Tassie is a pretty great climate to work in as a gardener however I can't call myself a gardener yet, I'm more like a gardeneer. This is the first year in our home that our veggie patch is thriving and you know what it was missing the first few years? Our constant love and attention. Yep that's all it takes folks. That's my number one tip. Give your veggie patch your constant attention, don't look away for one second, be attentive and you'll have a thriving vegetable garden in no time. Sounds pretty easy, right? No? No!
That's why you're going to need my:
That's why you're going to need my:
Top Tips for Growing Vegetables in Tasmania
Ok so there are a few things you can do in order to have an overflowing veggie patch if you can't give it your undivided attention because you've made other plans.
What Vegetables am I Growing?
First things first, before you read on, you might want to know what vegetables I'm growing this year.
I suggest closely following the Australian seasonal food guide to know when and what to plant in Tasmania.
Test Your Soil
The number one thing you need to do if you live in Tassie, or anywhere in fact is to test your soil before planting. As we live by the bay, a lot of the soil in our area isn't good enough for planting veggies in so we had our soil tested to make sure it was ok to use. Thankfully it is. We live just enough up the hill to be able to plant veggies in our own soil, without having to use raised garden beds. That being said, we do also use raised garden beds because they're super convenient, are pretty cheap if you go for wood sleepers and it's easier to mix up your own soil. But if you're going to plant directly in the ground, make sure you test it first!
Keep Pests Away
Now, as a vegan, I'm really not cool with harming anyone so I have a few tips up my sleeve in order to get by without harming a fly.
- Fence off your veggie patch - this is essential if you have pets or wild animals that like to eat your plants (possums love our strawberries)
- Use copper tape to line the outside of your veggie boxes and planters so slugs and snails get a little zap and won't move past it (yes this works)
- I get a few white cabbage moths in my garden everyday but so far, not enough to bother about, if they increase in number because they've eaten so much delicious, nutritious food from my garden though I will make some faux moths out of plastic and put them in the garden (the moths think the garden is overpopulated and will go elsewhere)
Use Compost for Your Veggie Patch
Composting is not only good for your garden but it's also great for the environment. I do have a few tips though when it comes to composting.
- Seal the bottom of your compost well (just the very bottom, you'll still need plenty of ventilation) - rats and other critters love to live in your compost bin
- Follow these guidelines for creating great compost
- Don't let your dog anywhere near your compost bin - when Spot was a puppy he ate all the compost, came inside and threw up all over the carpet (the stain is still there)
- If you're going to use an inside compost container in the kitchen to collect your scraps make sure it seals up tight or you will get ants
Remove Weeds from Your Veggie Patch
After a few attempts at creating a lovely garden, we gave up for a just a little while and when we wanted to get back to it, we had an awful lot of work to do. The weeds were taller than me and covered every single little bit of the entire veggie patch. To get back the yard, the whipper snippering took days to do. One foot in any direction was exhausting. Not only is it difficult to reclaim a yard lost to weeds in order to start your veggie patch, weeds can also strangle your veggies.
Unfortunately I don't have many tips to getting rid of weeds in your garden other than:
- Keep on top of the weed situation in your garden, always
- Make sure you remove the weeds by the root, don't even bother removing them if you're not doing this, they'll just be back the next day
- Before planting in a garden bed, use plenty of newspaper, cardboard, mesh, etc. to make sure the weeds don't get through the bottom
Water Your Vegetables
Well duh right? Yes. But you probably don't realise just how much water your veggie patch really needs. Let me tell you, it's one heck of a lot. I haven't measured how much water we use everyday on the garden but it's a pretty astronomical amount. Much more than we ever have before. Just one day of forgetting to water your patch and that could be it. They're goners.
My top tip for watering? Set an alarm on your phone so you remember to water every day when it's not too bright and hot. In Tassie, 5pm or later. And absolutely drown them. Ok, so I am probably talking this one up because it's summer in Australia at the moment and while we've had a fair bit of rain in Tassie, it's a scorcher!
Top Tips for Growing Fruit in Tasmania
Ok, so mostly I know about growing vegetables in Tasmania, but we do on occasion also grow fruit. We are currently working on:
- Lemons (no produce yet)
- Olives (no produce yet)
- Cherries (heaps of produce but the birds eat all of it)
- Greengages (going so well the branches are so heavy with fruit they're hanging low)
- Tomatoes (gangbusters)
- Strawberries (awaiting our first crop)
So what are my tips for growing fruit in Tasmania? Funnily enough, they're the same for growing vegetables! Who whudda thunk it?
My top tip for fruit though, is pest control. Keep those delicious fruits out of reach of creepy crawlies and wildlife. And of course, keep them out of reach of your pets too. Many fruits are very bad and sometimes even fatal to your fur friends so make sure they don't have access.
What are your top gardening and produce tips?