By Leanne Shelton
Stuck at home and looking for ways to keep your darling children (or yourself!) entertained? Rather than being cooped up inside, now is the perfect time to usher them into the backyard and start your very own vegetable garden.
Feeling discouraged by your black thumb? Don’t worry!
Here are 3 easy-to-grow vegetables for beginners – so you can have a thriving veggie patch in no time.
If you’re trying this gardening thing for the first time, start with tomatoes. They grow very quickly and are easy for little hands to cultivate just a few months after planting.
If you have limited space, Romello, aka cherry tomatoes, are happy to grow in hanging baskets or window boxes. They just need plenty of sun, stalk-support, and water.
Be Prepared – They like to climb – and can quickly turn into an organic tangle of vines if not maintained.
Extra Tip – Plant basil next to your tomatoes to both repel pests and improve the flavour.
Cucumbers are very resilient to pests and disease, making them a strong contender in your new vegetable garden.
Like tomatoes (and lively toddlers), this veggie likes to climb – so it needs vertical space and support to do its thing. Sun and water are also important ingredients to ensure yummy results within a few months.
Be Prepared – You’re likely to get more produce than you bargained for – so get ready to offload the excess to family and neighbours.
Extra Tip – Smaller varieties of cucumber, like Kirby, are great for making homemade pickles down the track.
Carrots are simple and fun to grow. They can handle frosty weather conditions too.
You’ll need a bit of light shade for these babies and deep, well-drained soil in a raised garden bed. Rocky soil is okay too – it just means they’re likely to be smaller when it comes to harvesting 2 to 4 months later.
Be Prepared – Keep the weeds away as much as possible – otherwise they’ll hog of all the nutrients and affect your veggies’ growth.
Extra Tip – The best time of day to harvest carrots is in the late afternoon or early evening. This is when sugar in the roots is most concentrated.
Eager to get started? Pop online and order from your local garden store today. It’s sure to be a great bonding activity for the whole family.
Leanne Shelton is a health and wellness copywriter and content coach at Write Time Marketing. (www.writetimemarketing.com.au)