How to Plant an Edible Garden All Year Round
We all love the idea of being able to create a self-sufficient source of food in our own garden. There are a tonne of benefits you can get from growing your own veggies. It’s sustainable, environmentally friendly and financially rewarding.
But all too often we consider the idea of creating an edible garden too much effort. It gets lumped in the same basket as sorting through your filing cabinet, changing your internet provider, or finally making those recipes from that recipe book you were given three years ago. We can’t really help with those but we can help you get your very own edible garden up and running in no time. In fact, it’s pretty simple. All it takes is a bit of outdoor space, perseverance and some TLC.
The result will be vegetables that taste better than any supermarket standard, cost less and allow you to try growing exotic edibles too.
Before going into any more detail, it’s important to consider the amount of space you have to work with. There are some ingenious ways to use your garden space, such as old tyres, burlap sacks, animal troughs and pallets.
Before you allocate space for your veggies, remember they love sun so make sure you pick a sheltered, sunny spot. Next it’s time to pick the veggies you’d like to grow because timing is everything when it comes to gardening. Although it depends on what you grow, spring and autumn are the major planting seasons, whereas summer and winter are for harvesting.
This is a great time to plant vegetables that enjoy the cold weather. These include:
- Broad beans
- … And many herbs!
As with any plants, the quality of your soil is crucial. Soil test kits are available from all good garden stores and they’re inexpensive too. They test for nitrogen, phosphorous and more.
Winter is usually a quiet time for plant growing. It’s a good chance to harvest your winter crops and prepare the space for your springtime planting. If you do wish to plant some more crops, make sure they’re frost resistant. Shallots, mint and cabbage are a good bet.
Don’t be discouraged if some of your seeds didn’t make it over winter; it’s normal for just a portion to survive. As you learn how to maintain your plants better, efficiency will improve. But sometimes, it’s not even in your control. Sometimes the weather will play a cruel hand or pesky rodents might damage your plants. Luckily, spring and summer offer another chance at redemption.
This is also a great time to do a bit of research. I like to map out my plot of space by creating a floor plan, which I then photocopy so I can perfect it as I develop ideas. I also consider the best veggies for the different planting options at my disposal.
As the days get longer and the winter coat, scarf and boots are retired for another year, head down to your local garden centre and get your hands on a new batch of seeds.
With summer providing lots of sun, this is the time to pick your colourful veggies. It’s also worth buying some other supplies while you’re there … nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizer, as well as some soil and plant food if you’re not stocked up.
These are some popular veggie choices best planted in spring:
And finally there’s summer. With plenty of produce to be picked, it’s a great chance to reap what you’ve sown. This is where the fruits of your labour can be seen (and eaten). Towards the end of summer, remove your annuals to free up space for autumn and get ready to start the cycle all over again.
While this may sound like the bleeding obvious, it’s crucial you water and feed your garden thoroughly during the warm summer months. The last thing you want is for all your hard work to be undone because you forgot to hose your garden for a week or two. And because your plants are growing faster, they’ll need a bit more feed as well.
Now you’ve got your vegetable garden looking great, check out more inspirational DIY design and décor ideas on the Love Life Outdoors blog today!
Alex is the National Brand Manager at Australian Outdoor Living. She loves her job and loves jotting down her thoughts on all things outdoors. Outside of work, she loves: scoffing sorbet ice-creams in the summer sun, finding sand between her toes, trying to tame her very naughty puppy “Sabre”, and enjoying everything the outdoors has to offer! Especially in summer – the happiest time of year!