Wednesday, 18 March 2015

DIY: 5 Tips for Growing your own Veggies

I have always had a black thumb when it comes to gardening - ask my indoor plants. So when I received this gorgeous veggie box from my mom 2 years ago. I didn't really know how to maintain it and well, it died. The box stayed dormant for a long time till I decide to take the plunge and try again with the help of my mother-in-law. I used to think it was difficult to grow your own food and that you needed a big garden to make it truly worth it. But this time I have managed to create a very productive box. So today I have some of my quick tips to make growing your own food rewarding...

Day 1 of my little box
Tip 1: Position is Everything

Make sure your container gets full sun for most of the day and is secluded from wind if possible. Strong winds can "burn" your veggies and almost destroy your crop.


Tip 2: Healthy Soil is Key

Ok so here's the trick - if your soil isn't healthy your plants won't grow. Seems obvious right but it also seems complicated. Well not really, here goes...

Get a bag of good potting soil at your nusery - pour this into your container, mix in some horse manure (ratio of roughly 1 unit horse manure to 10 units soil). Make sure to give the soil a good turning over so that the manure and soil are well and truly mixed. If you have existing soil that has been dormant in a container you would like to use mix in at least 50% new potting soil and then add the manure as above.
Now you are ready to plant.

Cos Lettuce and Rocket
Tip 3: Plant Seedlings

Pick seedlings over seeds as this means you don't have to wait a really long time before you can start harvesting. Also pick trays over larger individual plants as they are usually more value for money - 6 plants for the price of one! Plus you will have more to harvest.


Tip 4: Grow Salad

If you have a small box like I do the best route to go with your plant selection is salad ingredients - lettuces, tomatoes, rocket, herbs and chillies. That way you can make a dish rather than have a few random ingredients. Also they tend to grow quicker than other varieties of vegetables. When choosing lettuces pick "loose leaf" versions, like cos, so you can pick a few leaves at a time instead of waiting to harvest a head. I pick roughly 2 leaves off each of my lettuces almost everyday and they are still producing! Remember to allow your lettuces a minimum of 2 weeks after planting before you harvest.


Tip 5: Water Regularly

Water your veggies everyday once in the morning and once in the late afternoon/evening. You don't need to drown them each time just make sure to water enough so that the soil stays damp.

Our first Okra flower
Bonus Tip: Feed

Once a week I feed my box with a veggie and human friendly fertilizer followed by a deep water to help the fertilizer seep into the soil. I do it on the same day every week so that I don't over feed the soil and risk burning the roots. This is truly the trick to get your garden booming!

Happy gardening!

XS

P.S: Post links to your veggie endeavours in the comments below, I would love to see what you have created!

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