Even if you only have a tiny garden, patio or balcony you can still grow edibles in containers. In larger gardens raised beds are ideal as the enclosed soil temperature tends to be raised by the enclosed sides.
All you need is a sunny, sheltered spot with at least 4hrs sunlight a day. Watering isn’t too much of an issue as the temperature tends to be cooler, although some watering is necessary!
If you are growing seeds in raised beds covering them with some shade cloth will encourage germination in about 6weeks. Once the seedlings appear remove the protection. Always check planting instructions on the packet for different requirements regarding size, height and space needed, and, of course, choose the veggies and salad you like to eat!
In raised beds, or in the ground, vegetables like a free draining soil, so it’s important to prepare the soil up to 2weeks before planting, adding plenty of compost and fertiliser. To keep your your vegetables thriving throughout the year a good mulch of dry grass clippings, leaves or home-made compost will ensure the soil stays moist and the roots warm.
Don’t plant all the seeds at once. By successional planting you will have a regular crop.
Cool season veggies to grow are: Leeks, Turnips, Beets, Carrots, Celery, Broad beans, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Onions, Shallots, Rutabugas, Cabbage, Peas, Garlic, Swiss chard, Kale, Pak choi and butternut squash.
Salads that will grow quickly are: Winter gem lettuce, radishes, Spring onions, Perpetual spinach, Green peppers and Tomatoes.
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We at village gardens have a knowledge of all of your local edible plants here in South Africa. We can happily plant up your garden with edibles of all varieties from Mediterranean herbs and local indigenous edibles. We are surrounded by such stunning hardy indigenous plants, let’s get back to nature and have our own garden of local goodness.