News reports of vegetable batches tainted with pesticides, constant general anxiety over the safety of non-organic vegetables (and fruits), and fluctuating prices for crops: with all that negative stigma surrounding the vegetable market in Melbourne, who wouldn’t want to know how to grow a vegetable garden at home? Start learning not only how you can grow a crop garden, but learn how you can reap the great benefits of having something like your own farmers market.
Gardening is fun and very rewarding. Once you know how to grow a vegetable garden, it offers you the chance to grow and consume vegetables that your local grocer may not even sell. Furthermore, think of the potentially huge savings on groceries. Topping it all off you get vegetables that taste 100% fresh and don’t have to worry about potentially harmful pesticides that are all but too common with the retail variety.
Establish the garden plot or a spot of soil that’ll be marked off for the garden that’ll both accommodate your physical/aesthetical needs as well as the needs of the actual plants. What’s wonderful about a homegrown garden is that the landscape design space needed can be very small or very large all depending on your space and particular desires.
Learn how to grow a vegetable garden that’s sustainable even from all the different weather conditions that Melbourne is renowned for. Make sure the plot is located in an area that will benefit from the most sunlight. Additionally, ensure that the plot of land is sufficiently “high” enough or slanted so that water can properly drain. Too much wind, not enough rain, and even too much rain can complicate things. Make preparations before you even start planting seeds.
For example, if you live in a temperate climate such as in Melbourne, where there is pretty moderate or greater wind year-round (and your plot doesn’t have adequate protection from the wind), make sure that you install devices to mitigate the wind’s effects on your crops. These devices can be many things, such as large shrubs placed around the perimeter (but not too close, of course, due to the roots’ needs). If your community often suffers from dry periods, consider a sprinkler system. Or in the case of too much rain, make certain that there is a little additional capacity for water to runoff.
Perhaps the single most important element of knowing how to grow a vegetable garden is the condition of the soil. A simple way to make sure the soil is rich in minerals and nutrients is to obtain a pH tester. The pH level in soil decides whether your garden will flourish or not. Practically any K-Mart, bunnings, or garden shop carries them, and the sales staff will be glad to show you how to use it. Alternatively, you may also (most of the time) take a sample of the soil to a garden center or anywhere that sells plants to have it checked. Either way, though, the best pH level for soil is around 6.4-6.6.
Once you have a good plot set up, aerate the soil. Depending on the size, this could be done by hand with a handheld shovel, or an automatic aerator for larger plots. Loosen the soil all around the plot up to about half-a-foot down. Unearth all weeds you come across and toss them, but never use pesticides or weed killers around plants meant to be consumed
The local gardening or garden supplies stores in Melbourne will serve as the best source of information when it comes to what kind of seeds to buy. However, it can be stated that “organic” fertilizer is usually far superior to many commercials, inorganic brands. And finally, plan to rotate the plants at least a few times a year.