Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Growing Cool Gardeners

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Growing Cool Gardeners

Article excerpt

Byline: Rebecca Searles

GROWING your own salad garden is easier than you think, but there are a few fundamentals you need to get right - especially when the weather starts to warm up.

Choosing your plants When choosing your plants, think about what you like in a salad. Some suggestions include lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum, spring onions, radish and maybe a few herbs such as mint.

Ornate lettuce can be harvested by only picking the outer leaves and leaving the core to keep growing. Tomato plants will give you a continual supply over many months, and you are sure to get plenty of tomatoes from a couple of plants. I find that cherry tomatoes are a great choice for the kids because they are easy to pick and eat. Cucumbers you can grow vertically as well as on the ground.

Whatever you select, just remember to plant what your family will eat. Self-sufficiency is an awesome goal to achieve. Just imagine not having to buy any salad ingredients for the spring and summer seasons.

Step 1. Position Your food garden needs to be in six to eight hours of sun a day. Most plants that produce fruit from a flower need the sun to perform this process. In a salad garden, this includes plants such as tomatoes and cucumbers. So the position of your food garden is very important. Choose a nice sunny spot that has some shade in the afternoon and is protected from high winds. A flat ground will also help with soil and water retention.

Step 2. Soil So often soil quality isn't considered when growing food. For an organic garden, your soil is your foundation and the fuel for your plants to grow big and strong. Soil quality can be improved by adding compost, manure and/or organic pellets and mixed through before planting. Your salad garden plants will feed off the nutrients in the soil and produce better quality produce.

Step 3. Planting Make sure you choose the plants that are going to be a hit in your salad bowl. Companion planting is a good way to keep your garden healthy and minimise pests. …

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