Starting a veggie patch can be daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. Even if you have a small space to have a go at growing your own, here are some hints and tips to get you started:

Know your soil – before you decide what to grow pick up a soil testing kit from a local gardening cente. This will tell you more about your soil, for example, vegetables grow best in slightly acidic soil.

Whether your plot is in a raised bed or container, it should be next to a sunny wall or fence, which will be perfect for climbing plants. Just remember that soil in the ‘rain shadow’ of a wall can be dry, so add manure or compost to help retain moisture every time you replant.

If you are planting your vegetable patch with children, you will want some easy, fast-growing crops for those impatient little fingers:

  • Sunflowers are easy and a must for children’s gardens – plant one or two as they do take up room.
  • Lettuces are quick and reliable and give fast results and an excellent way to interest children in salads.
  • Radishes also give quick results and will germinate in 3-10 days, and have a very short growing season of 20-30 days.
  • Snow peas are a quick-growing easrly crop, and fun for kids to eat right off the vine. Snow peas are popular becuase the pod is edible and since they are a dwarf plant they can be grown without a trellis.
  • Cherry tomatoes and strawberries are fun crops. Plant in full sun and use seedlings rather then planting from seed in the ground or either in a container or hanging basket – just remember to water well!