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Start your Vegetable Garden for Spring

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At Merrell, we believe in joining forces with nature while taking charge of our own well-being. Starting a vegetable garden can help you to optimise your movements in nature, while also making you and your household self-sufficient.

With Spring just a month away, we have a few tips to get your vegetable garden started and ready for the new season.

Preparation & Planning

Most important for both plants and people is the environment! Here are some general tips for creating the best environment for your new vegetable garden.

Location

Start by choosing a location in your garden which receives a generous amount of sun. Bear in mind that the size of your garden will affect the types of vegetables which you can grow:

  • Large gardens – plants which spread quickly, such as squash, patty pans, cucumber and watermelon
  • Small gardens – compact growing vegetables such as spinach, beetroot, lettuce, bush beans, eggplant, chillies, summer cabbage and leeks
  • Pot plant gardens – herbs, cherry tomato, peas, beans, chillies and eggplant

Pro Tip: Veggies like lettuce, beetroot and spinach can be used as borders to further divide and organise your garden.

Soil

Start on a blank canvas like a true artist and clean out your chosen area of weeds, leaves and dead roots from the Winter. 

Next, make sure the soil will be a good home for your future plants, as your soil must be rich in nutrients for your plants to grow well. So either replace your current soil if it is filled with sand or rocks, or if the soil looks good, enrich it with fertiliser or compost.

Seeds

Growing veggies from seeds is much cheaper than buying seedlings. Even more cost-effective is the fact that you can store leftover seeds in their packet in the fridge or in a dark drawer to ensure they remain usable in the future.

Every vegetable has its own specifications for optimal growth, and you will find all of the planting instructions on the seed packet (planting depth, spacing, watering schedule, etc.).

Sliver

What to Plant this Month in Time for Spring

Between mid-August to the end of October is a great time to start a salad garden, ensuring that you always have a fresh salad to accompany your meals. This could include tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, sprouts and radish.

Other general herb and vegetable options for a Spring garden include: basil, celery, coriander, rocket, fennel, parsley, green peppers, green mealies, cherry tomatoes, beetroot, baby marrows, carrots, rhubarb, runner beans, sweetcorn and pumpkins, amongst many other summer type vegetables.

But because a country like South Africa has such a wide range of varying climates, see our list of the ideal vegetables to plant in August and September according to your province:

  • Eastern Cape – beans (bush or climbing), cabbage, carrot, corn, cucumber, eggplant, melons (including watermelon), pumpkin, radish
  • Western Cape – beans (climbing), beetroot, celery, corn, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, melons (including watermelon), parsnip, peas, peppers, potatoes, pumpkin, radish, tomato
  • KwaZulu-Natal – beans (climbing), beetroot, cabbage, carrot, corn, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, melons (including watermelon), parsnip, peppers, potatoes, pumpkin, radish, Swiss chard, spinach, tomato
  • Gauteng, Free State, Northwest, Limpopo, Mpumalanga – beans (bush or climbing), beetroot, carrot, celery, corn, cucumber, lettuce, melons (including watermelon), parsnip, peas, peppers, potatoes, pumpkin, radish, Swiss chard, spinach, tomato
  • Northern Cape – beans (broad or climbing), beetroot, cabbage, carrot, celery, corn, cucumber, eggplant, onion, parsnip, peas, peppers, pumpkin, radish, Swiss chard, spinach, tomato

So start getting those green fingers busy and becoming self-sufficient this Spring! Share your gardening pics with us on social media as you start to see results and reap what you’ve sowed.

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Gape Kgadiete , almost 4 years ago

Thanks for the advise. I will use most of it as I prepare for my fruit and vegetable garden. Since it's virgin so I'll need guidance.

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Godfrey, almost 4 years ago

I have started my gardening journey at the end of Feb.Basically this year was merely a trial run testing with seeds and seedlings.I worked extensively in getting the area weedfree although snails are still my worst enemy.I had to remove all my butternut squash wintermelon and watermelon plants due to pests.I got some tomatoes but soon their time also ran out.I had a very good in the region of 500 broadbean harvest.Currently I have Gem leaf lettuce baby spinach onions greenpeppers and broadbeans.

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Rachel Wilson , almost 4 years ago

How can i subscribe to your blog?

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Rachel Wilson , almost 4 years ago

Love this, have watched other gardening channels about growing zones , but none in South Africa. Very informative.

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Roja NAIKER , almost 4 years ago

I would love to plant herbs in containers as I don't have ground space.