Thinking of growing your own? First time Grower? Have a green thumb but need some advice?
Growing your own food can be very rewarding.
We get many questions about growing vegetables in backyards, balconies and patios.
Here are the basics outlined for you.
General requirements for vegetables
Full sun (at least 6-8 hours of sunlight)
Overnight temperatures a constant 10 degrees C (50 F) and danger of frost has passed before planting
Soil with high organic and nutrient content – use manure or compost in your soil mixture; you may also want to add fertilizer to the mixture
Frequent weeding so that moisture and nutrients are not taken away from vegetable
Starting your vegetables from seed
Some vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and herbs should be started early indoors or you can buy the plant in the spring at your local garden centre.
Peas and beans are fast growers and can be started from seed.
Root vegetables such as carrots, turnips and potatoes can only be started from seed or tubers. Squashes and corn also need to be planted directly outdoors from seed.
To prolong the harvest, you can choose different varieties of the same vegetable for planting. Practice succession planting.
Follow the planting & growing instructions on the seed package!
Provide frost protection when necessary: cloches, row covers or plastic sheeting can help.
Some vegetables may require support; for instance, tomatoes do get top heavy and will need staking or a tomato cage and peas like to have netting for support.
Thin seedlings so that the healthiest and strongest plants survive.
Adding Mulch (straw, natural wood shavings, etc.) under your plants over the soil can aid water retention and weed suppression.
If you only have a small area or a balcony and have sufficient sunlight, an alternative is to plant vegetables in containers. Here are a few tips on container vegetable gardening.
Pots need to be at least 20cm to accommodate most vegetables.
A lightweight soil such as PROMIX ™ will provide the aeration that the plant needs to avoid fungal disease and root rot.
Drainage should be provided either by putting holes or small stones on the bottom of the pot.
Vegetables that are commonly planted in containers:
Lettuce & Other Greens (will tolerate less sun)
Peas (staked) (tolerate less sun)
Potatoes (in grow bags)