Hi Perth Froot Munchers,
Who's growing their own food at home? What are you growing and how do you grow them? Are you wanting to grow your own food at home?
Growing your own vege's is a great way to get organic greens and some other veges and especially melons for summer!!! if you grow your own greens and eat a 801010 raw diet then you'll be growing 14 greens per week and saving approx $42 for the equivalent organic greens. Then there's the other things like watermelons rock melons, tomatos and herbs. A little effort and morning garden meditation can save you a packet!
I've just set up a little vege patch in my new place of approx 10m2. I'll be growing all my greens liek spinach, cos lettuce, italian parsley, coriander, spring onions and for the summer there will be rock melons, water melons and tomatos too!
For the newbie gardener ..... I've found it always best to follow the rules and don't skip any steps.
1. Soil - Your soil is what feeds your plants. In Perth we are like a dry sandpit, so if your soil has not been improved you will need to add some rich compost into it. For best results planting directly into compost will see your plants rocket. Great results are still achieved with mixing about a 50/50 mix of compost to sand. eg 20cm compost on top of soil and dig it into about 20cm below original surface level.
2. Water - Water in the morning ... your plants are gonna need it during the summer days!!
3. Nutrient - added fertiliser for additional growth with products like a seawood or worm tea fertisliser once or twice per week. (Not really required if your soil has plenty of rich organic matter from adding lots of rich compost)
4. Mulch (For water loss and breaks down into soil for more organic matter - Use a course tree mulch for best prevention of water loss of about 2 to 3cm thickness. you can use a straw (best during winter tho when plenty of water is about) ... tho in a hot climate the straw will not prevent water loss like tree mulch will, it will act like a wick and water will evaporate from your soil real quick.
5. Shade - Must shade your plants in summer. Cheapest method is to use start pickets and nails shade cloth to two long light timber strips. and tie to the star picket at one end and hook it over the top of star picket the other side for easy lifiting up and removal.
6. Sun - Your plants do need light, just not the full Aussie summer sun. Ideal plant your vege patch that faces north. Do this so so your plants can get the days sun from the east to the west throughout most the day. It's alright if you can't get it all day because of something overshadowing the area.
Excellent nutriented soil, water, mulch and shade protection from the harsh sun is the most important things to remember.
How to start?? Pots or the ground? - start with 1 or 2 pots or 1 to 2m2 in the ground and build it from there ... starting small is best.
In large pots
Find some large pots and fill with a ready made vege potting mix or a 50/50 compost and sand mix from your garden. The black plastic 40cm ones from Bunnings Can fit in about 8 or 9 plants of greens such as cos lettuce, spinach, parsley etc And great in small spaces. Put your pots in a semi shaded or shaded area with either morning or afternoon sun. The sun hitting walls of the pots will dry your soil out real quick.
In the ground
I like to grow mine following the "square metre gardening" method. Grow your mix of one week supply of vege's in 16 square's within 1m2. So I need about 8 to 12m2 to grow enough greens for me. And another 8 to 12m2 for growing melons.
Happy growing :)
Great post thanks James. I'm all inspired now! :)
We have an aquaponics setup, we have worked through some teething issues with it and are slowly beggining to be rewarded with produce. Currently we have baby spinach, swiss chard, tomatoes, basil, mint, oregano, lebanese cress, broccolini.. :)
Wow, great selection Alethea :-)
I am putting in 3 garden beds tomorrow.. hoping to be producing produce very soon.. :)
Nice one Petar! What things will you be growing?
Great advice J man!! I just planted a whole bunch of new things into my vege patch about six weeks ago and it's looking really green and lush! I tried some chard and tatsoi the other day and it was soooo nice :) Next summer I'm really keen to plant some melons. I tried last summer and failed dismally haha :)
Thanks Justin and nice work on your vege patch. I'm looking forward to grow melons too!! They need heaps of water, so mulch is definitely going to help you out to minimise evaporation of water and water on a dripline under the mulch will help stop evaporation too, as the water doesn't get sprayed into the air. I think I might do rockmelons and a smaller water melon variety. And definitely going to get a variety of tomato's, so craving the small cherry tomatos!! :)
We just constructed ours on the weekend.. It's the no-dig style..
Fantastic Petar!!! Lots organic greens and veges!!! :) Look fwd to see the after shots when your plants are booming!! What is the growing mix??
the 'soil' is layerings (think lasagna) of lucerne hay, organic mushroom compost and manure..
Cool, sounds like lotsa nutrients.