Starting a Vegetable Garden

red-lunch-green-knolling.jpg

When you grow your own vegetables, it is not only extremely rewarding but also a lot of fun. In order to start a vegetable garden, the essentials are some plants and good quality soil. In addition to this, you will also need to do some research on what keeps plants vigorous and healthy. Some of the all-season vegetables that can be grown in New Zealand include broccoli, beetroot, carrots, cabbage, cucumber, cauliflower, radishes, pumpkin, spring onions, spinach and several others.

Step 1: Taking care of soil health

Traditional chemical agriculture involves feeding the crop plants with synthetic fertilisers. This is the complete opposite of what organic gardening entails. Even though various mineral nutrients and fertilisers must be added to the vegetable garden on a regular basis, organic matter is actually the best substance to build and maintain healthy soil.

Organic matter can be added to the soil in several different ways like compost, animal manures, shredded leaves, cover crops etc. It helps to improve the fertility and the structure of the soil. Organic matter essentially serves as a constant nitrogen and nutrient supply source which helps the plants to grow.

Step 2: Creating and using space

Your garden should be located close to a water source and should also receive adequate sunlight, while being protected from wind and frost. In addition to this, it is also important to utilise the space available in your garden in the best possible way.

Garden sheds are an excellent way to keep your garden organised. You can use different a steel or cedar garden sheds like a storehouse for your vegetable garden. It could be the place where you keep all your gardening equipment, toolbox, soil packs, seeds etc. You can also add shelves to make storage more convenient and it’s a great way to keep everything safe and organised.

Lots of people would like to have a big vegetable garden where they can plant all kinds of crops, including ones that take up a lot of space, like corn, pumpkins, dried beans, cucumbers, melons etc.

If there is room and you also have the energy and time to build a big vegetable garden, then it’s a great idea. However, vegetable gardens which make effective use of the available space are easier to maintain. So think about these factors before deciding upon the size of the garden you wish to plant.

Step 3: Move your  crops around

You need to undertake crop rotation for your vegetable garden. This means growing a crop in the exact same spot only once in three years. This way you are assured the same vegetables will not end up depleting those same nutrients (needed for their growth) years in a row. This technique also helps detect any disease pathogens or insect pests which might be thriving in the garden soil once the crop gets harvested.

In order to utilise the 3 year system of crop rotation, it is best to create a written garden plan in the growing season each year. This plan will show where different crops are located and make crop rotation easier. You can also maximise your growing space by following the technique of succession when planting crops. Plant only a few seeds/transplants at different times during the entire growing season, instead of planting everything at one go. This will also allow your harvest season to last longer than usual for all crops.

New Zealand is one of the most ideal countries to do gardening in the entire world. Every season and its weather support the growth of different crops so if you live in New Zealand, make a beautiful vegetable garden part of your home. To get started visit Riverlea Group Ltd. They are established suppliers of outdoor products, including wooden garden sheds in New Zealand. Visit their website at www.riverleagroup.co.nz to find a garden shed that suits your garden and budget.

Essential Tools to Get Started

garden-gardening-hosepipe-tube.jpg

Gardening has always been a favorite pastime among people living in the beautiful country of New Zealand. In fact, there are a range of television programmes, books and magazines dedicated to this topic.

Both the North and South Islands have all kinds of subtropical as well as sub-alpine plants growing within each geographic area. So if you are passionate about gardening, you must visit New Zealand for its gorgeous private and botanic gardens.

Homeowners in New Zealand also love planting and living amidst the beauty of nature. Many of them have gardens in their backyards or in front of the house and make great efforts to maintain them on a regular basis. If you are interested in gardening, here are some tips and tricks that will help you get started.

It is a common practice to overindulge in buying all kinds of gardening tools, especially when you are first taking up your hobby. You will find an array of the latest technology and equipment available on the market, promising ease-of-use and unmatched results. However, such tools and equipment could end up taking plenty of space and might also require a big investment. In the beginning, it is best to focus on the essential tools of gardening. These are the ones that you will use the most and are the best value for money.

1. Gloves

There is no doubt that gardening is a brilliant hobby, but it could transform into a splintery and thorny affair if the right gloves are not used. Make sure that you buy a pair that are thick and durable without being too bulky. Also, store them in such a way that they are away from excess water, insects and sun.

2. Hand trowel

This is a great tool for herbaceous planting, digging in corners as well as for extracting weeds. Stainless steel hand trowels are even better since they are extremely durable.

