23 May 2018

Rich Pickings: Growing Your Own Veg

Becoming an urban farmer is surprisingly easy – and so satisfying! And the good news is that you don’t need huge amounts of space or technical know-how – simply follow some of our steps to get started and before you know it you’ll be harvesting bunches of basil, tomatoes and other easy-to-grow veggies!

Growing-Your-Own is Good For You

Aside from the nutritional value that homegrown herbs and veggies have, experts and keen gardeners agree that the emotional value of planting, tending and cooking your own ingredients is invaluable. Even a tiny corner of a patio can yield a successful harvest, and time spent outside trimming, watering and nurturing the plants in your care can help with tuning out of the stresses of everyday life and embracing a simpler way of being.

Where to Start

You’ll need:

  • A sunny corner of a garden or some veggie boxes and if you’re a patio gardener, window boxes work nicely and Le Creuset’s Herb Planters are perfect for growing herbs – a drainage hole and saucer ensures the soil maintains the perfect mouisture balance
  • Seedlings and a selection of what you plan to grow – seasonal choices are best
  • Moist, well-drained soil and organic fertiliser
  • An A-Frame tomato trellis is useful if you’re planning on growing tomatoes and if you’re a first timer – we recommend doing so, they’re the gift that keeps on giving!

What to Do

  • Remember that when starting, less is more – start with just a few varieties of veggies and herbs that you like and are likely to use
  • Different veggies take up different amounts of space. For example, tomatoes can grow vertically, while the squash varieties need more space
  • Plant your seedlings around 2cm deeper than they are sitting in their original containers
  • Most home gardeners agree that companion planting is a great way to approach home farming – the combination of varieties helps keep bugs at bay
  • Don’t forget the flowers – sweet-smelling flowering plants invite in the bees for pollination while those that aren’t so sweet (like marigolds) repel bugs
  • Some veggies need plenty of water while hardier herbs like rosemary can survive and thrive with a little neglect

Tips to Make Them Grow Better

  • Many vegetables are repeat performers – after each crop, feed the soil with a little organic fertiliser and let nature take its course
  • And there are other veggies and herbs that are self-seeding which means their dropped seeds will likely grow again in the next season – you can usually get a few repeat grows from self-seeding varieties before changing your crop in a particular area of your veggie garden

Natural Support

  • Keep snails at bay by baking egg shells in the oven for 10 minutes and crushing them. Sprinkle over the soil and see how the snails stay away!
  • Save used rooibos teabags and sprinkle the tea leaves around the base of growing veggies and herbs – this acts as a natural and effective mulch
  • Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda around the base of tomato plants for super sweet fruits

These invaluable tips and tricks should help get you on your way to being an urban farmer. Did you like this post? Sign up to our newsletter and we’ll send you more news and promotions!

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