Nothing beats the taste of home-grown veges. The wonderful feeling you get when you harvest something you have sown and grown yourself is very self-satisfying.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Sun, sun, and more sun. Veges need plenty of sun to develop and compromising on sunlight will affect taste and yield. Choose a position in full sun or put pots and containers in full sun.
Before planting, prepare the soil by digging in layers of organic matter such as compost, sheep pellets and blood and bone. These will add valuable nutrients and enable soil to retain more moisture. Organic matter encourages worms and other hard-working soil organisms. If you don't feed your soil it won't be able to feed you.
Seedlings are the quickest option and take about a month to germinate ready for transplanting. They are also a cheaper option. Sow seeds in trays of seed-raising mix and transplant once seedlings are about finger size.
Crops such as carrots, parsnips and radish don't like transplanting; sow them directly into the soil.
Vegetables thrive when regularly watered. Water stress is one of the most common reasons for crop failure and too much or too little can be fatal to plants. Deep watering every few days is better than a light sprinkle every day. To optimise water usage, you can add water-retentive crystals at planting time.
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR INVADERS
Early in the season watch out for slugs, snails and birds. Put down baits to deal to the slimeballs, and cover crops with netting while birds are hanging around.
CROPS FOR POTS
For those on the move or with less time, loads of veges thrive in pots and containers.
The key to success is choosing a large pot and fertile potting mix.
You can't expect decent results if you don't provide enough room for the plant's roots or enough food.
Fill containers with quality bagged vegetable mix.
If you liked beans try dwarf or French. With lettuces, leafy and perpetual types are best because they can be picked leaf by leaf rather than having to harvest the whole plant at once.
Capsicum, chilli, courgette, eggplant, tomatoes, Asian greens, rocket, and arugula are all great veges to try growing. For herbs, try basil, coriander, chives, parsley and thyme.
Try radish, beetroot, spring onions, potatoes and yams.
Some veges and herbs can be grown in hanging baskets and window boxes. Dwarf lettuce, salad greens, rocket, parsley, thyme, spinach, basil, tumbling tom tomatoes and coriander are good choices. Blended with strawberries or edible flowers such as viola, calendula and nasturtium they will be beautiful as well as productive.