How to grow your own fresh vegetables

There really is nothing like home grown food. It’s fresh, it’s tasty, and it’s delicious! Growing your own vegetables, fruits, and herbs is also a lot of fun, and most im-portantly, a very healthy lifestyle option.

Here’s how to grow your own vegetables, step by step.

Stage 1: Preparing the garden

  1. Choose an area which is easily accessible for planting, watering, and mainte-nance. You need an area which receives at least 5 hours of sun a day in Spring and Summer, but also gets shade in the really hot months.
  2. Dig the area thoroughly to loosen the soil to a depth of about 10 – 15 cm – Pre-paring soil this way makes it easy for the plant roots to develop and drain well, get-ting water to the roots. Impacted, hard soil slows or prevents growth.
  3. Soil preparation. Add 20g of nursery dolomite per square metre to increase calci-um levels in the ground, and about 100g of compost. The compost used should be of a high quality like seaweed, which is a full spectrum fertiliser.
  4. Water the freshly dug soil before planting – This allows the soil to settle and dis-tribute the fertiliser evenly. 

Stage 2: Getting it started

  1. Choose your vegetables – Select your favourite vegetables, either in seed or seedling form. Select healthy, strong seedlings. Big vegetables like pumpkins need their own patch, because they can take over a large area.
  2. Sowing seed – Seeds should be planted in rows, at even distances apart, de-pending on the type of plant. See instructions on seed packet for specific distances. Use a garden edger to mark out a row and create a furrow for drainage.
  3. Planting seedlings – Plant so the seedling is sitting securely and at the appropri-ate distance apart. The space between the plants will preferably be the size of a ful-ly developed plant, depending on which vegetables you’re planting.

Stage 3: Maintaining your vegetable garden

  1. Watering - vegetables need regular watering, at least every second day. The best, and by far the cheapest, approach to watering is to use a drip hose by running it through the garden or a water-mister. The soil should be moist, but never saturated.
  2. Weeding - Remove all unwanted plants ASAP.
  3. Plant maintenance – Look for signs of sick plants, under-performers, and any indi-cations of a lack of nutrients, like yellowing leaves or buds failing to develop. Re-move sick plants immediately before they infect the other plants. Use a broad spec-trum fertiliser for plants showing signs of lacking nutrients.
  4. Insect pests – Use only proven pesticides for particular types of pest, and only where required. Pay close attention to safety information when using these power-ful chemicals, particularly if young children are likely to be in the garden area.
  5. Snails and slugs- Snails and slugs can be highly destructive, particularly for young plants. Snail baits are the best control, but see instructions for use.
  6. Molds and fungi - Remove any plants showing signs of rot and attached soil. These problems can spread very quickly, so remove these plants immediately. 

By following these simple instructions, you’ll find it’s really quite easy to create your own vegetable garden and will have a lot of fun, too. Choose your favourite vegetables and get cracking!