3. Wooden garden sheds

Wooden garden sheds in New Zealand are often used for multiple purposes. If they have a transparent roof they serve as excellent greenhouses. Wooden sheds also allow you to plant exotic species if you add features such as light and temperature control.

New Zealand homeowners also use wooden garden sheds as potting sheds to store and shelve their pots as well as seeds. These wooden sheds also provide space for storing soil bags. It is a good idea to fit a counter in your wooden shed so that you can work there easily.

4. Spade

This is a square shovel with a short handle which helps in the digging of holes for planting and also moving dirt from one place to another. Try and buy a spade which has a solid head made of steel and a handle made with thick fiberglass. Veteran gardeners claim that a good quality spade can be used for a number of years without needing replacement.

5. Wheelbarrow

A wheelbarrow is a necessary tool if you are using compost, have extra soil in your backyard or are doing an installation in your garden. A good wheelbarrow could help in hauling several hundred kilograms! This equipment is definitely a must-have for your new garden.

6. Loppers

Typically, you will have to trim back shrubs or trees planted in your garden. Loppers are a handy tool for removing branches from trees and shrubs growing in your garden area.

7. Long water hose

The foundation of every garden is water. Ensure that you get a hose which reaches every area of the garden. Adjustable nozzles are helpful in controlling water pressure.

With these basic tools and equipment, you are ready to start installing a beautiful garden in your New Zealand home! Riverlea Group are an established company supplying outdoor products and wooden garden sheds to New Zealand homeowners. Visit their website at www.riverleagroup.co.nz to buy garden sheds that suit your garden and budget.

How to Add Value to Your Home by Transforming Your Outdoor Space

garden.jpg

If you live in New Zealand, you do not want to be left out of the fun that comes with outdoor activities. There is no better way to enjoy the outdoors than by creating a space to hangout in the garden of your home. If you are thinking of ways to make the most out of your outdoor space then buying a pizza oven or outdoor BBQ fireplace in New Zealand could be just what you need.

If you are looking for a BBQ fireplace that suits your outdoor space, start your search at Riverlea Group Ltd. The company has been in business since 1991 and have served a wide clientele in Australia and New Zealand. Their outdoor products are top quality and are created using innovative methods. They also use worldwide suppliers for some of their products to ensure that their customers are satisfied.

Riverlea Group Ltd has a wide range of outdoor BBQ products to choose from. For example, their Buschbeck fireplace is specifically designed for the outdoors and you can easily change the atmosphere of your backyard with this product. With the fireplace you can decide do some outdoor cooking or spend more time outdoors in the evenings by filling it with pieces of firewood and enjoying its warmth.

Riverlea Group Ltd also have outdoor pizza ovens, which are easy to use, create tasty food and are a fun way to entertain your family and friends. Every Riverlea customer gets the opportunity to choose which cooking options they want to accompany their oven or grill with expert advice from the team. For instance, you can choose the standard or heavy duty racks for your grill, or a pizza oven insert or a rotisserie. Riverlea BBQs also come with the option of cooking with coal, wood or gas.

For people who are interested in home decor and design, Riverlea Group have the perfect items to help you decorate your outdoor space. Their selection of outdoor fireplaces and BBQs range from those with a modern look to vintage ones. You can decide to go with an all-white masonry complete with a stainless mantelpiece. Alternatively, you could pick the two-tone masonry BBQ that comes with hints of copper. Depending on your colour preference and theme of your garden or backyard, you can choose fireplace accessories that complement your style.

Apart from the standard fireplace, customers can also buy other fireplace accessories. You could, for instance, add a side table to your BBQ or an extension to the fireplace chimney. If you are concerned about protecting your BBQ from the weather, you could also buy a BBQ cover. The good thing about Riverlea Group’s products is that they are made using high quality and long-lasting materials.

If you live wherever in New Zealand or in Perth, Sydney or Brisbane in Australia and you would like to transform your outdoor space, check what Riverlea Group Ltd has to offer. Whether you need a chiminea pizza oven or a BBQ fireplace, visit www.riverleagroup.co.nz today and get the right accessory for your backyard. Riverlea also provide delivery and installation so you can get your back garden equipment up and running quickly so you are all ready for the summer season!

Gardening in a Small Space or on a Tight Budget

flowers-garden-herbs-flowerbed.jpg

Did you know that gardening is one of the most popular pastimes in New Zealand? However, for those who live in a small space or are on a tight budget, it can be difficult to know where to start. After all, plants and flowers can be expensive, and if you don’t have the room to show off your new greenery and shrubs, then what’s the point? Thankfully, there is a solution. Here are a few tips on how to create a fabulous garden in a small space that won’t break the bank.

