Tips

Spring’s the season to start growing vegies

cherry-tomatoes

Have you thought about growing your own vegies but never quite got around to doing anything about it? Well, spring’s the best time of year to put your vegie-growing plans into action.

Start by choosing a sunny sheltered part of the garden. If it’s impossible to find a suitable garden bed, don’t give up. Some of the best vegie gardens are grown in pots.

Dig some Dynamic Lifter, Yates Blood & Bone and some old compost or manure into the soil. In acidic areas (where azaleas flourish and hydrangeas flower blue) add some Yates Garden Lime or Dolomite to the soil.

As the weather warms pests will take every opportunity they can get to attack your vegies. Fortunately Yates Nature’s Way Natrasoap will control many sap-sucking pests – like aphids and white fly – without leaving nasty chemicals. Success or Dipel provide low toxic solutions for chewing caterpillars. Yates Nature’s Way Fruit Fly Control will protect tomatoes from the difficult-to-control fruit fly.

What to Grow?

The choice at this time of year is extensive, although make allowances for local conditions. If your soil is still cold or you experience spring frosts, wait a few more weeks before planting.

Tomatoes

Home grown tomatoes are favourites but they can sometimes be a bit challenging for beginners. The easiest are the cherry tomatoes (pictured) like Tiny Tim or Small Fry. Small Fry plants can get quite tall and will need some support but compact-growing Tiny Tim is excellent for pots. Dusting regularly with Yates Tomato & Vegetable Dust will help stop pests and diseases from attacking tomato plants.

Chillis and capsicum

These are closely related to tomatoes and grow in similar conditions. Try to avoid planting in a spot where tomatoes, potatoes or other family members have been grown for a few years.

Beans

Beans are possibly the easiest vegetables for first timers. They grow readily from seed once the soil is warm and, if picked often, will go on producing for many weeks. Yates seed packet range includes dwarf beans and two climbers – Stringless Blue Lake and Purple King.

Carrots

Majestic Red is a sweet carrot variety with good flavour and colour. Carrots need open, free-draining, preferably sandy, soil. Add some superphosphate to the soil before planting, because phosphorus is the nutrient that encourages root growth.

Cucumber family

The group of vegetables called cucurbits includes cucumbers, pumpkins, zucchini and squash. They all germinate and grow best during warm weather and should be sown into the top of a mound of well-drained soil. One of the most popular cucumber varieties is Yates Burpless, which many people find is less likely to cause problems with indigestion.

Eggplant

Once classed as exotic, eggplants have now become part of the mainstream Australian diet

Eggplants take a long time to bear so it’s best to start them off as early as possible. Feed the plants in the early stages with Thrive soluble fertiliser. It’s high in nitrogen, so will encourage rapid growth. Once the plants reach maturity, switch to bloom-promoting Thrive Flower & Fruit.


Comments

This area is for general comments from members of the public. Some questions or comments may not receive a reply from Yates. For specific gardening advice visit Ask an expert Alternatively you may wish to contact us.