Grow a Completely Edible Garden
Last Updated Jun 15, 2012 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald
If you’ve ever toyed with the idea of growing all of your produce, maybe now is the time to bite the bullet and get started by growing a completely edible garden. You might think it’s easier to just buy your fruits and veggies from the supermarket but the stuff that you grow will be cheaper, tastier, and better for you! Plus, there’s nothing like the satisfaction of growing your own (and you’ll get plenty of bragging rights too!). Here are our hints and tips for growing a garden where you can eat everything in it.
Plan What You Want to Grow
If you’re growing an edible garden, the first thing that you need to do is to decide what to grow. This is equally true of small container gardens and large backyard plots. If you want to start small, try tomatoes, salad greens, strawberries, and herbs. If you’re ready to branch out and grow more, add in whatever you want – potatoes, corn, beans, carrots, garlic, citrus trees, apples, pears, etc. Just remember to choose plants that are suitable for your climate and for the season but this is easy with the growing guide that comes with most seedlings or seeds.
Choose the Ideal Spot
Make sure that your fruits, vegies and herbs are planted in the positions that they need in order to thrive. Most will need full sun but some varieties are surprisingly tolerant and will happily grow in part shade. Lettuce, spinach and peas are perfect examples of edible plants that can handle a little less light. Just as important is some good soil. Before planting, it really doesn’t hurt to enrich the soil with plenty of compost or other organic matter so that the plants can easily get all the nutrients that they need.
Make Sure You Have Access
If your garden is going to be completely edible, it only makes sense that you make sure that you can actually get to each plant to harvest them as needed. Put in plenty of walking paths so that you don’t have to walk into the garden itself to harvest a crop, potentially crushing plants. You may also want to consider planting according to height – smaller plants at the front and larger plants at the back as this makes it easier to pick what you need!
Take Good Care of Your Plants
If your intention is to eat what you grow, it’s important to take good care of your plants. This means making sure that they get plenty of water, either via you watering by hand or by an automated irrigation system. You’ll also need to regularly fertilise your plants, especially during the fruiting phase, and there are a range of targeted fertilisers out there that are just perfect for fruits and veggies. Also, don’t forget to take care of insects and other pests or you may find that the fruits of your labour are being destroyed before you even get to eat them! Use natural pest control methods where possible, but if you have to use chemicals, be very judicious in their use.