I get excited by the opportunities in the veggie garden over the cooler months. Don’t get me wrong, I love growing through Spring into Summer but by February the veggie garden is looking a little weary from the heat.  The thought of winter crops really has me eagerly planning and preparing the soil for planting.

Increase your yield.

You can plant broccoli, zucchini, cabbage, tomatoes, asparagus, carrots, rhubarb & so much more now. Check out our Vegetable Garden eBooklet for heaps of seasonal hits & tips for your productive garden including how you establish a new veggie patch, what to plant and so much more.

bees feeding on flowersPlanting flowers in and around your productive garden will always be beneficial to your plants attracting bees and other beneficial insects. Fertilization is becoming increasingly difficult with the reduction in numbers of the humble bee.  By reducing your use of chemicals in the garden along with providing plenty of food, you will increase the numbers drawn to your garden & the overall population. Insects are also valued members & the addition of flowers like Marigolds & Allysum along with allowing some of your produce to go to seed, will attract plenty of activity in your patch.


Protect your seedlings from the Cabbage Moth.

If you’re a regular reader of our newsletter you would have seen the article on creating a useful frame for your vegetable garden. Well it’s time to consider where you are going to grow your broccoli, cauliflower etc & then to move the frame into that section of the garden, ready for the very essential netting to protect them from the cabbage moth. Don’t mess with this insect as you will lose! It’s imperative that you have your frame & netting ready to install the same day your seeds/seedlings are planted.

Seed Collection.

There are so many opportunities to collect seeds from your produce, saving you money in the long run. Plants like lettuce, rocket, tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum, pumpkin, watermelon, the list goes on, can all have their seeds easily collected and saved for the next season. Things like potatoes, garlic & ginger can be planted out when they start to shoot in your pantry.  Ensure you provide them with good drainage or they will rot and not be productive.

Lettuce seed collectionMake the most of what is right in front of you and here are a few tricks on seed collection.

With things like salad greens, don’t harvest them all. Leave one or two to go to seed and when the flower head dries out you can use a paper bag to collect the seeds. Simply place the bag over the flower heads and shake causing the seeds to separate & fall into the bag.

Name and date the bag and store in a cool, dry place for use. Seeds that are more than a couple of years old should be discarded.  Therefore seed collection should really be an ongoing thing providing a fantastic seed bank for your productive garden. Fleshy fruits & vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers can have their seeds removed and placed on a piece of paper towel. With tomatoes, smudge the pulp or (in the case of cherry tomatoes) squirt the seeds from the fruit onto a piece of paper towel and allow to dry. The paper towel can then be stored in a named & dated zip lock bag till needed. When planting out just tear sections of the paper towel off and plant into seedling trays or in some cases straight into the garden. Using the old tomatoes, that have dropped and not been picked up in time, are perfect for this! Pumpkin seeds may need some cleaning before you dry them and store as above. You don’t need to be too finicky, but remove the majority of the pulp before you dry them and store.

growing seeds in egg cartons

Helpful Tip: Do you have a stack of egg cartons at your place? If not you may want to start collecting some because they make great seed raising trays and when the seedling is big enough to plant out, you can just cut the sections up and plant the whole thing straight into the ground. The egg carton will provide some organic matter for the plant as it breaks down but more importantly the egg carton retains moisture, so the seedling is ensured a reserve of water that it can use to its advantage.


Take the hard work out of your veggie garden.

A fully functional productive garden will always need your attention. Checking on the worm farm & the compost heap, caring for the chickens, pest protection, weeding, mulching, constructing trellis’ or frames, seed collection, replanting, harvesting and watering are all important functions but one of these can be automated which is a real plus.

Irrigation System 2Installing an irrigation system to your productive garden will really make such a difference. Life gets busy and if you are working, then having your productive garden looked after by a fully digital irrigation system is supreme!  However should your budget not stretch to such systems then a DIY irrigation kit available from the hardware can be easily installed to your patch and then connected to the mains or preferably your water tank. Regardless of the type of irrigation system you choose, a timer can be included so all you have to do is take your coffee to the tap, turn the timer on and then get on with your day knowing your veggie garden is looked after. DIY kits are really easy to install & the cooler months is the perfect time to get one of these systems fitted. With a little planning, your productive garden will be complete with an irrigation system in no time.


Have you been thinking about establishing your own Veggie Garden?

Grow your own healthy food

Growing your own food is heaps of fun and so good for you and your family.

Whether you are establishing a small raised garden bed or a full scale mini suburban farm, grab a copy of our Vegetable Garden eBooklet and let us guide you to success.