1. Be creative with space

You don’t have to have a huge back garden in order to take up this hobby. Be creative as you like when looking for a space for your plants and flowers, whether that’s a small strip of concrete outside your driveway or even a balcony. If you’re limited when it comes to room, then ensure you choose smaller plants that are still able to soak up the sun’s rays but won’t cause clutter.

If you only have a balcony, window boxes can be a great way to save space, and you will be able to incorporate various plants and flowers of your choice in order to transform the exterior of your home. Another way to save on space is to incorporate hanging baskets into your garden. These can be filled with flowers and plants of your choice and then attached to a structure like an outside wall or garage door.

2. Choosing a shed

If you lack space in your garden, then it might be time for a clear up. Buying a decent shed can help you store any junk that you don’t really use but are unable to get rid of. Do you have old tools lying around in the garden? Sports equipment? Toys? Incorporating steel or cedar garden sheds can instantly free up space and provide you with a safe place to keep your items when they are no longer being used. When buying garden sheds in New Zealand, opt for a structure that doesn’t distract from the look of the garden. A shed should be neat and discreet and never an eyesore.

3. Budgeting

A beautiful garden doesn’t have to cost the earth, and there are a number of ways you can save money when landscaping. For example, you might be able to save on your water bills by conserving rainfall and keeping it in your own rain barrel. Alternatively, you can use a price comparison website to source the cheapest plants and flowers from local nurseries without having to visit them yourselves.

Cheap and space-saving garden sheds in New Zealand

Are you looking for a garden shed – even if you don’t have much space or are on a budget? Riverlea Group specialise in sheds and outdoor products, including wooden garden sheds made in New Zealand. To find out more about the products they have on offer and to find a garden shed that suits your garden and budget visit www.riverleagroup.co.nz.

Gardening Tips for Beginners – Growing a Vegetable Garden

pexels-photo (8).jpg

Growing your own vegetables is extremely healthy, fun and satisfying. It can also be a little daunting for a newcomer to gardening. New Zealand’s soil and climate lends itself to growing some delicious vegetables right in your backyard and following these tips will help you on your way to a bumper harvest!

You do not need much to start, some high quality seedlings, a patch of soil, high quality fertiliser, some tools and a tool shed to store them all in! In New Zealand wooden sheds are extremely popular and come in a range of sizes to suit any home.

Tips for growing your own vegetables

1. Make sure the spot that you choose to plant your seedlings has access to the sun and is protected from the wind to some degree. It should also be easily accessible to you for all the work you will be doing out there!

2. It is easier for beginners to grow veggies rather than potted plants as they require less maintenance. If you are preparing a soil patch from scratch then remember to layer in compost and fertiliser to make sure the soil gets all the essential nutrients it can.

3. Choose seedlings instead of seeds as they are more forgiving to beginners. Look at a planting calendar that will help you choose what crops grow best in your region at different times of the year. This is essential to achieving success right from the start.

4. Wooden or cedar garden sheds can also be used as greenhouses in which to store your pots if you live in an area with a changeable climate.

5. Maintain a distance of at least two hand spaces between the plants so they do not compete with each other. Once the planting has been done, keep the area well watered. You may need to refertilise the patch during the growing season, depending upon the kind of plants you have chosen.

When your plants are growing, you will have to be careful that weeds do not take over. Pests and insects can also be disastrous for these plants and should be discouraged with the use of organic pesticides.

Having a garden of your own adds so much to your house. You will want to spend more time outside than inside your house in no time! We would also recommend adding some easy to grow plants which add colour and life to your garden.

As beginners, it is always helpful to receive guidance from people who have been gardening longer than you. Almost all localities will have gardening clubs that are usually filled with enthusiastic members eager to share their knowledge with you.

Motivate yourself by setting achievable goals and work towards them with patience

The secret to having a green thumb is to equip yourself with the highest quality materials and equipment. The Riverlea Group has been providing high quality outdoor products to New Zealand for years, from New Zealand garden sheds to garden wheelbarrows and everything in between!

All the materials used are made with the New Zealand environment in mind and are built to last. Their products are also affordable and attractive so there is nothing to stop you from starting that gardening project right now!

Gardening in a Small Space

flowers-garden-playing-pot.jpg

While a large space provides the ideal area and freedom for gardening, it does not mean that you can’t garden in a small space. In some ways, small space gardening has various advantages over traditional gardening in medium or large sized gardens. If you find yourself restricted by the size of your gardening area, here is a brief guide to help you optimise it. It includes preparation tips, what and how to plant and advice on essential gardening tools you must have.

