Got a green thumb? Here’s how to start your very own herb and veggie garden!
Having your own veggie and herb garden is not exclusively made for those who have a big backyard – even apartment dwellers can join in on the fun. Planting and harvesting is not only a great way to save money, but there is something amazing about eating your own fresh produce, straight from your garden.
Don’t know where to begin or how to start? We’ve rounded up the best tips for you to start your own green garden, so you’ll be harvesting in no time.
Location is everything
Picking a spot for your veggie and herb garden is key to the perfect harvest. You’ll want to choose a spot that has occasional sunlight (around 5 – 6 hours during the day is great), is away from pests but also has time shelter from the shade so the soil doesn’t dry out. A great option here is balcony, windowsill or planter. You can even purchase a rustic planter pot if you don’t have the space for a full planter.
Plant in Season
When deciding on what herbs and veggies to use, make sure you are planting in-season for the best results. Some great ones to plant during the colder months are broccoli, carrots, kale and lettuce varieties, while berries and basil are great for the hotter months in Melbourne. If you’re a beginner – aim to buy seedlings for an easier result, or if you want a challenge, you can buy from the packet of seeds to grow from the ground up.
Composting and Soil
Using organic matter for your soil is important as it promotes growth and wellbeing of your new veggie and herb garden. If you have a worm farm or compost, use the ‘juice’ you collect from the barrel over your herb and veggie garden. Another great option is cow manure – which you can also purchase from a hardware or garden store. If you live in a smaller apartment or house, there are also high-protein soil bags that you can use to plant your garden.
Keeping your Garden Alive
When watering your plant, make sure you do not overwater – this will cause root rotting and diseases. Aim for a good soak, every few days, and even less during the rainier months. When watering, ensure your pot or crate that you are keeping your garden in has a solid drainage system – an easy way to do this is to have a hole at the bottom of the pot, or a self-watering veggie garden, which ensures the roots stay fresh and moist.
When it comes to fertiliser, aim to spray your garden regularly, especially during winter. Every two weeks will result in growth and maturity of your veggies – as it provides much needed nutrients. You can even buy fertiliser that will slowly release into your pot! For the hotter climates, or those planting during summer, mulching is a great way of retaining moisture to ensure your veggie garden lasts all year.
Do you have pests hanging around your garden? Never fear – move your pot to a well-ventilated area and spray with organic pest control (you can purchase this online), as well as making sure to fertilise regularly. Keep an eye on the pests, and when they subside, move your pot back to your original place and make sure to continue watering and taking care of your veggies and herbs.
Finally – get ready to harvest.
After all your hard work, you can finally reap the rewards and enjoy your delicious vegetables and herbs. When harvesting, cut off around a third of the branches and pick off your herbs, or fruits as they mature. This will depend on what fruits and herbs you have planted – some grow quicker than others!
What are your favourite fruits and vegetables to plant? Are you going to tackle creating a herb and veggie garden? Let us know in the comments!