Stirling Times - - Seen Stepping Out -

THERE is some­thing deeply grat­i­fy­ing and en­rich­ing about grow­ing your own car­rots, let­tuces, pota­toes and corn.

Beyond the many health ben­e­fits on offer, cul­ti­vat­ing a vegie patch saves you money on gro­cery bills and of­fers a fruit­ful way of spend­ing qual­ity time out­side with the kids.

Ven­tura Homes of­fers handy tips on how to get started and make the most of your vegie gar­den.

The list is end­less in Oc­to­ber. We sug­gest you try as­para­gus, beet­root, car­rots, let­tuce, pota­toes, peas, parsnips, cab­bage, broc­coli, cu­cum­bers, leeks and radishes. Though veg­eta­bles are pretty easy to grow, they do have some ba­sic needs that you must meet in or­der for them to thrive through­out the sea­son. These in­clude: choos­ing a spot that en­joys full sun. Veg­eta­bles love a good sun­bathe – and we’re not talk­ing an hour or two of sun.

More like 6-8 hours at least (they’re greedy). If they don’t get enough sun, they won’t be as pro­duc­tive.

They also need a good soil base – one rich in or­ganic nu­tri­ents that will en­cour­age root growth. Also, en­sure your ve­g­ies en­joy plenty of wa­ter.

We have some tips on how to keep your ve­g­ies pest-free. These in­clude: sim­ply pick­ing off snails and cater­pil­lars by hand is one of the eas­i­est ways to stop them munch­ing away at your veg­eta­bles. Just don’t throw them into your neigh­bour’s gar­den!

Plant ‘com­pan­ion’ veg­eta­bles close to one an­other like basil and toma­toes, or climb­ing plants with car­rots un­der­neath. This can help con­fuse the pests.

Sick of aphids ru­in­ing all the fun? Plants such as mint, fen­nel and sun­flow­ers will help to at­tract la­dy­birds to your gar­den – and they just love feast­ing on aphids! Or, grab some white oil in­sec­ti­cide from your lo­cal gar­den cen­tre, which will soon put an end to these lit­tle pests.

To cre­ate a successful vegie patch, it pays to start small. Give your plants their own space and don’t go over­board.

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