Whether your dream vege patch is bursting with salad greens for summer barbeques, or carrots and leeks for hearty winter soups, nothing beats the satisfaction of ‘growing your own’.
This guide is designed to help beginner vege gardeners on their way to harvesting a bumper crop of homegrown vegetables in 3 simple steps: Prepare, Plant, Nourish.
Choose a spot that is sunny, sheltered from the wind and easy to access for harvesting and watering.
Space doesn't need to be a barrier to growing your own fresh homegrown food. If you don’t have a garden bed already, get creative with what you already have available. Small concrete planters, troughs, flexi tubs, wine barrels, terracotta planters, old baths, and wooden planters are all options to consider. You can easily grow your own with a container on the deck planted with salad greens and herbs - these types of plants can be packed in more closely.
Like building a house a good foundation is the key to success in your garden. Soil is the backbone to any good garden, the better the soil, the more successful your garden will be.
Starting with an existing garden
- If you are starting with an existing garden bed replenish soil by digging in Tui Organic Sheep Pellets and Tui Performance Naturals Compost.
- Then add a layer of Tui Performance Naturals Vegetable Mix.
Starting with a new garden
- If starting fresh and building a raised garden bed, choose non-treated timber and fill with layers of Tui Organic Sheep Pellets, Tui Performance Naturals Compost and Tui Performance Naturals Vegetable Mix, creating a lasagne effect.
Planting in pots and containers
- If planting in pots and containers, fill with Tui Performance Naturals Vegetable Mix.
For first time gardeners, it is generally easier to grow from seedlings, rather than seeds.
Across New Zealand there are differences in climate and soils, so some plants are planted at different times of the year depending on your region.
Easy 'beginner' crops
- As a rule of thumb spinach, lettuce, radish, rocket, leeks, broccoli, bok choi, cabbage, cauliflower, silverbeet, celery, spring onions and parsley are all good ‘beginner’ crops.
- When planting, allow at least two hand spaces apart for lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and silverbeet.
The best times to plant are early in the morning or late in the day, so the plants aren’t exposed to the hot sun straight away, and be sure to always water plants well before and after planting.
Plants need nutrients and water to grow and thrive, just like us. If you don’t feed your plants you can’t expect to reap the rewards.
- Continue to add a scattering of Tui Organic Sheep Pellets around our plants, and use an all purpose fertiliser such as Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser to provide nutrients over a sustained period of time.
- You can also choose a fertiliser specially blended for your crop like Tui Performance Naturals Tomato & Vegetable Fertiliser.
- For a fast action option use Tui Performance Naturals Tomato & Vegetable Liquid Fertiliser and see results in 7 days.
Once growing, fertilise your vegetables every four weeks during the growing season for repeat growth and a continuous supply.
A well watered, well nourished vegetable garden will have a better chance of keeping insect pests and diseases at bay.
- Your veges are ready to harvest when they are about the size you see them in the supermarket.
- The weather, weeds, pest insects and diseases can all impact on the success of your garden. Protect your plants from the colder weather with layers of mulch like Tui Mulch & Feed. Keep your garden weed free.
- Leafy crops like spinach can be harvested a leaf at a time – so you can pick as you need.
- Be vigilant and stop unwanted insects and diseases from ruining your plants. Apply Tui Quash slug & snail control every few weeks to protect your seedlings from slugs and snails munching on your seedlings.
- Harvest in 60-120 Days