Get to know the site and your plot
Make observations and get to know your site before doing anything major. Watch where the sun travels in the sky throughout the year, noting which spots get the most sun, where the micro climates are and what the weather patterns are in your neighbourhood.
Get the soil right
To create a vegie garden, add lots of gorgeous compost and manure to feed the soil and your plants. These also give body to sandy soils and help retain water and nutrients. Use both on clay-based soils, too, but also add gypsum, which helps break up heavy soils. The garden has few compost bins, so go and have a look. For manure, you can get some horse manure on Culloden Road at the horse/pony riding centre ($3 a bag).
Keep it Simple!
Choose easy-to-grow plants first. Try silverbeet, ruby chard, lettuce, bok choy, carrots, turnips and mustard greens, which are all ideal for beginners. We have seeds for the university students to help you get a start.
Pick the best plants
If you don’t grow your own seedlings and decide to buy from a nursery, choose the healthiest plants possible right from the beginning. Go for plants that aren’t pot-bound and ones without any sign of insect attack or fungal damage.
The Secret Ingredient – keep at it!
Don’t expect to get it right the first time. Remember a dead plant is not a failure, it is compost!