Television programmes such as Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules, have sparked the culinary imagination of the New Zealand public. Many people want to use locally sourced organic ingredients in their cooking and you can’t get much more local than your own garden.
In this article we look at the basics of starting a vegetable garden including what to grow, when to grow it and the essential equipment you will need to build your own edible garden.
Making the best of your location
You don’t need a large section to grow vegetables and herbs. Many vegetables will grow very well in pots and this is an ideal way for people who live in apartments to grow their own food. Almost any vegetable will grow in a container as long as it is the right size for the plant and has adequate holes for water drainage.
If you do have a garden you can create a raised vegetable patch in one area. By creating a raised patch that is sectioned off you will have a smaller area to look after as vegetable patches need to be weeded, watered and harvested.
What you can grow
Anything! The temperate climate in New Zealand is good for growing vegetables and by growing your own food you will always be eating what is in season. You don’t have to worry about bad weather affecting your produce as you can protect your vegetable patch with netting and fencing. Garden sheds in New Zealand are also very popular with gardeners as they can be used to house vegetables as well as storing gardening equipment. Tomatoes, ginger, onions and bok choy can all be grown indoors.
The Riverlea Group New Zealand offers a wide range of garden sheds to suit your requirements and budget. Their range includes large, small, timber and steel garden sheds that are made in New Zealand.
When to grow it
To eat seasonally throughout the year you plant vegetables in one season to be harvested the next season. Your local garden centre will be able to advise what vegetables to plant and harvest each month. Some vegetables such as potatoes, spinach and silverbeet grow all year round. If you have a particularly abundant crop then you can freeze your supply of vegetables so you can continue to eat them when they are out of season. Vegetables that need cooking before you eat them such as beans, peas and asparagus are particularly good to freeze.
Some of the key pieces of equipment you need to create and maintain your vegetable garden are a spade, a hoe, some pruning shears, a watering system and a wheelbarrow. You will also need to use bags of compost when preparing the soil for planting and you may need to build fencing around your vegetable patch. A garden shed is an essential investment, providing you with a secure and dry place to store all your gardening equipment.
The Riverlea Group New Zealand can provide advice on what type of garden shed will meet your needs and budget so contact them directly for expert advice.