• Do the ground work now, and look forward to the savings you'll make in the long run at the green grocer. (Image credit: Byron Smith).

  • Do the ground work now, and look forward to the savings you'll make in the long run at the green grocer. (Image credit: Unknown).

How to plant what you want to eat (and keep it alive)

It certainly beats buying a bunch of rocket at the shops for five dollars doesn’t it.

what you’ll need

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Kitchen gardens have been popping up at restaurants and cafes, mainly because chefs are increasingly looking to design their menu around seasonal, fresh, and locally sourced produces.

Byron Smith from Urban Growers (you can read about that time he taught us to grow herbs here), suggests the easiest way for anyone looking to create their own at home is to start with the simple stuff, such as herbs, including rosemary, thyme, lemongrass, or chilli.

“Plant what you buy. Herbs are generally easier and provide an ongoing supply sooner. It beats buying a sprig of thyme at the shops for $2,” he says.

The best bit about starting with herbs is that they don’t take a lot of room, so you can grow them in pots: vertically or horizontally. The only thing to remember is the deeper the pot the better, so that way it can hold plenty of water.

For the adventurous lot, who are also lucky enough to have a garden, Smith says 3 square metres should keep you busy; it’s just a matter of how much of what you eat, do you want to grow.

But whether you have the space, or not, the most essential thing any edible garden needs is sun – and lots of it, at least six hours, Smith says.

“If you have that then the rest is possible.”

The other tip Smith offers to help maintain a healthy garden is to keep the soil alive and kicking.

“Soil is a big topic and so much you can do with it to increase garden health. Keep and an eye on your garden, observe the plants reactions to weather, experiment, try new plants and make sure you water them!”

Other tools you’ll need are:

A shovel to prepare a nice little patch in the sunny part of your garden;

A rake to smooth things out in preparation for planting seeds;

A hand trowel to dig little holes for your seedlings;

A watering can to hydrate your seedlings; and

Wine for your hard work!

 

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  • how-to-grow-kitchen-herbs-pepper-passport-3

    Grow your own herb garden at home and save

    Byron Smith of the very slick Urban Growers, shares his tips on starting your own herb collection – and keeping them alive.