Are you new to vegetable growing?
Not sure where to start, but want to save money and the planet?
Grow your own vegetables.

It can be nice to think big but when it comes to trying something new, baby steps are best.

Start small, either a small section of garden or purpose built vegetable patch, or even large pots or half wine barrels. You can expand the area for growing vegetables when you have gained some confidence.

Start simple – grow vegetables that are super easy to grow. One of the easiest is radish. If you don’t like radish, still grow some. You will feel good at achieving success, and then feel even better when you can give away home grown produce.

Expand the range of vegetables that you grow, when you gain more confidence.

Ask for help, either on-line through forums or social media sites, or in person. Join a local garden club or volunteer your labour to a local community garden. You can definitely learn by getting involved and experiencing hands on activities, especially from keen gardeners.

Look for, or offer yourself in a labour exchange. It is often more fun to garden with another or in a group, so find some friends and organise a working bee in each other’s gardens for a few hours a month.

Watch the path of the sun across your yard throughout the seasons, and then choose an area which receives about six hours of sunlight per day. This will be acceptable for most vegetables.

Make sure the site for your vegetable garden has easy access. The paths need to be wide enough for a wheelbarrow and flat enough for a wheelbarrow. Old blankets, carpet, hessian and sawdust can be used to line the path.

Make the vegetable beds narrow. It is not good for your back, to reach too far into a garden bed for planting, weeding and harvesting.

It is not good for the soil structure to step on to the vegetable beds. The best width is the distance you can comfortably reach with an outstretched arm, times two, because you can walk around to the other side of the vegetable bed and reach into the bed, opposite of where you just where. If that didn’t make sense, imagine gardening with a friend, both of you opposite each other with the vegetable bed in between. Now, both of you reach toward each other with an outstretched arm, like you are going to shake hands - that is the ideal width of your vegetable bed.

The size of your vegetable patch will be determined by the size of your family. Allow one square metre per person for leafy greens and another two square metres for seasonal vegetables. If you are a family of four, your vegetable patch would measure approximately 12 square metres.

Plant spacing’s can be important. Follow directions on the back of seed packets or ask a friendly gardener at your local nursery or on-line.

Planting in rows is not necessary but convenient. Mix flowers, vegetables and herbs together. It looks good and confuses insect pests.

Good luck in your new venture. Stay tuned for information on crop rotation, companion planting and composting.

Author's Bio: 

Christine is the owner of Breckenwood Botanicals, a business specialising in biologically grown herbs and ornamentals. She also taught Horticulture for over fifteen years, at an adult education facility, delivering nationally accredited courses. Christine is also regularly called upon as a guest speaker and has her own blog at