"" Family Veggie Garden: 2019

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

GROWING CABBAGE, CAULIFLOWER AND BROCCOLI


Cabbage, Cauliflower and Broccoli are all part of the Brassicas Group. Other members of this group include Kale, Brussels Sprouts, Chinese Cabbage and Turnips. There are lots of different types of these vegetables.  These plants prefer cool weather in Southern Africa. They are easy to grow, they can be grown as trans plants preferable.

SOIL PREPERATION

The Brassicas Group will grow in all types of soils. They are heavy feeders, so spread plenty of manure in the bed, as well as, a good amount of compost.

Fresh Cauliflower
Fresh Cauliflower

SOWING

Seed should be sown thinly, cover them up and firm the top. When the seedlings come through, prick out and replant into pots. Later transplant them into your well prepared bed. Water regularly.

HARVESTING

Cabbage can be cut as soon as they have good hearts. Always cut the Cauliflower early in the morning whilst the curds are moist. Broccoli flowering shoots grow out from the axils. When the shoots are about 30cm long, cut them to 50mm of their base, this results in more shoots produced later. Learn more about this veggie group.

Very good gardening books we can recommend to you click 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

GROWING GARDEN PEAS


PEAS

Growing peas gives you the choice of climbing or dwarf variety peas. We love growing tall telephone peas, as well as, rondo garden peas. Freshly picked young sweet and tender, garden peas, are a feast, which can be eaten just straight from the pod. Peas can be included in many main course dishes or as a vegetable accompanied by a meal. We are sowing peas during March and April every year.

SOIL PREPARATION

Add well-rotted compost and manure into the soil. Add a top dressing of bone meal before sowing.

SOWING

For sowing choose a well-drained area where the soil has been well prepared. Sow seeds 50mm deep. The distance between the drills will depend on the variety that is being sown. High varieties about 100cm apart, smaller varieties about 45cm apart. Give the plants protection from birds.

Tall telephone Peas in our Garden
Tall Telephone Peas in our Garden

GENERAL CARE


When the seedlings are about 75mm high, they should be encourage to climb, this can be done by erecting posts at the end of each row. Fasten wire or twine that should run the full length of the row. Mulching is a good idea to retain moisture.

HARVESTING

Pick the pods frequently to encourage even more pods. Pick peas as near to the time you intend to cook them as possible to retain sweetness. When the plants have finished fruiting, cut of the stems and put onto the compost heap. Allow the roots to retain in the ground so that they can release nitrogen into the soil.

For exciting new heirloom veggie seeds visit this site, click veggie seeds.


Thursday, June 20, 2019

GROWING HEALTHY CARROTS AND BEETROOT


GROWING HEALTHY CARROTS


An easy veggie to grow for beginners. We love growing yellow and white carrots that we can harvest over a long period. Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin a, they are also high in fibre and sugar content. They can be cooked as a vegetable and also eaten raw. There is a wide range of varieties to choose from.

SOIL PREPARATION

Carrots require deep, sandy loose soil and must also be well drained. Soil must be prepared the season before the crop is to be planted. Fresh manure will make the roots fork instead of growing straight. Add manure and compost in the previous season and dig over soil and allow to stand, it will then be easier forked down.

SOWING

Carrots will not germinate well if the soil is too cold or wet, sow in a sunny area. Do not sow all the seeds at the same time, Make successive sowings with about 2 weeks between each sowing. Mix seed with a little dry sand or flour for easier sowing, about 10mm deep. Cover the seed lightly with sand. Sowing time in Southern Africa is best between March and July. 

Enjoy lovely fresh carrots from your own backyard.


Healthy fresh Carrots
Healthy Fresh Carrots


GROWING HEALTHY BEETROOT

Beetroots give salads colour and bite, they can be preserved with onions in vinegar. We love growing red, yellow and white beetroot.

SOIL PREPARATION

Beetroots do well in light, sandy soil, but will also do well in other types of soil if they are first well prepared. Add plenty good compost and manure some time before they are planted. Just before sowing, add bone meal and rake in lightly.