1. Use containers instead of planting directly

For really small spaces, containers can help you make better use of your space than planting directly into the ground. You can go with containers that can be hanged up or larger boxes for placing on the ground. Containers also ensure that plants make efficient use of available water and nutrients.

2. Try vertical gardening

Vertical gardening can give you lots of additional space to plant edibles while also adding to the aesthetics of your garden. There are many household items such as a wood pallet or hanged gutters that you can turn into a vertical garden. Alternatively buy structures that have been designed specifically for vertical planting.

3. Have the right plants

The kind of plants you plan to put in your smaller sized garden matter a lot. For instance, if you choose plants that tend to spread sideways, you will only be able to have a couple of them before all your space is taken up. If you are interested in edible gardening, opt for upwards growing plants such as legumes, passion fruit and tomatoes.

Alternatively, buy plant varieties that have been specifically bred to have dwarf characteristics. This is usually indicated when you are buying seeds or seedlings. Dwarf plants are especially good for very small gardens since they can produce a lot in limited spaces. If you are planting for aesthetics go for plants such as ferns and bromeliads.

4. Learn proper maintenance

Tending to small gardens is a bit different than maintaining larger ones. For one, small gardens need to be watered more frequently. This is because the shallow soil and small space means that plants take only a little water at a time. The same goes for nutrients. The little soil available may not hold enough nutrients for plants. Supplement with organic compost to enrich the soil.

5. Have the right tools

To tend your small garden properly you need the right tools. Luckily, you do not have to spend lots of money on large pieces of equipment like tractors. With a small budget, you can have all the tools you need including a watering can, a pair of gloves, trowels and a wheelbarrow. Small portable garden sheds in New Zealand can prove useful when it comes to storing your tools and won’t take up too much space.

As there are more and more demands being made on land for housing, the land available for gardening grows smaller, especially in urban areas. But with some creativity, you can have your own flourishing small garden. Riverlea Group is here to ensure that you succeed. They specialise in providing various outdoor products and they are known for manufacturing some of the best garden sheds in New Zealand. Whether you need a plastic, designer or wooden garden shed, they have them all. Visit their website at www.riverleagroup.co.nz to find out more.

An Introduction to Gardening: Sustainable Gardening

healthy-vegetables-restaurant-nature.jpg

Sustainability is a hot topic at the moment. Not just in the gardening world but in many other industries as well. As more and more people actively seek to make changes to their lifestyles and habits through self-sufficiency and consuming locally made products, then naturally we think about how we can use our gardens to help us achieve our sustainability goals.

Start a vegetable garden

As well as saving money and enabling you to eat well, your own vegetable garden reduces your reliance on supermarkets. Remember to start small when you begin a vegetable garden as the idea of producing your own food is to live more sustainably, not have a lot of waste by throwing away food you can’t eat. If you have an abundance of certain kinds of vegetables try to find a vegetable swop group in your local community or set up one with friends. That way you can reduce the waste you have and get something tasty in return!

Build a chicken coop

If you have the space, keeping chickens not only ensures you have a regular supply of eggs but you know that your eggs come from free range chickens that aren’t subjected to intensive farming practices. Sustainability is more that just about ourselves. It is about cohabiting with the animals and plants that share our world for the long-term health and well-being of all species, not just ours.

In residential areas of New Zealand you have to have permission from your local council to keep chickens and you need to make sure that you have the space and shelter to house them properly. While it may take time and set up costs to build a chicken coop the long-term benefits of keeping chickens make it a popular pursuit for many families in New Zealand.

Use sustainable materials

Using sustainable materials in your garden can be easy if you think of things like making your own compost from food scraps or using mulch in your garden that will conserve soil moisture  and help to reduce the amount of watering you need to do in your garden. Choosing wooden garden sheds in New Zealand is another easy way to use sustainable materials in your garden set up.

As well as being more sustainable, cedar garden sheds in New Zealand tend to look better as timber is known for its naturally textured patterns that give it a soft and warm look. There are many wooden garden sheds sold in New Zealand and because they are naturally insulated they can maintain a relatively stable temperature throughout the seasons.

The Riverlea Group Ltd offer a wide range of garden sheds to suit your requirements and budget. Their wooden garden shed range is the biggest in New Zealand and provides a great space store your gardening equipment. Visit their website, www.riverleagroup.co.nz, for a full list of their New Zealand-made garden sheds and other sustainably made outdoor garden products.