For many years we have consistently grown a small quantity of herbs and vegetables in our back garden – as we have lived in rental properties our options have ranged from finding gaps in the existing gardens, or setting up raised garden beds or using pots.
About five years ago we moved house and just ran out of energy to start again, and ever since we have just purchased our herbs and vegetables from the supermarket. A lot of other things went on over that period of time so we just never got started again.
Family Vege Gardening Experiences
This year things have changed. Tony was the driver to get started again, and it has filled me with renewed energy to focus once again on growing things. We also decided to get our kids more involved with the vege garden which has been a lot of fun. But also sad as I realised that we had not had this shared experience over the past five years.
Tony and the kids periodically reminisce about the time I grew these amazing yellow zucchinis – with a single plant we managed to grow enough produce that season such that they have never willingly eaten a zucchini again! But they do not recall how many times we went ‘bean hunting’ when they were littler.
We have also not had a chance to pass on our knowledge about vege gardening with our children when they are of an age to remember. I fondly recall gardening with my grandmother when I was a child – so I have got a renewed drive to share these lovely family experiences. Don’t mention the word choko however – that was the vegetable that my grandmother loved and I will never willingly eat again :) .
How to Start a Container Vegetable Garden
So how did we get started? We visited the local Bunnings and discovered that they were selling a good sized tub with wheels on it – perfect for our situation! On our first visit we purchased four of these as well as potting mix and compost to fill the tubs and some leftover pots we still owned. We roughly purchased 3 parts potting mix and one part compost in bags. We also purchased some seedlings to plant – starting with strawberries, some herbs lettuce and a couple of bush tomato plants.
When we arrived home we set up the tubs, added the potting mix and compost and then watered it in until it was wet all the way through. We then planted our seedlings, paying attention to the distances they need to be apart on the label. Maybe some of them are a bit too close together but we are ok with that!
We have set it up for our daughter to water the veges every day and after a week or so you can already see them growing.
Expanding our Backyard Veggie Garden!
After the first batch we also decided to purchase some VegTrugs to try them out as raised garden beds. We had to order them online and then collect them from Bunnings.
When we returned to Bunnings to collect them we were able to easily collect them, and then purchase the additional soil and compost that were needed to fill them. We also ‘happened’ to purchase another four of the tubs on wheels plus additional seedlings and seeds!
I worked with our oldest son to construct the Vegtrugs, in all we spent about two hours constructing them – a fun project to do together.
I then worked with our daughter to fill them with soil, water them in and then plant out the seedlings and seeds. She is already enjoying watching the seedlings grow! And I also set up some trellis for the climbing plants so that they are ready over the next few weeks.
I think we are now at capacity for our vege garden in the space we have available. The next step is to keep up the daily watering, help the new tomato seedlings climb onto their frames and watch for our seeds to sprout.
Overall we are enjoying spending time on gardening projects with our children and are looking forward to being able to harvest our herbs and veges over the next period of time. We will also need to start fertisiling them as they grow bigger – but that is a project for another day.
I hope this story has inspired you to get started yourself – you can start with just one pot and build up from there if you wish!