- Stagger your planting. Do not plant all your tomatoes today. You aren’t going to need hundreds in a few weeks – are you? So assess what you might need and the family might use, and plant some this week and a week later a similar amount – and so on. Thinking about what vegetables you eat and cook with weekly might be a good starting point!!
- Fresh vegetables from your garden can contain up to 45% more nutrients than the “fresh” stuff fromy our supermarket.
- If you have a yard and can plant a kitchen garden – asparagus, tomatoes, fennel, parsley and rocket are easy to grow as are sage, silverbeet, spinach, potato, pumpkin, basil, rosemary, dill, corn, zucchini, cucumber and radish.
- Companion plant: this is planting certain things next to each other, and it is usually a natural pest control: basil is a companion for tomatoes and beans; rosemary also near beans and swiss chard; chives near carrots. Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Companion Planting Chart might help.
- Use organic pesticide. I have brewed my own, often. A simple one is to steep 2 or 3 cloves of garlic in hot water for several hours, strain and spray on leaves. The safest commercial deterent I have found is Yates Nature’s Way Dipel. With this it is an organic bacteria. You can spray, pick, wash and eat vegetables immediately.
If you don’t have a garden and just a balcony, like me, plant in pots in a sunny spot.
- containers should be at least40cm deep
- broccoli, celery, leeks beetroot and strawberries are pottable although I would give pumpkins a miss!
- 23cm soil for herbs and leafy vegetables
- 30cm for most vegetables
- at least 40cm for potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers
- Potatoes grow well in a bag with drainage holes ona balcony as long as they get sun.
- Mint and parsley are good indoor plants as they will grow in the shade.