How you can have your very own veggie garden.\u00a0 Have you ever considered starting a veggie garden in your backyard? It actually takes a lot less effort than you might think, and it can also save you a significant amount of money on your grocery bill! You\u2019ll also enjoy much fresher and tastier produce than what you could ever hope to find in a supermarket. Follow these simple tips and you could be eating the fruits (or veggies) of your labour in no time! Decide on which veggies you actually want to eat The first step for starting a veggie garden is deciding which veggies you actually want to grow. Consider what you and your family will need throughout the season \u2013 some vegetables will provide you with food all season, while others will only sprout once. Tomatoes are a great choice, as they will provide you with fruit for the entire season, while carrots and corn will only produce once. Make sure you do your research \u2013 determine which fruits and vegetables are coming into their season, and match those options with what you and your family want to eat. Choose a spot where your veggies will thrive The next step for starting a veggie patch\u00a0is finding a space for your garden to grow. If you don\u2019t have space in your yard, consider using planters. You can fit containers in small spaces, so even the tiniest of backyards can become a thriving veggie patch. Two of the most important things when starting a veggie patch is water and sunlight. Do your research \u2013 the amount of water and direct sunlight they need varies depending on which veggies you plant. They also need healthy soil. Most veggies do best in soil that is damp and rich in organic matter. Plant your veggies This is pretty important \u2013 the layout of your veggies can affect how well they grow. If you\u2019re a beginner gardener, it might be a good idea to start with container gardening. Basically, the bigger your container is, the more likely it is that your veggies will flourish. This is because larger pots hold more soil, and therefore they hold moisture for longer. When it comes to choosing the container, the only real requirements are that it is large enough to hold the plant and that it has holes for adequate drainage. Again, do your research \u2013 some plants will need larger spaces to grow, while some are capable of sprouting in small pots. For example, tomatoes usually need a container that is at least 50cm across. You can make a gardening container from materials easily found at any local hardware store, and there are plenty of tutorials online to show you how to do it. Make sure the soil is healthy Your vegetables won\u2019t grow properly if your soil is unhealthy. Luckily, there\u2019s a really easy way to test the health of your soil! All you have to do is soak the soil, wait a day, then grab a handful and squeeze it. If you can feel water coming out as if you\u2019re squeezing a sponge, you\u2019ll probably need to add some compost to improve the drainage. If the soil doesn\u2019t compact and falls apart after being squeezed, chances are it\u2019s too sandy. You can add compost to fix this as well! What you\u2019re after is a texture similar to that of a chocolate cake. The soil should break into crumbs when you poke it \u2013 this will mean it\u2019s in ideal condition. Keep an eye out for pests and diseases Unfortunately our veggies aren\u2019t invincible. There are a number of pests and diseases around that can have a negative effect when starting veggie gardens. Luckily, insect infestations can easily be prevented with products from your local hardware store. Drape some row covers, which are lightweight sheets of transparent plastic, over your veggies to prevent a lot of common insects from attacking your veggies. You can also spray some garden variety pesticides \u2013 but make sure you do your research before you spray anything! Finally, the part we\u2019ve all been waiting for\u2026 It\u2019s finally time to pick your veggies! You shouldn\u2019t worry too much about waiting for the right time to pick, but it\u2019s certainly a good idea to do some research. There is a general rule of thumb: if it looks like it\u2019s ready to eat, it probably is. There you have it: how to grow your very own veggies. Remember, research is your best friend. Do what the professionals tell you, and before you know it you\u2019ll be enjoying some tasty fruit and vegetables from your backyard! Read here to learn about bee-keeping in your own backyard or get some tips on a DIY hanging planter. Australian Outdoor Living is passionate about helping people love their life outdoors. 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