SOWING

Sow seeds in rows 80cm apart and 25mm deep. After sowing cover the seeds lightly and firm over. Sow from February to April in Southern Africa. They are left in soil until they are fully mature before they are harvested.
  
GENERAL CARE

Thin out the seedlings when about 30mm high to give space between each plant. Keep the area clear of weeds. Harvesting can be pulled up as soon as they reach a suitable size. Care must be taken not to damage them so that they do not bleed.
Enjoy your own fresh beetroot.

We are always looking for unusual heirloom veggie seeds. We can recommend this site click veggie seeds

Thursday, June 13, 2019

GROWING VEGGIES CAN SAVE YOU MONEY


Most people are looking for a way to cut corners and save some money. One way that you can save a lot of money is with your food bill. Not only can you save money on your food bill, but you can also start eating healthier.

You have probably heard about organic foods. Foods that are all natural and do not contain any chemicals or preservatives. Organic vegetables usually cost a lot more than other vegetables that are grown using chemicals pesticides and other toxins. You have probably heard that organic vegetables are better for you, but do not want to spend the extra money. You are looking to get more bang out of your buck.

The way to really save money and eat healthy at the same time is to grow your own vegetables. If you have a patch of ground, you can save money by growing your veggies in the soil and wind up with veggies and fruits that are healthier than those that you buy in the store. Of course, you will have to wait until harvest time to start saving the money, but after your first harvest, you can save all year long.

Tomatoes & Basil
Tomatoes & Basil
It takes work to plant and harvest a vegetable garden, but it is good work. Working in a garden and planting veggies is actually therapeutic. When you are saving money because of your endeavers, it makes the experience even better. The hard work is getting your garden started and harvesting, as well as preserving the foods. The best of all, you can start right NOW!  You will be on your way to start saving money and eat more healthy.

If you are ready to start saving on your food bill by growing your own vegetables take tips from our family veggie garden blog and put them to use. Eat healthy foods and stop wasting your money. The tips that we give you are easy enough for anyone to follow, but they do take work. The work will pay off for you when you see how healthy your family is eating, as well as how much money you are saving.


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

HARVESTING YOUR VEGGIES


Let's have fun now!
Harvesting your organic vegetables is usually the best part of having an organic garden.  The whole family will usually volunteer to help even if only one or two has actually helped during the growing season.  The harvest time for your organic vegetables varies depending upon the plant with many vegetables ripening all season long. 

It is important that you harvest your vegetables as soon as they are ready instead of letting them stay out in the sun.  Many vegetables will rapidly deteriorate if left out after ripening losing flavor.  They will also become too mushy and tender losing their appeal entirely. 

There are some plants that can be left out after they have ripened or even harvested before they are fully ripe.  The following are a list of typical harvest times for vegetables growing in winter in Southern Africa. Make sure you check your gardens constantly around harvest time since some vegetables will ripen virtually overnight.  Even after you have brought in a large crop keep checking your garden because some vegetables simply produce more vegetables after the first crop is removed.

Woman Harvesting Veggies
Woman Harvesting Veggies

Beets


Harvest beets when they are the right size you want. Remember the beet tops can be eaten too!

Carrots

Harvest carrots when they are crisp.  Younger carrots are tenderer but older carrots are often sweeter.  If you like younger carrots pick them as soon as they are big enough and plant more for a fresh crop.

Garlic

Harvest garlic when the tops of the bulbs begin turn yellow and dry out.  The bulbs must be put on screens to dry and once they have dried trim the roots close to the bulbs and remove the loose outer sheaths before storing.

Lettuce

Harvest lettuce 50 to 60 days after planting. They can often be harvested before when they are small but they will reach their maximum size in 60 days.

Onions

Harvest onions after the tops have fallen down.  After digging them up let the onions air dry for two days before storing. 

Peas

Harvest peas when the pod is green and full but still tender.  Pods are usually ready to be harvested a week after the plant flowers.  Harvest regularly.

