With each season comes a sense of excitement as to what new fruit and vegetables can be planted and then harvested from the veggie patch. With Winter veggies coming to an end, now is the time to start planning what you can plant out while you remove plants that are finishing fruiting and prepare the vege beds for new plantings. It is with a change of season that some rearranging may be in order to incorporate a trellis for cucumber or a shade structure to provide protection for leafy greens in the Summer months.

Overhead-Irrigation-System-e1341450582119If time is an ongoing issue for you then the installation of an irrigation system now will make your vege garden that little more self sufficient. Even the most simplistic setup will take the pressure off your hand watering schedule, so don’t think you need to spend a fortune on a complicated system. Even a manual timer will ensure convenience and that you don’t waste water dut to forgetting to turn the sprinkler system off.     

If having a veggie garden is new to you then you will be pleasantly surprised by the range of plants that you can plant now. Preparing your soil is the most important thing to do, so spend the time and even some money to ensure you give your plants the best start. Empty the compost bin and the worm farm and include these in your soil too. Add some lime if your soil tends to be acidic to ensure plants thrive. Heavy soils will benefit from the addition of some course sand along with a lot of compost.  Raised Garden Beds are the best approach when your soil is an issue.  Importing good quality garden soil specifically for productive gardens will give you a great start and unsure your success.

A couple of years ago now I converted the kids sand pit to a vege patch extending on what plantable space I already had.  It’s been a successful vegetable plot ever since and I’m now eyeing off the swing set area, next but will need to wait a few more years for that to become available. The sand pit plot soil is a wonderful loamy consistency due to leaving approximately 1/3 of the sand and then adding some excess soil from the chicken pen, along with plenty of compost and chicken manure. You could easily order some good quality soil (usually called Farmers Blend) from your local landscape supplier and add that to the sand, combining it well. Mulching is imperative in the Subtropical garden & I prefer to use a good quality sugar cane mulch to maximize moisture retention.  The old mulch layer can be dug into the soil as part of the bed preparation.  

Sandpit GardenThis small veggie patch has successfully grown carrots, sweet potato, white potato, broccoli, brussel sprouts, peas, lettuce, rocket, capsicum & eggplant in a 2m² raised garden bed, oh and a pumpkin vine ran rampart one year when time was slim. This proves you don’t need a lot of room to be productive and with a little hard work and good preparation you too can grow beautiful fruits and vegetables in your backyard. If you’d like to start growing your own produce or you’re keen to learn more then take a look at our Vegetable Garden eBooklet.




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