Like the idea of garden-fresh vegetables? It’s easy to start your own private veggie patch – even in the smallest of spaces.
The start of spring is the ideal time to begin your adventures in gardening. Visit your local nursery to find the best compost, pots and variety of vegetables. Remember, your vegetable garden needs three main things to survive: lots of sun (five to eight hours a day), plenty of water and good soil. Most soil can be improved by adding organic matter such as compost or peat moss. And a plant food every few weeks can give your vegetables an extra boost.
There are many different varieties of one vegetable so check the description on the tag before buying. Try different varieties to see which one works best in your garden. Buying the plant already started versus buying seeds will give you fresh veggies much sooner.
Here are some of the best vegetables for beginners to try:
TOMATOES need lots of sun and well-drained soil. They can be grown in garden patches or large pots but in both cases they’ll need a wire cage or stake to give their vines support. Add a layer of mulch to the soil to help retain moisture and fight weeds.
SWEET BASIL is a must-have herb and pairs perfectly with your freshly picked tomatoes – you can even plant them together. Basil is sensitive to the cold so place it in a sunny spot and water when the soil is dry. Cut off the flowers so the plant can focus on growing perfect leaves.
CARROTS can do with some shade and only need to be planted about 10cm apart. They do well in sandy, well-drained soil. Carrots grow continuously after you plant them and you can check their size by brushing away the soil and checking the top of the root. Gently pull them up when they’re the size you want.
LEAF LETTUCE and spinach do well in cooler temperatures with good water so plant at the end of winter. Both plants’ seeds can be put directly into soil over a 30cm area. Lettuce leaves can be used as they grow and spinach is usually ready when it has five or six leaves.
Swipe your RCS Card today, and get your veggie garden going! That RCS Card gives you access to the RCS shopping network of over 21 000 stores – including South Africa’s leading home and DIY stores, with their extensive gardening sections.