Radishes

Harvest radishes from the time that they are the size of large marbles and do not let them get to large.
squash when the plant is between 6 and 8 inches in diameter.  They are usually ready to pick 4 to 8 weeks after the plant flowers.

Swiss chard

Harvest very regularly for continues growth.

Instructions on harvesting vegetables might seem silly but if you do not harvest your vegetables during the correct time frame you will be unable to use them later.   Do not let all of your hard work go to waste.
Vegetables that require thinning or constant harvesting make sure you or a family member harvest the vegetables once a day or once every other day.  If you do not harvest the vegetables often the plants will soon become inactive. 

Keep on adding items to your compost pile. You will need lots of compost in future.




Tuesday, May 21, 2019

KEEP YOUR VEGGIES GROWING AND GROWING


You have now planted your own organic vegetable garden and have done everything that you can to get it started.  Unfortunately the seeds have not started sprouting or your started seeds have not grown much if it all.  

Before you throw in the towel and give up on organic gardening there are a few things that you should be doing.

First of all, have you been hand weeding your garden daily?  This might sound like a pain and stupid chore but it could make all the difference in the world.  Make a point of visiting your vegetable garden each day and carefully checking for weeds.  Do not rely on a glance from your back window to tell you whether weeds are growing or not. 

Many gardeners have done casual checks and later realized that the sprouts they thought were growing in their garden were really weeds.  Make a close inspection each day and weed by hand to make sure the job is thoroughly done. In order to get the best results dedicate 20 minutes each day to pulling weeds.

If you have been weeding your garden each day and your plants still seem to be growing slowly start adding rich, aged, compost to the slow growing vegetables. Spreading some aged compost from your composts pits will help your vegetables grow properly.


Various Vegetables
Various Vegetables

After adding compost to your vegetables every few days leads to no results consider investing in some manure from your local garden supplier.  They will often have organic manure on hand for your gardening needs and this will act as a stronger fertilizer than your compost.  If you are afraid to try manure you can invest in some aged compost purchased from a nursery first.  In many cases your compost pits will only be a few weeks old when you are trying to use them to encourage growth some older compost might just do the trick. Feed your veggies with organic liquid fertilizer, worm teas every 2-3 weeks for healthy growth.

Do not be afraid to increase the amount of water that you are giving your garden.  You should be careful not to over water your plants but you want to make sure that your plants are getting enough water to survive and thrive.  When you water your plants in the morning always check to see if the soil appears dry.  If the soil seems dry one day after watering you might want to consider increasing the amount of water you are giving them.  The soil should always be a little damp around your plants.

Lastly, do not be afraid to spray your homemade pesticide or even a bit of diluted soapy water on your plants to get rid of insects.  If you notice a lot of pests are attracted to your vegetable garden consider spraying once every ten days or once every two weeks.  Also, spray diluted soapy water directly onto vegetables that have insects on them all the time.

Our winter veggies are growing very well in our garden. This winter we have Swiss chard, Beetroot, Tall telephone Peas, Rondo Peas, Kohlrabi, Red Onions, Carrots and Garlic in the garden.

What is growing in your garden?

We enjoy reading gardening books.  If that is also your passion click gardening books.




Thursday, May 9, 2019

MAKE YOUR VEGGIE GARDEN THRIVE


Your seedlings should be doing well by now. As tempting as it might be to relax and watch the fruits of your labour you must remember that there is still work to do if you want your organic veggie garden to grow and thrive.

WATERING YOUR GARDEN

First you must remember to water your garden. During the spring and summer you will use watering as an excuse to go outside and enjoy the warm weather. On rainy days you do not need to worry about watering your garden.

One thing you must avoid is over watering your garden! When you are out looking at the garden check to see if the soil is very wet or soggy. Watering the veggie garden should be done early in the morning, before 10.00am if it's possible. Just remember, too much watering eventually drowns plants and is just as harmful as not enough watering.
Watering consistently is your ultimate goal, watering your plants consistently with the same amount of water each day will do wonders.


