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In recent years there has been a significant rise in the number of people who no longer want to keep buying vegetables and other produce that is wrapped in plastic. And, it makes sense right? Things like bananas, apples, oranges, tomatoes and more all have a wrapper already their ‘skin.’
But you can double down on your efforts by turning your garden into an edible wonderland. It’s not even as hard as you think, even for people who don’t love gardening.
Prepping your space is the first step. Take away as much extra work as you can. For example, swap out grass and buy artificial turf. Cut back all your bushes and trees. Pull all of the weeds out of the ground, clean out pots and window boxes. Get rid of large stones and make sure you have plenty of space.
Consider some raised beds. This will save you from needing to dig too much. You can build these yourself with some pallets, scaffolding boards or just purchase a ready made one. If you are tight on space, then don’t worry. Deep pots are great too.
Get the kids involved too. Get them to help you label up all of the fruits and veggies that you plant – as you do them. You can purchase small kits, or write the names on lollipop sticks. Most seed packets come with their own plastic ones too. This will help you keep track.
IKEA has some fantastic vertical planters that can help if your space is limited. They can be placed against walls, fences and even balcony railings. They are easy to look after and are suitable for a range of herbs and things like chilies, peppers, and an array of lettuces.
Mix up the textures, but plant meal groups close together. For example basil, thyme, rosemary, next to tomatoes, peppers, onions, and chilies. Dill and mustard seed nice and close for putting on salmon and chicken dishes. Coriander/cilantro, carrots, onions, and celery are a great group. Of course, it will take a while before they are all growing in harmony. Garlic makes a great addition, cucumbers, zucchinis, and eggplants are great too.
Distance. Think about the meals that you cook the most often, and have that range of veggies and herbs close to the house. A great tip is to plant a bumper amount of what you use most too.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different fruits and vegetables. Soft fruits are very forgiving and grow extraordinarily well. You can pick these up in root and stalk, meaning they are ready to bloom later on that year. They are great fun for kids to pick too!
You might not have a high enough yield to sustain you and your family in the early days but, over time as you learn the best times to plant and pick, you will have fresh seasonal produce that you have grown from scratch!
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