There is nothing like the taste of a ripe tomato fresh from the vine, still warm from the sun. Especially if it’s complemented by other veggies from your garden – it is so rewarding to go to the backyard, pick the vegetables you’ve tended, and turn them into an actual meal.
If you haven’t started your garden yet, it’s not too late. You’ll likely have to purchase seedlings rather than grow from seed to save time. Your local garden supply store or farmer’s market will have a good array of seedlings to choose from. Choose what your family will eat and what you can fit in your space.
If you’re short on space, try square metre gardening. It’s a technique where you grow your crops in bunches, rather than rows, one square metre in size. You can apply the same idea to growing in pots. The closely planted crops reduce the need to weed and just make sense for saving space. After all, you’re not driving a tractor down tidy rows in your garden, are you?
It’s a good time to mention companion planting. Some plants love each other while others are not so friendly. Companion planting saves space and enhances the health of your plants by attracting and repelling certain bugs and nourishing the soil. Basil improves the flavour of tomatoes while growing happily alongside them. Marigolds repel aphids and make good companions for basil and tomatoes. Tui Garden has a companion planting table to make it easy.
When it comes to watering, it is fairly easy to set up a simple irrigation system that will save you from standing around with a hose. You can customise the setup to your garden, so you control exactly where the water goes and at what pressure. Attach a timer to your outdoor tap and you don’t have to worry about remembering to shut it off.
Finally, you’ll need a space to store all your garden equipment. There are some really interesting ideas in this article, like using an old mailbox in your garden to store your hand tools and an old golf caddy to transport (and store) your larger tools!
There’s always more to learn when it comes to gardening. Take note of what worked for you and what didn’t so you can improve next year. We hope you have a productive summer garden!