Tasty Swiss chard in our garden (7/05/19)
Tasty Swiss Chard in our garden 7-05-19

WEEDING YOUR GARDEN
Weeding is another important part of having an organic veggie garden. Weed will quickly overrun a vegetable garden killing the veggies and leaving you with a garden filled with weeds. If your garden is checked every day it is possible to pull weeds quickly before they have a chance to get out of control. Since you are growing an organic garden you cannot turn to tempting weed spays and chemicals, instead you should rely on old fashioned hoeing and weed pulling.  Enjoy the excersize with your family.

INSECT CONTROL
Insects are another thing that must be watched for when growing an organic veggie garden. Some insects are useful for helping a garden grow. But too many will eat your veggies before your family even has a chance to bring in an harvest. One way to help get rid of insects is to create your own organic pesticide. This can be done by taking two teaspoons of dish liquid soap and mixing it with one cup of vegetable oil. Add a couple of spoons of this mixture to water in a spray bottle and spray the areas most heavily affected. Onions and Garlic are two veggies that are perfect for repelling insects and certain herbs like Basil can also help.
There are other things that organic veggie growers have to look out for in addition to insects. We will discuss all of these in future posts.
Keep on enjoying your veggie garden.


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

SOWING THE VEGGIE SEEDS


Now that you have decided what to grow it is time to plant your garden. First, take some time to plan out how you want to set up your garden. You should have a good idea of what to plant and exactly where you want to plant it. Get a piece of paper and sketch a plan for your veggie garden.
Make sure the area that you start out with is not too big. You want to start out modestly and then built up once you are comfortable with veggie gardening and know what you want to plant more of. Dig up the soil in the area where you want to plant, a few inches to loosen it.  Spread the compost and manure and dig in to about a spade depth (500mm).

Beetroot in our garden
Beetroot in our garden 30-4-19

It is getting closer to winter now for us in Africa so we will start with our family favourites.

Garden peas, Beetroot, Lettuce

Always pay attention to the seed packets instructions regarding how deep and far apart to sow seeds. Now be patient and wait for your seedlings to appear.

Apart from the above 3 veggies we suggested to start off with there is off coarse a lot of other veggies to grow in winter. Let us look at the others.

For direct sowing like our 3 favourites.

Broad beans, Carrots, Onions, Leeks, Garlic, Radish, etc.

For sowing in trays and to plant at a later stage.

Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kale, Swiss chard, Celery, Parsley etc.

You can also buy veggie seedlings from your local nursery, but sowing seed is so much more exciting. We always enjoy the moment when the first seeds sprout. Keep the area where you have sown your seeds moist but not soggy and watch them grow into plants that will give you your veggies to harvest.

Let us know when your first seeds sprout and enjoy the moment.

Friday, April 26, 2019

PREPARING YOUR VEGGIE GARDEN AREA


Before you can start with your veggie garden you will need a place to plant them. You can start your organic garden in any location that you feel will be suitable for growing veggies. Choose a location that will get a good amount of sunlight during the day. It is also possible to grow veggies in pots or containers. The size of your organic veggie garden is entirely up to you. Do not be afraid to start small and build up to a larger one at a later stage. Do not be discourage if you feel you do not have as much space as you would like for your new garden. You are only starting out and working with the recourses that are currently available.


Green garden veggies


GARDEN TOOLS
a Few old fashioned tools are the only things you will need to get started. You will need a good spade (shovel) to dig your garden area. a Garden rake and hoe will also be necessary and maybe a strong pair of gloves.

PREPARING THE SOIL
Once you have decided where you are going to plant your vegetables go to your backyard and remove all rocks and weeds that grows in that area. Start digging and loosen the soil and spread the compost from your compost pile, as well as manure and bone meal over the garden area. Dig in. By doing this you are creating an area rich in nutrients for your veggies to grow. Keep the soil damp but not too soggy.  
In out next post we will start to sow seeds and planting seedlings.

Monday, April 22, 2019

DECIDING WHAT TO GROW FIRST


Once you decided to start your veggie garden you need something to plant in it. For many choosing what veggies to grow is the fun part to imagine what type of vegetables and herbs you will see shooting up from your new garden. There are many organic vegetable seeds available. In fact, there are so many seeds to choose that you can find yourself completely overwhelmed.

