Sydney, Oct 7: Veggie patches are taking over Aussie homes and hearts, with new research from Bunnings revealing 59 per cent of Australians have taken up growing their own produce and cannot get enough of sharing the fruits of their labour with family and friends.
Bunnings Gardening Category Manager Belinda Rakers said that veggie gardens are becoming the norm in Aussie households, as more of us embrace plant parenthood.
“Not only are homegrown fruits, vegetables, and herbs inspiring seasonal cooking, but 77 percent of Aussies who have grown their own produce have gifted it to a loved one and 62 per cent have shared an update on their produce with family and friends.
Better quality and taste (79 per cent) are the main reasons Australians have been developing their green thumbs, yet as the cost of living continues to rise, saving money is another key motivator.
Millennial and Gen Z Aussies are particularly concerned about their hip pocket, with 83 per cent taking up gardening to reduce food expenses,” Rakers said.
Here are five top tips on how to get started with your very own veggie patch.
- Start small to build your confidence: Leafy greens and herbs are a perfect place to start as these plants are fast growing and don’t need a lot of space. Spring is a great time to plant crops like lettuce, rainbow chard, thyme, oregano, rosemary and basil. All of these can be grown in pots or containers and thrive in the warmer spring and summer weather.
- Invest in a sturdy veggie garden: A raised veggie garden, like the Birdies Heritage Modular Raised Garden Bed Kit from Bunnings is a great investment. Raised beds come in a range of sizes and shapes to fit any space and they also make planting and picking easier thanks to their increased height. Position your raised bed in a full sun spot and fill it with a rich planting soil mix.
- It’s all in the soil: No matter what type of veggie garden you’re planting it always pays to improve the soil first – add compost and pelletised manure such as Yates Dynamic Lifter Standard Pellets Concentrated Organic Plant Fertiliser and mix it through the top 10-20cm of the soil. If you’re growing in pots or containers use a premium potting mix like Scotts Osmocote Plus Premium Planting Mix to give your plants the best chance at success.
- Watering and care: Regular watering of new seedlings or plants is vital to ensure they establish well in your garden. Although they might not need daily watering (if you’re getting plenty of rain) it pays to check on your new plants daily and water if the soil is dry. Remember, smaller pots in sunny spots will dry out faster than larger pots. Give new plants a fortnightly dose of a diluted seaweed product such as Eco-Organic Gardens Eco-Seaweed Soluble Fertiliser to help encourage new roots and reduce any transplant shock.
- Patience is key but don’t forget your triumphs: As the old saying goes, good things take time, and that goes for our plants too. Remember to enjoy the process of watching your new plants grow, and soon enough you’ll have so much produce, you’ll have to start giving it away!
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