How to grow vegetables and herbs

Published 9:00am 11 April 2024

How to grow vegetables and herbs
Words by Sondra Grainger

We all talk about homegrown herbs and vegetables tasting better, but if you haven’t tried it yourself, Autumn is my favourite season to dig up a little patch and get planting. This simple guide will help you plan, prepare and grow your own autumn and winter harvest.

This layout is for two 1m x 1m garden beds/boxes. They need 6-8 hours of direct sun a day in a position that’s easy to maintain, harvest from and water.

Prepare your soil

Whether it’s an existing garden bed/planter box or you’re starting from scratch, dig up the soil and replenish it with a soil conditioner such as Soil Improver or Active Grow – both contain a healthy blend of composts, microbes, trace elements and rock minerals necessary for strong plant growth.

Planting

To reduce transplant shock, water your seedlings with a seaweed solution such as Seasol before planting. Gently turn the punnet or pot over ensuring you are supporting the small plants and squeeze the sides of the punnet/pot to release the potting mix/plant and minimise root disturbance. Plant them into a pre-dug hole no deeper than they were in the punnet, firm the soil slightly around each plant and stake for taller plants. Water in with your Seasol solution to encourage strong root growth.

Mulch

A layer of sugar can mulch or lucerne is ideal to add a protective layer, reducing evaporation, discouraging weeds and as it breaks down, supplying nutrients to the soil. Add a 20-40mm layer and always keep it away from plant stems/trunks.

Water and feed

Water regularly if rainfall is limited and promote strong, healthy growth with an organic fertiliser suitable for edibles.

Garden bed #1

Kale Tuscan x 4

Beetroot x 9

Silverbeet x 4

Cauliflower x 1

(Teepee/trellis feature) Snake beans x 2

Cauliflower x 1

Lettuce mixed x 6

Asian greens x 4

Broccoli x 4

Garden bed #2

Chilli mild x 1

Capsicum mini x 1

Parsley x 1

Basil x 1

(Teepee/trellis feature) Tomato x 1

Basil x 1

Dwarf Beans x 4

Spinach x 1

Chilli hot x 1

This assortment will keep you in supply of fresh, healthy and delicious easy-to-grow herbs and vegetables throughout the cooler months. Many are ‘pick as you need’ and complement other plants in the patch.

TOP TIP

Always plant what you enjoy to eat!

Happy Gardening!

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