How to grow your own vegetables
Nothing beats eating food fresh from your own garden or balcony, and it’s something kids can help with too.
Creating a vegie garden reduces your environmental impact and provides you with truly fresh food, the Sustainable Living Guide advises.
- Select a sunny spot in your garden. Vegies like six hours of sun a day. Don’t have a garden? Container gardening is the way to go. Choose large, deep, well drained pots.
- Make a border to contain your vegie patch with any solid materials to hand. Dig over the soil and add lots of organic material like compost or cured manure. Leave for a couple of weeks before planting.
- Set up an irrigation system (if possible). Drip systems work best.
- Choose seeds for the right time of year and get planting. You can plant directly into your garden or make a seed bed from a polystyrene box filled with watered seeding mix. Scatter the seeds finely, press down and cover with a fine layer of seeding mix.
- Once they've germinated and the seedlings have their second set of leaves pick out all but the healthiest, leaving enough space between them to grow to full size. If you’re using a seed box carefully lift out the seedlings by their leaves and transplant them into small biodegradable pots. Once the plants are 15 centimetres high they can be transferred into the garden.
- Maintain your vegie patch by mulching with pea straw or lucerne and watering with a feeding solution like compost diluted 1:4 in water.
- For natural pest control try mixing a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid with a cup of vegetable oil and spraying on your plants at 10-day intervals.