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Want to start your own edible garden ?

By Derek Cannon
21 May, 2021

Having an edible garden in your backyard can serve you and your family in more ways than one. Not only can it beautiful but can also do wonders for your family’s mental and physical health. This won't happen without proper planning and it's not a set and forget exercise either.   Here are some tips to help you with the task.

How to get started  

●    What will you grow and where? Sketch out your plan to ensure your plants have the space they need and look great togethe                                            ●    Don’t overlook your hardscaping; plants can change but hardscaping is permanent and will add visual interest as well as functionality.                        ●    Soils are complex and not all plants like all soils. Quite often the soil will need to be improved to grow many edibles. A good start is to look at things like clay content, drainage, organic matter content and pH as a start.                                                                                                                                   

Choosing Plants

An edible garden quite literally starts from the ground up. Choosing the plants for your edible garden isn’t as simple as knowing what foods you like to eat. Make informed decisions so your plantings thrive!

●    Know your location’s hardiness zone.
●    Check your soil to see if it needs to be tweaked for your garden.
●    Are you going to sow seeds or transplant your edibles? Explore the pros and cons of each choice.
●    If you want to start plants from seeds, learn how to read the packet information.  
●    Some edibles are easier to raise than others. To get your feet wet, consider some veggies that are especially beginner-friendly. 

Organic Solutions

Many people are interested in eating organic foods these days. If you’re ready to dabble in organic edibles, learn the processes and make plans up front.

●    Learning to grow a garden the organic way means doing away with pesticides and maintaining organically approved gardening practices.
●    Composting is among the most essential tasks in an organic garden.
●    The mulch you use also matters greatly in sustaining an organic garden, and a well-mulched garden conserves water and needs less cultivating.
●    If you do want the mulch to regularly feed the soil as for vegetables then try a lucerne or pea straw mulch. 
●    Some edibles like a slightly acid pH so pine needles or pine bark works great as this can help conserve moisture and acidify the soil.                        ●   Other edibles like many Brasiccas like an alkaline pH, so the addition of lime might be required. 
●    Other perennial edibles particularly fruit trees can benefit from coarse bark mulch(but not up to the stem) which can sometimes be sutiable and free from you local arborist/tree cutter. 


Tools for the Task

To start and sustain a garden, you need more than just the proverbial green thumb. There are, in fact, tools and equipment worth investing in to help you with this project.

●    You don’t need a huge collection of gardening tools to be a good gardener, but you do need several key ones.
●    For an organic garden, be sure all inputs are truly organic-friendly. 
●    Effective watering is the key to success so are you going to hand water? use an irrigation system? or a combination of both? 
●    You can set up pumps and irrigation from a large rainwater tank but this can get expensive so it's best to factor this in when you are building a house but slim line tanks make retro fitting easy.

A Focus on Health

A garden is undoubtedly a worthwhile pursuit. Make the most of it by ensuring that this beautiful, green space truly serves your and your family’s health in the long run.

●    It’s worth noting that the very act of gardening actually counts as exercise, it is great for the mind and body. 
●    Your choice of produce to grow also matters, and luckily there are plenty of healthy edibles you can grow even at home despite living in a small apartment, have a look online for inspiration as these days people are growing edibles indoors on benches or window sils. 
●    Stagger your plantings so you don't end up with a too much at one time. Sometimes you only need 4 plants of a particular edible other times you need 20 or maybe you want to give away heaps of excess produce to family and friends. 

Ultimately, the success of your garden will hinge heavily on your desire to learn and do it right, as well as the time and commitment that you put into it. Other than that, simply let nature take its course.

We encourage you to try and we hope you suceed but if it all gets too much or you want help designing or installing an edible garden then we would love to hear from you.