How to start a vegetable garden

Nothing tastes better than home-grown vegetables. To make it easy for you, we’ll take you through some things to consider like where, what and how to plant vegetables, as well as how to feed and care for them.

Pick a location for your vegetable garden

How much sunlight your plants are able to get during the day will determine what you can plant. Picking a location that gets up to six hours of sunlight a day will mean you can plant almost anything. However, there are lots of plants that can still grow in partial sunlight or even partial shade.

It’s important to make sure the spot you pick has good quality soil as this will help your vegetable garden retain nutrients and hold water for long enough to grow. We can show you how to improve sandy soil.

To make it easier for yourself down the track, you should also try to pick a spot that has easy access to a source of water.

Home grown vegetable garden beetroot

Determine what vegetables to plant

Now that you’ve picked a spot and you know how much sunlight your garden will get, you can determine what to plant. What you plant will also come down to which season it is and what it is exactly that you’d like to grow. Check out our Planting & Growing section for some ideas.

Vegetable garden design sketch

Design and plan your vegetable garden

Depending on how big or small your vegetable garden will be, you may need to put some effort into how you design it. Start by drawing a rough plan including where your home is, existing structures and any paving. Also mark how much sunlight each part of the garden will get, as this might change where you plant certain vegetables.

Man measuring planter for vegetable garden bed

Choose a type of planter

There’s many different ways to plant your vegetables. You can use garden bedsraised garden beds, wall planters, wooden planters, vertical gardens and pots.

Man digging hole in vegetable garden bed with spade

Plant your vegetables

You’ll need to start by preparing your soil and then planting your seeds or seedlings, making sure you water them regularly.

When you go to plant your seeds or seedlings, make sure you turn the soil over with a square-bladed spade. This will loosen the soil, help it aerate and give enough room for the roots to grow and spread.

Check out our Planting & Growing section for information on how to plant specific vegetables like beetroot, kale and strawberries. There’s also some hints and tips on what to plant in each season.

A good tip when growing vegies is to rotate your crops by not planting the same vegetable in the same place each year. This will discourage pests and diseases that could appear from a certain vegetable.

Timber sleeper compost bin

Feed and care for your vegetables

Once your vegetable garden is thriving, you should keep it well fed using fertilisers. Or, to save money and the environment, you can consider using your own compost instead.

It will also need watering all year round. You can do this yourself every day with a watering can, automate a garden irrigation system or install pop-up sprinklers.

To make sure your hard work is not in vain, you should also protect your vegetable garden from pests and weeds. Check out our Garden Pest & Weed Control section.

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