There is nothing like digging into a good organic meal – especially if the fresh veggies come from your own backyard! There are a number of great varieties of vegetables that will grow in most Australian climates and regions depending on the season.
Here is a step by step guide on starting your organic backyard veggie patch.
Paige Green invites you to visit Green Pages Australia for plenty more great, environmentally and pocket-friendly ideas.
- Pick your plot – survey your area and find the best space you can for your garden. This means it should get plenty of sunlight (about six hours of direct sunlight is ideal), be well protected against harsh winds, and out of the way of any foot traffic. If space is limited, consider some ingenious space saving ideas such as a layered pipe garden, which can fit even on an urban balcony.
- Work your soil – Natural and organic fertilisers will greatly improve your soil structure and make the earth more penetrable for roots to grow. Consider using your own compost, or there are many organic manure and fertiliser options available at your local nursery. When laying down fertiliser, experts recommend disturbing the soil as little as possible and providing a fertile top soil for plants to grow.
- Pick your plants – Note the seasons when picking the plants you want to grow. Herbs can be grown all year round and do well both in open garden beds and containers. Meanwhile, tomatoes, beans and lettuce are best grown in the summer months, while root vegetables, cabbage and garlic are ideal during the winter months.
- Rotate your plants – Before you lay down your seedlings map out your garden in “zones” and plant different crops in each. Farmers rotate their crops annually to give the soil the chance to build up depleted nutrients from year to year – by rotating your own crops between different zones, you can use the same principles and keep your soil healthier.
- Water your garden – Collect grey water throughout your house – such as the warm up shower water or water you use to rinse vegetables. Consider watering your garden in the evening to minimise evaporation and allow water to penetrate the roots of your plants more effectively.
- Harvest your crops – Use colour, leaves, firmness, etc. to get a good indication of when to harvest your crops. Consider canning and preserving extras so you can enjoy them year round!