We have tried to start a vegetable garden a few times. We have actually been successful a few times but our soil is not ideal and we always end up getting demotivated or the dog digs it all up. So we decided that since we have a compost heap going we would try and rehabilitate the soil and start a vegetable garden properly.
Before we started the actual garden I asked my followers for their suggestions on what the essential items would be to start a vegetable garden. They gave me some really valuable ideas and suggestions. I have put together a list of the items you will need.
- Good compost – nearly everyone suggested this.
- Small spade/s – these come in so handy
- Raised beds – a few people suggested those palette boxes, these work well if you have dogs/cats.
- Seeds for your favourite vegetables
- Companion plants
- Seedlings for herbs
We had a few of these items already but we did head out to Builders Warehouse to get a few of the things we still needed.
While we were at Builders Warehouse we had a long chat with the guy there about compost. You can obviously buy compost but he said the compost we have been making is the best compost for the soil. He did give us a compost activator that we pour onto the compost to help everything decompose and make compost for our garden.
Before we planted anything we dug up all the ground in the designated area and mixed our compost in. It took a while but it was so worth it. The seedlings we planted in the heavily composted area came up first and are looking amazing.
Once the soil was sorted we were able to plant the vegetable seedlings. I wanted to plant butternut but the first area we started didn’t have enough space so we are busy with a second, large area.
We decided to plant
Apparently, when planting veggies, you need to make sure the top 8cm of soil is healthy and well looked after. You also don’t need to plant the seeds too deeply, you can just push them into the soil.
It is also important to figure out how the sun is going to move through the day to make sure that the taller plants don’t add to much shade to the smaller plants.
Herbs are great companion plants and some of them are good insect repellents, which can also be useful. Basil and tomatoes grow well together as well and also go perfectly together when you cooking.
Nastertiums are also good companion flowers and we have just added some of those to the border of the garden.
We also added the following seedlings
- Butter lettuce
- Dwarf Cotton Lavender
- Blackpepper Mint Tea
We got the kids involved in the entire process (which is why we have a mass of onions coming up between the lettuce) and they are really into the whole process. They are responsible for the daily watering of the garden so they can check on the progress of the seeds.
We throw crushed up eggshells on the seedlings every few days. Apparently they are really good for seeds. So keep them out of your compost heap and throw them on separately.
Keeping Lucy out has always been the challenge so I made a fence using wooden poles from a broken bunk bed we had and then covered it with shade cloth. She did still squeeze in so we have had to close up all the little gaps. Fortunately, the complex cats don’t really come into the garden because of Lucy, they just walk along the wall. If you have cats, you must make sure they can not get into the beds.
My advice would be to talk to people who know what to grow, how to grow it and when to grow it. We have learned a lot over the last few weeks and I understand now why our gardens have never worked properly in the past.
So far everything except our carrots are already coming up. I am not 100% sure what is up with the carrots. So we are going to add more compost to the section where they are planted and plant some more seeds. I also want to add some peas after seeing this post.
Have you started a vegetable garden?
Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post but I was given a voucher to buy some items for our new vegetable garden.