For beginners it is important that you stick to veggies that are easy to grow. Vegetables that you have not usually eaten before or ever thought of growing you might be surprised by the results. Organic gardeners have found that veggies they usually hated when purchased canned or frozen tasted delicious when harvested from their own backyard.  The following are a few suggested vegetables we grew originally, that are easy to grow and a delicious treat.

Tomatoes with Basil



THREE STARTER SUMMER VEGETABLES

1. Tomatoes
Tomatoes are a popular veggie to grow at home, because they can grow in all climates. Many different varietes available many of which do not require any stakes to grow against. Cherry tomatoes are especially popular and are great in salads and as appetizers in many recipes. It is important they get enough sunlight and water.

2. Green Peas
Green peas can be planted as soon as the cold weather breaks. You can purchase seeds that will grow in a bush or those that will grow against a pole or stake. For small gardens pole beans are recommended.

3. Sweet Peppers & Chillies
Peppers are great to grow if you are working with a small amount of space or in pots or containers. You can pick peppers as you need them.

THREE STARTER WINTER VEGETABLES

1. Garden Peas
A favourite veggie for many children. Growing organic peas is a great idea, and a great source of fresh food.

2. Beets
Beets will grow beautiful in a well composted area and will always be much better than anything you will find in a can.

3. Lettuce
An easy must have if you are a salad eater. Many varieties available.

THREE STARTER HERBS
Basil (companion with Tomatoes) Thyme and Parsley.




Wednesday, April 17, 2019

A BACKYARD VEGGIE GARDEN IS VERY REWARDING


Our family enjoy our vegetable garden in our backyard right through the year. The joy of harvesting fresh organic veggies. With this Blog we want to inspire more people, young and old to join us enjoying this amazing hobby.

We are not experts in this field but through the years we collected some very useful knowledge. Keep is simple is our motto, not to make it to technical and difficult. So we will keep our discussions practical and easy to apply. Start your own organic vegetable garden faster than you expected.

A variety of fresh veggies



Starting a home veggie garden is much easier than many people realize even if you have never seen a home backyard vegetable garden before. You can start your garden out small to get comfortable with growing vegetables and then add to it as the time goes on. You will be amazed at how easy it is and will wonder why you did not start your own veggie garden years ago.

Grow healthy vegetables for yourself, friends and family members. Spend a few minutes outdoors everyday monitoring your growing garden and enjoying the weather.

Vegetable gardening can even become a family pastime.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

COMPOST ALSO KNOWN AS BLACK GOLD


Before you start a veggie garden you need organic compost. Compost is something that you will need to help your veggies thrive. Rich compost will give your soil the minerals necessary to help your vegetables to grow well. It is very easy to make compost using materials that you have on hand.
Choose an outdoor sunny spot for your compost pile, about  3-2m size. You can also easily make a container or buy one at your hardware store. The compost pile MUST be started well before you plan to plant.

WHAT TO ADD TO YOUR COMPOST PILE:
Vegetable and Fruit peels, Shredded newspaper, Egg shells, Coffee Grinds, Tea bags, Manure (Cattle, Horse, Pig, Rabbit  ETC)  Collect waste from your kitchen and garden. Aim for equal amounts of "Green and Brown" waste.
"Green" waste includes fruits and veggies. "Brown" waste includes wood shavings, dry leaves and newspaper.

WHAT NOT TO ADD TO A COMPOST PILE:
Dairy and animal products, animal bones which will start to smell and attract pests. Fats, Oils and pet waste. Disease or insect ridden plants will contaminate your compost making it unuseable.

Compost pile

Sprinkle the compost with water every now and then this will help to break everything down. Your compost pile should be about knee height.  Wait a few weeks and you will have good organic compost.  Turn your pile every  2-3 weeks with a garden fork, because your pile also needs oxygen.
If you are someone growing veggies in limited space using pots or containers you might want to purchase good organic compost from a garden centre. 
As you can see that it is easy to make your own organic compost or also known as black gold.