Start by selecting a site in a sunny position that gets at least six hours of sunlight.

Prepare

Make your bed. About three weeks before you are ready to plant—after the soil has dried so that it does not clump when you pick up a fistful—sink a fork into the earth. Loosen it down to about 30 cm, add a 1.25 cm layer of compost, and rake the surface of your garden until it has no weeds, dirt clumps, or big stones. Over the next three weeks, pull any weeds that come up—raking and then letting the soil sit for a few weeks brings out weed seeds that were lurking in the soil.

Plant

Select quality healthy seedlings. To ensure your new veggie & herb seedlings thrive and produce, prepping the soil is an absolute must. For a bumper crop of veggies, enrich the soil before planting by adding Wonder Plant Starter 2:3:2 (14) & Wonder Root Builder Bone Meal or Wonder Plant Starter 2:3:2 (14) & Wonder Super Phosphate (if pets are going to be problem) and do not forget to add some more compost.

If your soil is difficult to work with or perhaps you do not have any soil to plant up, then consider using a raised garden bed.

Feed

To encourage lots of leafy veggies & herbs, feed your plants regularly with Wondersol All Purpose. It is specially formulated with added seaweed which is a natural plant growth promoter, plus it contains additional fast acting nutrients to give your plant a boost. Wonder Organic Vita-Boost Vermicompost is high in nitrogen for healthy green leaf growth. It is packed with organic matter which encourages earthworms and beneficial soil micro-organisms. It also contains wonderful slow release nutrients from worm casings which gently feed your plant as it grows. Simply dig the pellets in. Wonder Fruit and Flower 3:1:5 (26) is a fast acting, complete fertiliser ideal for feeding a wide range of fruiting plants. Always apply granular fertilisers to moist soil and water in well after application. Apply a few centimetres from plant stem.

Protect

Control sap-sucking pests (aphids etc.) with Efekto Malasol. Efekto Eco Insect Control SC is another popular product taking care of caterpillars and thrips, especially on tomatoes. Efekto Kumulus WG is a good choice for controlling the powdery mildew that can be troublesome for some veggies, especially peas & cucumber relatives. Always check the label to make sure that the product can be used on that crop and follow instructions carefully.

When you are growing any sort of veggies, it’s a good idea to rotate your crops. This means, for example, a leafy crop is followed by a fruiting crop such as tomatoes, or a legume crop. Typical legumes are beans in summer and broad beans or peas in winter. These can be followed by a root crop (carrots, radish, beetroot etc).

Before planting each new crop, add more fertiliser and compost, into the soil.

Group plants with similar growth needs together:

  • Leafy plants like lettuce, spinach and parsley grouped together as they need more watering
  • Lavender, rosemary and thyme like dryer conditions so it is best to group them in a sunny, dry location
  • Basil and tomatoes are great companions and will improve growth and taste when grown together
Information provided by Doonholm Nursery
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