January is generally a time of reflecting and planning ahead. Perhaps you've got a vision of starting your own food garden this year?
As growing your own (organic) food becomes more and more popular and necessary, here are a few useful tips for beginner food gardeners:
Let's start off with the ideal location for your edible garden and then talk about design ideas.
BEFORE YOU START:
If you're a beginner and don't have much knowledge or experience about growing your own food, START SMALL.
Even if you have a large space with grand plans of becoming self-sufficient, start with one or two beds and learn how to manage those first, before expanding.
Veggie gardens are often regarded as a utility space, hidden away. But don't you think a vegetable garden should be a central feature, celebrating its unique beauty?
It should not only be a place that provides us with healthy, delicious food every day, but also a place to go to when you need to relax and enjoy the sounds of nature.
Vegetables need sun, ideally 6 - 8 hours a day.
Some need more than others - eggplant, tomatoes, and chillies need far more sun than lettuce, rocket or spinach, which can get by on 4 - 5 hours of sun a day. But they all need sun.
Place your garden where it is easy to see and reach so you can notice what needs to be done and pick what is ripe for harvest.
There are many choices when it comes to design - from a loose, cottage garden style, to the more formal style of a French potager garden. It all depends on your taste.
*Look online for inspirational designs that suit you and your space
(Check out our Pinterest board: "Grow your own edibles": pinterest.com/capegardenc )
*Plan your garden on paper first
*Once you have finalised your design, map it out to scale in the garden, using string and stakes to mark out the beds and pathways.
*To take full advantage of the sun, beds should run north-south and not east-west.
*If your garden is sloped, create terraces.
*City gardens with limited garden space: include vertical structures and trellises wherever possible.
To shop for veggies and herbs, edible flowers, and fruiting plants and trees from our curated list online, click here:
Shop for veggie and herb seed here:
Source: Jane's delicious A - Z of vegetables (Jane Griffiths)