Dig deep this summer and start cultivating your own veggie patch

You’ll have a green thumb in no time with these no brainer gardening tips.

From window herb gardens, backyard veggie patches or balcony planter boxes, there are plenty of flexible spaces to start growing your own produce and no space is simply no excuse. Matthew Pember and Fabian Capomolla of the Little Veggie Patch Co. are flying the flag for home grown fruits and veggies and, as Matthew outlines, there are many options for even the most space-challenged green thumb.

5 things anyone with any space can grow?

1. Herbs would be a no-brainer. They are perennials so you can pick them all year round and they’re quite tolerant and hardy so you don’t need full sunlight.

2. Any sort of leafy green like lettuces are really simple to grow, they don’t need a lot of sunlight and they aren’t very demanding. Also you can pick them leaf by leaf so you get a perpetual harvest period.

3. Silverbeet is one of those things where it’s so easy to grow you may as well just to buoy your spirit and confidence and always have something in the garden. It’s also very versatile, you can use it as a substitute for spinach or in your salads.

4. Choose one plant that you love because you will find that’s a really big motivation. You might get sick of lettuces and silverbeet and herbs so it’s really important to have something growing that you love. All of these things can be grown in pots – different depths are applicable for different veggies.

5. Mint. A lot of people don’t have a lot of sunlight and mint is really tolerant to pretty much no sunlight and can grow in damp areas.

5 reasons why a veggie patch will change your life?

1. Get you outdoors and into the sunshine.

2. Get you more attached and more interested in cooking.

3. It’s that intangible feeling of providing that can be quite important. To have provided is a really nice feeling.

4. It gets you in touch with a lot of ageing, dying skills. We talk to a lot of older immigrants who have brought all those skills in and it’s about reconnecting with this pool of knowledge.

5. You’re helping the environment, reducing food miles and doing your bit.

What are you growing right now?

A lot of tomatoes and plenty of basil around the tomatoes – they’re great companions. I’ve also got lettuces and herbs, so you’ve always got something to pop in a salad, and cucumbers.

Little Vegie Patch Co. has produced two great books to help you in the garden: littleveggiepatchco.com.au

Recommended reading - Issue Two Summer 2012

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