Nothing beats the satisfaction of ‘growing your own’. Liz Anderson (@tiny_farmstead) shares her top five never fail crops for vege success at your place. These low maintenance veges will happily grow in pots on your patio or in a large patch in your backyard. Size and space are no restriction to growing a successful summer garden!
1. Patio Tomatoes
Nothing quite says summer like a perfectly sun ripened tomato fresh from the vine. However, it’s not always easy growing the perfect tomato. It can be a battle trying to beat the birds and the bugs to them, and then there’s strong winds and disease to worry about.
This is where I’ve found patio tomatoes the perfect never fail option. Their short statures don’t require staking and makes them easy to net from the birds and bugs. There’s no need to worry about the weather, as it’s easy to protect them from the elements (or pop them inside when necessary). Varieties such as Birdie Canary only get to 30cm tall so you can grow them in the smallest of places.
Radishes are the Christmas bauble of the vege garden. They come in anbendless assortment of shapes and
colours, and most varieties can be grown year-round. Generally ready to harvest within four to six weeks of sowing, these are the perfect veg for filling up gaps. They do best directly sown, and for no fail growing in the warmer months, keep the soil damp while they germinate with some mulch and consistent watering. Thin them out at two weeks if you have sown them too closely together and you’ll be harvesting in no time. Try Red and Blue Moon radish for something a bit different.
3. Dwarf Beans
These stout little plants are incredibly easy to grow and really pack a punch in the productivity department. At approximately 50cm high they don’t require staking, but do well if they’re planted closely together to support each other, at about 10cm apart. They produce heavily for approximately four weeks so sow seeds every few weeks for a continuous supply. The easiest way is to pop your seeds straight into the ground once the soil temperatures reach 15 degrees, and you’ll be completely and utterly surprised by how much you harvest off these tiny plants. These do fantastic in trough planter pots and my favourite varieties are Top Crop and Golden Wax.
4. Silver and Rainbow Beets
For consistent performance my favourite leafy green would have to be silverbeet. Unlike other greens tha can be sensitive to changes in the weather, silverbeet can be grown yearround. They’re the perfect cut and come again crop, meaning if you keep harvesting the outer leaves, they’ll keep producing new ones. They come in a range of different colours, all of which have a slightly different flavour profile. Perfectly suited for growing in pots, this is one veg that never fails to grow well. My current favourite variety is Peppermint Chard which has beautiful pink stripes against a white stem.
Semi neglect your peppers and be prepared to be inundated. The trick to no fail peppers is not planting them outside too early, these are plants that really do their best with lots of was sun, and a cold start will stall their growth. I find early December best once the worst of the temperamental spring weather has passed. Give them a good start with healthy soil that’s loaded with compost and sheep pellets, but once they start flowering hold back on any extra fertiliser, they don’t like too much nitrogen when setting fruit. That good soil will be enough to see them through. My must try pepper this year is Shishito.
Liz’s Top Tip:
Regardless of what I’m growing, my go-to never fail tip is to invest in a good seaweed tonic. Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic is packed full of beneficial plant hormones and nutrients that conditions both your plants and soil. I’m never without it when planting out as it helps with recovery and reduces transplant shock.