Growing your own vegetables will save you money and is great for your health. Setting up your own raised vegetable garden is easy and a fun project to do with the kids. It's also a great way to teach them about nature.
It doesn't matter if you have a large garden, courtyard or balcony, you can create a raised vegetable garden to suit. Just custom-build a square or rectangular garden bed frame by fixing four pieces of treated pine together. There are also easy to assemble raised garden bed kits that come in a range of sizes and shapes including square, rectangular, triangular, L-shaped and hexagonal. You can even elevate smaller raised gardens by placing them on a stand or even just some bricks so that you don't have to bend over too far when you're planting or watering.
When choosing where to put your vegetable garden, first consider how much sun it'll get. Vegetables grow best with at least six hours of sun a day. It's also important to have easy access to water. Put your raised garden bed somewhere you walk past or look at every day. That way you’ll see how it’s growing and whether it needs watering, pruning, harvesting or fertilising.
Good quality soil gets the best results. Organically rich potting mix with added compost keeps the soil healthy and supplies the nutrients your plants need. Loose, fertile soil drains well and warms up earlier in spring. Plus, a layer of mulch helps reduce water loss from the soil and adds nutrients.
Beans, lettuce, peas and tomatoes are easy to grow but choose what you like to eat and what you use a lot of, like herbs. You should check out the Bunnings online Garden Calendar to make sure what you grow is in season. And keep the kids interested by growing things they can pick and eat every day like strawberries or cherry tomatoes. You'll find a huge range of vegetable seedlings, herbs and seeds at your nearest Bunnings Warehouse.
How much you can grow at once is determined by the size of your raised garden. But you can grow more by growing up. Try growing tomatoes, beans and peas on stakes or trellises at the back. Place them at the back of your garden so that they don't block the sun from smaller plants.
Your vegetable garden's root system will grow well if you soak the soil deeply, not frequently. You can test it by sticking your finger in the soil. If it's dry to your second knuckle, then it's time to water deeply again. Soaker hoses are a great way to deliver water directly to your plants' roots and can be easily connected to a timer.