Starting your patch from scratch

Fresh herbs and vegetables can transform any meal into a masterpiece and no matter where you live, there are loads of seeds or seedlings to help get you started.

Before you rush out and buy your vegies or herbs, you’ll need to prepare your patch for planting. Luckily, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

All you need to do to get started is:

  1. Choose the right location
  2. Prepare the soil
  3. Grow for your climate
  4. Sowing seed
  5. Planting seedlings

Of course if you don’t have room for a vegie patch, don’t despair, because you can grow your own herbs and vegetables in pots too!

READ FULL ARTICLE

light-bulb-icon@2x.png Let's prepare for planting

If you give your vegetables the best possible start, you’ll be rewarded with loads of produce and very few pests or problems.

1. Choosing the location

choosing-the-location.jpg
  • Most vegetables and herbs prefer 6 hours of sunlight per day. Watch your backyard throughout the day to ensure you select an area with adequate light.
  • Remember that the sun is lower in the sky in Winter and the shadows will be different to Summer. Try to position your patch so it receives year-round sunlight.

2. Preparing the soil

preparing-the-soil.jpg

3. Grow for your climate

grow-for-climate.jpg
  • Vegetables are seasonal and will grow either during the cooler months or the warmer months of the year. Always grow crops in the right season. For example, tomatoes in the warmer months and broad beans at the coolest time of the year.
  • Cool and warm season crops will be sown and grown during different months of the year depending on where you live. Check with your local nursery or garden centre to find out what to plant now in your area.

Quick soil fixes

Clay soil

Add gypsum to help open up the soil and organic matter to improve the soil structure.

Wet soil

Vegetables need free draining soil. If the garden stays wet, consider building raised beds up to 15cm above the surrounding soil to improve drainage.

Sandy soil

Sandy soils should be improved with organic matter like compost to improve water retention and soil texture.

Soil pH

The pH of the soil dictates which nutrients will be available to crops. Vegetables prefer a pH around 6. If in doubt, buy a pH test kit and improve as necessary.

exclamation-icon@2x.png Let's get planting

With your soil prepared and your garden ready, it’s time to plant. Here's what you will need:

lets-get-planting.jpg

To plant and grow tomatoes in the garden, you will need:

  • Trowel
  • Garden gloves
  • Fresh seed or seedlings
  • Dry sand (optional)
  • Stakes or climbing frames & ties (climbing plants and tomatoes)
  • Watering can with a fine rose

Step 1

How to sow seed

  • Form a shallow row or channel in your garden bed. It should run north-south and be the depth that it's recommended your seeds be sown at (follow the directions on the packet)
  • Space seeds along the row as best you can. It can help to mix fine seeds like carrot seed with sand to help spread the seed more evenly
  • Mark your row with a label and backfill the soil
  • Water gently with a fine mist
  • Allow seeds to germinate before starting a regular watering regime
  • Thin seedlings out to the recommended spacings. The seedlings removed may be transplanted or used fresh in salads
  • Do not sow an entire crop at once. Sow seeds at fortnightly intervals to spread your harvest so you enjoy your crops when they are at their tasty best
  • If growing climbing plants, insert the climbing frame before sowing seeds to avoid damaging the roots later
  • Apply snail and slug pellets to protect the young tender seedlings

    Note: Some seed types require soaking prior to planting (like beetroot). Always read the packet before sowing

Seed can be started in seedlings trays or sown directly into the garden. If starting in trays, use Osmocote Professional Seed Raising & Cutting Mix

Step 2

How to plant seedlings

  • Choose a place in the garden with at least 6 hours of sunlight per day, preferably protected from the wind
  • Plant in rows running north-south
  • Make a hole in the prepared garden bed large enough for the seedling plus its root ball
  • Carefully tap the seedling out of the pot, trying to keep as much of the potting mix around the roots as possible
  • Carefully place the plant in the hole. Make sure the seedling is at the same depth as it was in the pot
  • Backfill around the seedling, pressing the soil down firmly to hold it in place
  • Water generously with Pure Organic Premium Seaweed Plant Food to settle it in
  • Insert a stake or climbing frame if required
  • Apply snail and slug pellets to protect the young tender seedlings

    NOTE: always follow suggested spacings provided on the labels

Tips, tricks & advice

Beginners' guide to growing herbs

Take the guesswork out of growing herbs with just a few simple steps including:

Read more

How to grow the tastiest tomatoes

Enjoy an abundance of tasty tomatoes this summer with these simple tips on:

Read more

Other products you might need

Osmocote® Professional Seed Raising & Cutting Mix

osmocote-professional-seed-raising-cutting-mix-small.jpg

A professional grade propagating mix for germinating vegetable, herb and flower seeds and for stem, leaf and root cuttings

Defender™ Snail & Slug Pellets

defender-snail-slug-pellets-small.jpg

There's nothing so disappointing as checking on your latest vegetable and flower seedlings to find half of them gone! The usual suspects are snails and slugs. Tried and true Defender pellets will soon have them under control .

Osmocote® Professional Compost & Soil Improver

osmocote-professional-soil-improver-smnall.jpg

An organically enriched compost that improves and revitalises garden soils, boosts plant health and encourages stronger, more productive growth.

Pure Organic Premium Compost & Soil Improver

pure-organic-soil-improver-small_03.jpg

A premium quality certified 100% organic compost and soil improver that keeps things simple for growing tasty food and gorgeous flowers and foliage. It improves the overall vitality of your soil so plants grow better and stronger.

Defender™ Pyrethrum Insect Spray

defender-pyrethrum-insect-spray-small.jpg

Insect pests can cause havoc in the garden, effectively destroying flowering and cropping plants if they're not controlled. Pyrethrum is perfect for use on vegetables and all edibles

Pure Organic Premium Seaweed Plant Food

pure-organic-premium-seaweed-plant-food.jpg

A nutrient-rich, pure organic smart liquid that gently releases fertiliser over 4-6 weeks. Your garden will flourish with this premium seaweed product that comes in a handy Hose-on as well as a Concentrate