How to create your own food or herb garden

Vegetables that grow best in spring include kale spinach, beetroot and artichoke. PHOTO: Publicphoto.org

It’s all about the soil: Typically, the soil you plan to grow your vegetable or herb garden in should be high in organic matter, which can be easily obtained using the appropriate fertilizer at various supermarkets, and outdoor and garden retailers.

Starting your own compost bin can be a quick and easy way to keep nourishing your garden as well as recycle. Kitchen scraps such as egg shells, coffee grounds, maize cobs and tea leaves can go a long way in keeping your garden naturally healthy and at a low cost. You can buy the ready-made bin container, or build one yourself.

Location, location, location: Your garden should be in a location facing direct sunlight every day and as far away from trees as possible to prevent your crops from competing for water with the trees.

Trowels and other tools: some essential garden tools you’ll need to invest in include a small spade, shovel, hoe, rake and garden fork. You can add more tools according to your preference.

Vegetables that grow best in spring include kale spinach, beetroot and artichoke, while chives, red onions and maize thrive best in summer. Knowing what seasons are most favourable for certain vegetables is crucial to their growth.

Similarly, herbs also have a seasonal preference. Herbs are however a lot more versatile than vegetables, and can grow in a sunny spot in pots near the kitchen window. Basil, rosemary, thyme and oregano are some of the most popular herbs that don’t need much fussing over to plant and sow.

If you’re planning on adding fruit to the mix, make sure that you have enough garden space, as fruit require more space than vegetables usually do. Vegetables that also need larger gardens include cucumber and squash, among others.

Building healthy and organic soil is one step to growing a healthy garden of crops, but keeping your veggies pest free can be a challenge. Apple cider vinegar, vegetable oil and even crushing garlic into a liquid mix can come in handy and keep your garden organic and pest free from top soil to the roots.

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