Anita Morton - Growing Gardens

Getting started

I grew up with vegie gardening, so Im one of the lucky ones. I know that there are a lot of people out there who would like to grow their own vegetables, but dont really know how to start so Ive put together a few suggestions.

Start small; a single bed four metres long by one metre wide will produce a surprising amount if it is well fertilised and watered. Site your vegie bed where it will get full morning sun, but not necessarily afternoon sun, as in our climate most vegies are happier to be shaded through the hotter part of the day. Dig over the soil thoroughly to a spades depth, removing all weeds and grass runners. Cover the soil with a thick layer of well-rotted manure or compost and fork it in. Water the bed and leave it for a few days, then dig it again to wipe out all the weed seedlings that pop up. Repeat the process until the weeds are under control, and the manure is thoroughly incorporated.

Now rake over the surface of the bed until it is fine-textured and crumbly. If you are planting seeds, mark out the rows by dragging the end of the rake across the surface. Read the seed packets for the depth and spacing of the rows, but bear in mind that many plants will happily grow a bit closer together in rich soil. If youve decided to go with seedlings, make individual holes with a trowel and drop them in. Firm the soil around the plants so that they stand up happily. Water gently and scatter a light mulch of straw across the surface. Make a habit of checking your vegie garden every day and watering it regularly, and watch your plants power ahead!


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