Healthy, nutritious soils produce healthy, nutrient dense food. Take time to prepare your soil correctly and you will nourish the plants and get better results.
Generally you can harvest your food when it appears ready to eat. If you have any doubt, have a taste straight from the garden – you will quickly get a sense from its size, colour and taste.
Extreme weather presents challenges for plants. In very hot conditions, most plants require some shading such as a shade cloth over them. If that’s not possible, ensure they are watered early in the morning and at the end of the day to keep them hydrated during a heat wave.
Plants also struggle with extreme cold and frosts. To protect them, simply cut out plastic bottles around your young plants, or use plastic bags with the bottom cut out with three or four bamboo sticks around them to keep the warmth in and cold out.
Planting position (The asterisk * represents the amount of sun needed)***
Window, Balcony or Garden Box?Balcony or garden box
FeedingExtra feeding not essential
Watering (The asterisk * represents the amount of water needed)*
Growing time10 to 14 weeks
Good companion plantsCarrots, corn, lettuce, spinach
Other tipsDon't kill with kindness – don't let mulch touch the plants.
FeedingLiquid feed fortnightly
Watering (The asterisk * represents the amount of water needed)**
Good companion plantsCarrot, eggplant, lettuce, onion, oregano, silverbeet, spinach, tomato
Planting position (The asterisk * represents the amount of sun needed)**
FeedingLiquid feed after 4 weeks
Growing time8 to 14 weeks
Good companion plantsLeeks, lettuce, chives, viola, rosemary
Other tipsDon't harvest after 18 weeks.
Planting position (The asterisk * represents the amount of sun needed)*
Watering (The asterisk * represents the amount of water needed)***
Good companion plantsBeans, tomatoes, leeks, thyme
Other tipsThe paler in colour, the sweeter it is. 2 to 3 weeks before harvest, put a 2L milk container (bottom cut out) around the celery to limit the light
Good companion plantsBeans, corn, lettuce, kohlrabi
Other tipsThe more you harvest, the more you'll grow.
Window, Balcony or Garden Box?Window, balcony or garden box
FeedingLiquid feed at planting
Growing time6 to 10 weeks
Good companion plantsStrawberries, corn
HarvestPick what you need
Other tipsSprinkle coffee grounds/eggshells around seedlings to keep snails away.
Window, Balcony or Garden Box?Garden box
Growing time12 to 16 weeks
Good companion plantsCorn, citrus
HarvestWhen the vine has died
Other tipsMulch well. Can store for up to 6 months after harvest.
Growing time6 weeks
Good companion plantsAll rounder
Growing time12 to 14 weeks
Good companion plantsBeans, lettuce, silverbeet, spinach
HarvestAs they ripen
Other tipsMulch well to prevent fungal disease and pest invasion - beat the birds to your harvest!
FeedingExtra feeding not essential
Good companion plantsCapsicum, chilli, basil
Other tipsProvide some shelter from wind. Avoid planting tomatoes where tomatoes, potatoes, chillies or eggplants have been the previous year. Also stake your tomato plants.
Growing time6 to 8 weeks
Good companion plantsLettuce, capsicum, corn, silverbeet, spinach, tomatoes, parsley
HarvestWhen approx 15-20cm long
Other tipsKids love seeing the zucchinis grow to huge sizes – sacrifice a few for 'super-growing' and eat the rest.
FeedingRegular liquid fertiliser
HarvestRegular - as you need
Other tipsThe more you pick, the more you'll get. Regular harvesting encourages more growth – remove any flowers to encourage more growth.
FeedingLittle to no feeding
Growing time4+ weeks ongoing
Good companion plantsOnion, cabbage, apple, peach
Other tipsChives produce gorgeous pinky flowers which are also great for salads.
Other tipsA most versatile herb in the kitchen – loves protection from winds.
Other tipsFun fact - oregano is the wild herb form of marjoram (PS pinch flowers for continued herb growth).
Other tipsAvoid planting near thirsty plants – great steeped in hot water with honey for sore throats (but avoid if pregnant!).
For a variety of reasons, including lifestyle and ethical choices, some people choose to eat a plant rich diet. To find out more visit the Better Health Channel.