’s finally a little warmer, and it’s a great time to be outdoors. If you have a garden at home (or even a little square of vegetation on an apartment balcony!), a green patch to call your own can be a real joy. Not only does a little planting make a really enjoyable hobby, it allows your garden to flourish with the plants of the season, and you can grow your own food too. There’s nothing better than harvesting food from your own garden; what a treat!
Perhaps you haven’t considered gardening before or have but thought of it as a challenge. Gardening really isn’t difficult, and can actually be a lot of fun. It takes a little bit of learning and experimenting, and then you’re on your way.
Here are some things to consider when you’re getting started.
Where’s your green space?
Is it your garden or a piece of land nearby? Make sure you can easily get water to the space, and are realistically going to invest the time in it if it’s not quite on the doorstep.
Can you grow plants?
Plants generally need soil, water and sunlight. The sun doesn’t need to be there all day, but at least half of the day is important in spring and summer, and as much as possible the rest of the year. The soil should be healthy; if it isn’t the best, it can be improved as you get green fingered. With water, you need easy access to a hose.
What are you growing?
The excitement begins! What do you want to grow? When it comes to vegetables, there are lots to choose from each season. You can save a lot of money by home growing, not to mention being able to just pop to the garden when you’re making a recipe.
How much time will you be in there?
If you’re a beginner, start small in your garden with a small patch. Aim to spend a few hours there over a week. As your love for it grows, you can expand your time and the size of your veg patch.
How to prepare?
The best ingredients to start off with for your vegetable bed are: cardboard, straw and manure (chicken, horse or cow are ideal). Lay down several layers of cardboard on grass, watering it as you go. Then add manure (around 5cm), and then straw (around 30cm). Over the next few weeks, worms will head to the area and work their magic. Once the cardboard has decomposed, you’re ready for planting!
Take a look at our month by month guide for spring vegetables you can plant from September to November.
Plant: Leeks, salad onions, potatoes, silver beets, broccoli lettuce, celery, cauliflower, rhubarb, cabbage, chives and Jerusalem artichokes.
Plant: Sweetcorn, zucchini, carrot, beetroot, pumpkin, leeks, onion, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, parsnip, tomato, zucchini and squash.
Plant: Potatoes, leek, lettuce, silver beet, broccoli, celery, cabbage, globe artichokes, tomato, eggplant, zucchini, cucumber and sweetcorn.
We’d love to hear all about your vegetable gardens! Do come back and tell us all about what you are growing.