Starting a permaculture garden can be daunting if you have never planted before. The benefits of stepping out of your comfort zones are plenty. Creating an organic garden:
1. Increases carbon in the soil.
2. Aids in cleaning air and water.
3. Creates goodness for your family. Organic veggies have more flavour, so you get the real taste of food. Also, an organic garden is a positive contribution to the world as it reduces the continual poisoning of our planet.
So if you’re ready to get your hands dirty with your little ones, experiment with planting these vegetables as they are perfect for the novice gardener. If you are interested in documenting the process for your homeschooling experience, check out the Permaculture Garden Journal here. Simple to use and adjust to your specific needs, each page will assist you in designing, planting, harvesting, and maintaining your garden.
As a general rule, plant seeds at a depth of two times the width or diameter of the seed. Cover the seed with soil and lightly press but don’t compact it.
Cherry tomatoes are super easy to grow. First, choose a sunny position in your garden. Next, squeeze a cherry tomato into the soil and cover the seeds gently with garden soil. The tomato bush will be hardy and abundant. Add a little natural fertilizer, such as seaweed or homemade brew, when the plant starts to flower. Finally place mulch around the small plants, and after 60 days, you’ll begin to get juicy tomatoes.
Pumpkin seeds often sprout from the compost pile. Seedlings enjoy a sunny position in the garden. Throw seeds directly into the garden bed. Pumpkin is a little greedy for space, so the plant may start to grow on top of other plants. Train the shoots to grow up a trellis as a vertical garden. When pumpkins turn orange, around 90 to 120 days after planting, they are ready to pick. Cut the stems with a sharp knife, leaving a short piece of the branch. This will keep the pumpkin from decaying on the vine.
Beans are also great for travelling in vertical spaces. Read more about vertical spaces here. They also like lots of sun. The seeds are easily planted in fertile garden soil. The shoots are usually vigorous. You will know when the beans are ready as the pods will be green and tender around 50 to 60 days after planting the seeds. Snap them off at the stems as the plants will keep producing. Mulch heavily around the base of the plant.
Radishes are a wonder to eat straight from the garden with the extra benefit of sprouting fast. After four weeks, they are ready! Radishes enjoy a semi-sunny position in the garden. If there is too much sun, they may bolt to seed. Plant them in well-drained garden soil. Mix sand into the soil with some mature compost if the ground is hard. This allows the roots to develop evenly.
Cucumber is another easy plant to grow. Again, you will need space in the garden as it likes to spread, or once again, try planting vertically.
Cucumbers plants like a warm sunny area in the garden that is mulched well. They will start flowering at about 14 to 22 weeks, so give them a little love with natural fertiliser. As the cucumbers start to grow, pick them regularly, as more cucumbers will follow.
Lettuce likes partially shaded areas with well-drained soil—mulch lettuce plants to reduce water loss. Lettuce takes about seven weeks to mature. If lettuce is overly bitter, the plant might lack a little water. If you choose leaf lettuce, snap off the outer leaves, and the lettuce will keep growing.
Zucchini needs lots of space in the garden. They like similar conditions to cucumbers. About eight weeks after planting seeds, the zucchini will be ready to harvest. They are much tastier when kept small. Large zucchini can be tasteless but is excellent for stuffing. Attract bees to the garden by planting flowers next to the zucchini as they will happily pollinate the zucchini flowers.
Growing potatoes should be your thing if you are a lover of chips. Potatoes can be grown in stacks or long beds. Plant a seeding potato. As the leaves grow taller, either add more straw or mature compost. When the leaves of the potato plant die back, they are ready to harvest. Remove the potatoes from the soil when the weather has been dry for several days. Don’t expose them to light, as they will grow green. Keep them in a dry, dark cupboard.
Corn is like grass. It likes well-drained soils and is hungry for nitrogen, so apply a good dose of your natural fertiliser. Corn is ready when the silk turns brown at about 60 to 100 days. Eat the same day as picking. They will be delicious.
Carrots are a cool-weather crop. If your soil is clayish, mix with the sand, mature compost, and double-dig to enable carrots to grow deep. Carrots are ready to harvest around ten weeks after they are sown. Pick carrots when needed. Cut the green leaves off and use them in cooking. The green tops are similar tasting to parsley and full of nutrients.
- As your vegetables start to grow, plant flowers you can eat and medicinal herbs in between your vegetables.
- If it doesn’t go to plan, don’t panic, send us some questions, and we will try to answer them. Contact through social media.
Once you feel confident with your organic garden, you can turn all your lawn into lunch. See how we turned our front lawn into lunch here.
If you are finding that you need more support, easy reading and good conversation, check out the Complete Permaculture Garden Series here.