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Tips for a beginner veggie garden
What you need to know to get your garden started

What tools do you need to get started?

To start your summer garden you’ll need a fork, spade, and wheelbarrow. The wheelbarrow will help you bring in all your new plants and soil. A fork will allow you to loosen and aerate the soil and the spade is a nice little hand shovel you’ll use for planting.

What is the best method for watering?

Since most veggies are between 70-95% water, it is important to think of how you’ll be watering your garden. In general, you’ll want to make sure the garden gets about an inch of water a week. Watering deeply is more effective than watering often. A drip irrigation system – essentially a hose with little holes – will be the easiest way to do this. You can make one yourself, following this guide! For more in-depth advice on how and when to water your garden check out this article.

Is there anything special you need to do to the soil? 

Use raised beds with good soil. You’ll want to remove all grass and add some organic matter – manure, seaweed, and compost either storebought or homemade work well. Don’t overwork the soil. Just give it a turn. It shouldn’t be overly squishy or too wet, so don’t plant after heavy rain.

Do you need to pick a particular spot in the garden?

There are a few places you will want to avoid:

  • Unlevel ground like a hill
  • Shaded and windy areas
  • Right next to your home or the road

Instead, find a level spot with at least 8 hours of sun.

Is there anything I can grow on a balcony or windowsill?

You can grow any vegetables in pots – lettuce is great, beans and peas if you have trellises. You can plant peppers, herbs, tomatoes, beets, carrots, all of it!

Mason Jar Planters. www.notjustahousewife.net

What veggies can you grow in Victoria?

It’s important to grow what you like! That said, cool weather crops, like leafy greens, always do well in Victoria. You want to avoid anything that needs a hot climate like eggplant or corn. 

When should you plant my seeds?

Hot weather plants can be planted at the end of May. Victoria Day long weekend is the perfect time for planting! The plants in the list below can be planted in Victoria’s May/June climate.

Asparagus
Broad beans
Beetroot
Broccoli
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Garlic
Lettuce
Leek
Peppers 
Parsnip
Red Onions
Rhubarb
Radish
Shallots


Top tip:
Soak your peas and beans in warm water for 24 – 48 hours before planting. They will germinate much faster!

3 key takeaways?

  1. Find a sunny location!
  2. Good compost
  3. Water efficiently

Hopefully, these tips have shown that starting a garden may be easier than you thought and in a few months’ time you’ll be showing off the fruits of your labour. If you’re looking to garden further east, take a look at our blog post about starting seeds indoors to get a head start.

Useful links

Gardening supplies