It is great to see so many people getting into veggie gardening at the moment. Here are some tips for those doing it for the first time:
Do check that where you are situated your garden will get enough sun in winter. Most veggies need four to six hours of sun each day, but in June and July the sun drops lower in the sky, which can leave much of your garden in shade. Think back to where you went to catch the warm morning sun in your garden last winter and place your garden there. Areas that are open to the north and north-east are generally best.
Don’t start your garden in an area that gets lots of sun in summer but not in winter. Areas open to the south and the west but not to the north and the east will be too shady for growing vegies in the cooler months.
Do make sure that the veggies you plant now are the ones that grow well in the cooler time of year. There are plenty to choose from, including all the cabbage family, silverbeet, beetroot, lettuce, carrots, fennel, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, peas beans, parsley, mint and coriander.
Don’t be tempted to plant herbs like sweet basil, veggies like zucchinis and cucumber, or fruit like rockmelon that are looking luscious in the shops right now or are on the discount bench at your local nursery. They will not grow well in winter in Brisbane.
Do start making compost and caring for your soil, right from the beginning. Recycle all your plant waste, grass clippings, food scraps and chicken manure into a compost bin or pile and mulch your garden well.
Don’t think that just because your first crop grows well in soil that has not been used for a while, your next cycle of crops will grow just as well without you recycling nutrients back into the soil.