When it comes to gardening at home, few things are more satisfying than watching tiny seedlings blossom into fresh, nutrient-rich vegetables.
The kind of produce that helps you feel good, complements a huge range of dishes, and delivers a burst of unique flavours that store-bought produce can never replicate.
The good news is, even if you?re a novice gardener, it?s easy to enjoy the flavour and texture of home-grown vegetables all year round. You just need to choose the right vegetables and create the perfect growing conditions. Best of all? You can purchase everything you need at a reputable nursery ? online or in-person.
Here are 5 vegetables that are easy to care for and guaranteed to make your first harvest a resounding success.
While this aromatic herb is known for spreading like wildfire, if you remember to pick and prune it every couple of weeks, you?ll prevent overgrowth. Ideally, you should grow mint in Spring, as the combination of direct sunlight and frequent watering will promote rapid growth ? and reward you with a larger volume of beautiful mint.
For best results, keep each mint seed at least 30cm apart so they have enough space to thrive until it?s time to harvest.
Cherry tomatoes are a great companion plant to mints. When planted together, they help each other grow and fend off pests. Cherry tomatoes are also vertical growers, so they take up very little space ? as long as they have a tomato cage or trellis to provide support as they grow.
To look after your tomatoes, water them every 2-3 days (more often in warm weather) and fertilise them once a week in accordance with the instructions. You?ll know they are ready to harvest when they are bright red and come off the stem easily.
A delicious summer vegetable that tastes great when steamed, baked, or stir-fried. To enjoy your own batch of yellow squash, wait for warmer weather then plant the seeds (at least 60cm apart) in a sunny and well-drained spot. Remember to water every couple of days, and wait until the fruit is around 5-10cm in length to harvest the best yield.
Watch out for pests too! Use vegetable-friendly pest control to fend off borers, cucumber beetles, and squash bugs.
Whether enjoyed fresh, pickled, or as an ingredient in a dish, cucumber is a great addition to any veggie patch. And while they do need a bit more love and care than other vegetables ? the payoff is worth the effort.
Prepare a well-drained and moderately fertile soil combined with compost and, if possible, animal manure. Be sure to water the cucumber often enough (at least 2.5cm deep) so that the soil is slightly moist all the time. If you find it hard to stick to a fixed watering routine, purchase a drip irrigation system from your local nursery to make life easier.
Harvest the cucumber once they reach full size and are of a vibrant dark green colour.
Spring Onions (White)
Imagine you had a never-ending supply of fresh spring onion all year round. Every couple of weeks, you head out to the vegetable garden, clip off the end (leaving behind the root and a bit of growth), water that tiny bit of growth, and come back a few weeks later for another batch. Sound like a dream? You can do just this with spring onion.
Aside from being an endless supply of fresh goodness, spring onion is easy to grow. All you have to do is dig about 1.5cm deep, plant the seed in well-drained soil, and keep away the weeds (spring onion hates competition). Be careful not to overwater the onion as it will rot in waterlogged soil.
You can choose to harvest either when the bulbs are small (great for salads and as a garnish) or when they are longer (needed as a key ingredient in a dish).
Article provided by All Green Nursery