Spring has sprung baby!
Which means it’s time to get those hands dirty.
You might have found yourself with a little spare time at the moment, and so it’s never been a better time to set yourself up with a veggie patch.
No matter where you live, whether you’ve got a big backyard or a small balcony you can make it work.
One of the easiest ways to reduce your eco-footprint and live more sustainably is to put your money where your mouth is, and to connect with where your food comes from.
An important contribution to our carbon footprints is how our food is farmed, produced and how far we travel to buy it.
Investing in your own garden can benefit you and the planet in a myriad of ways including:
- Reducing packaging
- Reducing food waste
- Know exactly what’s going into your food
- Save money
- Enjoy fresher food
- Reduce “Food Miles”- this is actually considered to form a smaller component than originally thought of a foods total carbon footprint. However, it obviously still contributes to the overall impact of our food on the environment.
Getting into the garden isn’t only good for the planet, it’s good for your health.
Our gut health and microbial health is intimately linked with the quality of our food and the health of the soil it’s grown in. Today’s food system is mostly characterised by large scale monocultures (growing one crop in an area of land) which need things like fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides due to poor microbial diversity in the soil. The soil actually needs those microbes to help provide nutrients to the plants and protects them from disease.
Quality soil, rich in microbial diversity produces better quality food which feeds our bacteria the fibre and polyphenols they need to promote health and wellbeing.
Creating your own garden gives you control over the quality of the food you eat, by knowing exactly what you’re putting into it from the very start.
So if you’re feeling inspired, it’s important to know some of the common pitfalls you soon-to-be green thumbs might come up against.
We spoke with Shannon from The Plant Fam and she let us know some of the main reasons your veggie patch might not be as fruitful as you’d like.
Room to Grow
It may be tempting to shove as much as you can in to your patch, especially if you’re pressed for space. However, overcrowding your patch won’t be doing yourself any favours.
Overcrowding can lead to plants competing for nutrients and can increase their risk of disease.
LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION!
When choosing the location of your veggie patch, you need to consider if it will get sun during the warmer and also the cooler months. If you want to grow veggies all year round and your patch gets little-to-no sun in Winter and Autumn you may need to re-think its position. For a rough guide, root veggies and leafy greens need about 2-4 hours of direct or filtered sun and fruiting veggies need about 4-6hours.
This seems like an obvious one but sometimes you can find seedlings available that aren’t in season. Always check what you should be planting for the season to get the most out of your garden.
What should you be planting right now?
Pumpkin (plant this in late spring to ensure there’s no frost in the morning)
Don’t let your plants go hungry
Creating a rich soil to begin with is important, however ensuring you’re feeding your plants with fertiliser and Seasol throughout the process could be the key to your veggie patch success! Apply your diluted Seasol every couple of weeks to help your plants absorb nutrients and protect them.
Thank you very mulch!
A lot of the time we might forget to top our gardens off with mulch.
It’s multi-faceted and can help keep weeds at bay, stops your soil from drying out quickly, contains extra nutrients and regulates soil temperature.
Opt for sugar cane mulch, pea straw or Lucerne hay which you can buy from your local nursery.
The Plant Fam seedlings are available at Torello Farm & Hawkes Farm.
And for more plant goodness and helpful hints, you can find them at theplantfam.com.au or @theplantfam on insta!