After buying a new Melbourne home, starting an edible garden can help you offset the relatively high cost of buying groceries and your overall financial strain. Did you know that you can skip all the major digging and weed pulling in the new backyard garden and fast-forward to the fun? Container gardening will get just enough dirt under your fingernails without taking the fun out of gardening. All you have to do is design your garden, plant and enjoy your close-up delights.
Choosing a container
Picking a container is the first step towards your new garden. Bigger is always better as long as you can lift it or move it around. It's convenient to grow plants in large containers than small ones. Choose a container, whether new or recycled that is large enough to accommodate vegetables such as spinach, eggplant or tomatoes. Smaller vegetable choices such as lettuce and carrots can be planted as companions in a single container. You can choose wooden boxes since they are natural looking, and will protect a plant's roots from rapid temperature swings. Window wooden boxes are large enough to grow arugula and radishes.
For a lightweight option, plastic containers will do the job. Plastic containers are available in various sizes and shapes as well as pocket-friendly prices.
If you're using wooden boxes (like those from Westend Pallets (Aust) Pty Ltd) as your planting containers, seat them on available container feet, stones or any other object that will elevate the wood from the ground surface. This will prevent rotting of the container bottom and surface underneath it.
Add the soil
Use bagged planting mix rather than ordinary garden soil since its too heavy and can introduce diseases. Add fertilizer to the soil at planting time and remember to supplement it with a water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks.
Choosing best plant combinations
A container allows you to think beyond one-note planting. You can combine different plants for a long lasting display without crowding too many plants in a single container. Balancing the form and proportion of your container garden is key to a beautiful, successful garden. Select plants that are relatively small and at the same time try to avoid plants whose roots stuff the container.
Grow simple plants such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, eggplant and beans. These plants present little trouble, and there is so much to love about how quickly they grow. They are also easy to grow in sun to partial shade, and all you have to do is to water them regularly or before the soil drys out.
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