Setting up a family vegetable garden
Article by: Karabo Motsoai
Enhance your home life 26 Oct 2023

Setting up a family vegetable garden

Growing a vegetable garden can be really rewarding and the benefits go beyond serving up juicy, organic fruits and veggies to your family. If you haven’t tried this growing trend, you’d be surprised at how easy it can be to get going.

First, let’s cover the science behind the benefits. With food prices rising, having your own stash of fresh veggies will definitely give your budget a break. But what about the less obvious benefits? According to researchers, spending time outside does wonders for your health, giving you access to fresh air, increasing vitamin D levels and boosting your immune system. Not to mention, the workout you’ll get during preparing, planting and harvesting your veggie patch is much cheaper than heading down to the gym.

Starting your own vegetable garden is such a rewarding experience all round, a gift that keeps on giving. It is also a great way to teach your children to nurture something as you create lasting memories. If you’re ready to get going but don’t know where to start, here’s some tips to bring out your inner farmer.

Location, location, location

One of the first things to consider on your gardening journey, besides the exciting part of choosing the vegetables, is the location. In order for your vegetables to thrive they need suitable conditions. It is important for them to receive at least 8 hours of direct sunlight, however there are some vegetables that can be put in the shade such as some leafy crops, herbs and root vegetables. Make sure that water is easily accessible for your garden and find out which plants can be grown in pots.

Plan and prepare

A thriving garden starts with nutrient rich soil. The success of your vegetable garden is mainly dependent on the quality of the soil. You will need to prepare your soil properly so that you can produce the best quality vegetables. You may find that your soil is hard and will benefit from compost or manure to improve its fertility to grow vegetables. It is recommended to loosen the soil to a depth of at least 30 cm to promote root growth. Plant your vegetables in rows so they get enough sun, water, nutrients, and space to grow.

Consult your garden centre

Your local nursery is the best place to hone green fingers and learn as much as you can on gardening. Gardening techniques can vary depending on the climate in each region and so will come with challenges. Local experts will give you advice that can make the journey so much easier and enjoyable. They can also advise on gardening tools, the best vegetables to plant and when, and will offer tips and tricks to deal with challenges that come with growing and maintaining your garden.

Timing is everything

With gardening, timing is everything. Planting too early or too late for certain seeds or plants can prove to be ineffective. While spring is known for being a great time to start your vegetable gardens, your area’s climate will play a huge role on when to start. Each region is different, which is why first-hand expert advice will also come in handy.

In South Africa vegetables such as radishes, beetroot and turnips can be planted anytime of the year, while varieties like spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, pumpkins and many others flourish in the South African summer heat.

Choosing to grow your own vegetable garden can be a great activity for your family. With the right time and location, tending to the soil and consulting a reputable gardening expert you can grow a thriving garden that will support your family’s overall needs.

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