If you’ve been thinking that it’s about time for you to get your hands dirty and have a go at growing your own produce, then today’s post is for you.  We’re talking about the things you need to consider when planning your garden to ensure your efforts don’t go to waste and you’re rewarded with a bumper crop!

 

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After spending time outside on and off these past couple of weeks getting our garden ready for our autumn/winter crop with my husband Paul, I’ve decided to bring him in to chat about what to consider when planning your organic veggie garden.

Now up until just a couple of years ago when it got beyond them, Paul’s Italian parents either grew much of their veggies in their backyard, or on a separate suburban block in Adelaide, keeping the family in supply of fresh veggies and fruit.

It was only natural that Paul would absorb much of this knowledge and passion from his parents and 11 years ago when we moved to the town we currently live in, Paul quickly made a name for himself as a bit of a vegetable gardening expert.

I know he doesn’t see himself that way but he sure knows more than me about vegetable gardening. My expertise clearly lies in the kitchen – making delicious meals from homegrown produce and Paul’s is very much in the garden, ensuring that we get a good yield. He’s methodical, planned and calculated, where I can be impulsive, impatient and even a little hasty……not typically good attributes to have as a gardener.

 

Paul identifies the following five things to consider when planning your vegetable garden to ensure you produce a bumper crop:

  1. Soil preparation

An easy way to ensure your soil is of suitable quality is to use a raised garden bed and buy some decent soil from a local gardening shop.  If trying your hand in own soil test the pH first to ensure it’s suitable. Most vegetables prefer a neutral pH (7).

 

  1. Location

Vegetables need sunlight to grow so take this into account when deciding the location of your veggie patch. Afternoon shade could be essential if you live in a hot climate.

 

  1. What vegetables to plant

It makes sense to grow vegetables that you enjoy eating but also seek local advice on what vegetables grow well in your climate. Mediterranean varieties grow well in southern Australia and easy herbs like mint are good to start with!

 

  1. Composting

You’ll need to replenish organic matter and nutrients in your soil to ensure it’s productive season after season and compost is a great way to achieve this!

 

  1. Watering system and water conservation / mulching

It’s very easy to under water your garden, especially in a hot climate. After installing a watering system you’ll need to inspect it regularly to ensure it’s working as it should. Mulch can help retain moisture in the soil as well as add nutrients.

 

The main thing is to have a go and you’ll soon work out what works and what doesn’t work!

 

P.S. If you enjoyed this topic I’d like to let you in on a little secret as I have some big news coming next month. I’ve been tinkering away on a new offering for a while now (actually it’s been in my head for almost three years) and I’m getting close to bringing it out into the world.

I can’t reveal too much yet, but if you’re someone who’s been craving a return to nature, to simplicity, to a more meaningful life… this is for you.

Laura

Laura Trotta is one of Australia’s leading home sustainability experts. Fusing her professional expertise as an environmental engineer with the down-to-earth pragmatism that comes from being a busy mum, Laura is an eco thought leader who’s not afraid to challenge the status quo.
Laura