I have always been thoroughly impressed by the confident look of a gardener as they emerge from the garden bearing the fruits of their labour in one or both hands or even a basket full.
There is nothing quite like trying to look nonchalant while walking back to the kitchen buzzing with self pride that you have achieved an edible result from a little patch of dirt.
The same feeling emerges when faced with a unwell child or visitor and walking out to get an herb that you know you can steep in some boiling water and will help their problem.
Now, as the population of Australia becomes more and more urban and suburban, we need to retink just how to achieve this in different, specific ways.
Great tasting produce is all in the preparation. The soil, the nutrient and the environment in which they grow.
Most fruit, vegetable and herb prefer a sunny, sheltered position with no competition from surrounding trees.
If this is not possible in your case then we just need to think differently about what to plant first.
Backyard. Allotment. Veranda. Balcony. Window box or sil. Completely Indoor.
A good pH neutral,well draining loam soil that is light and airy is essential to produce healthy full-flavoured fruit and veg.
We all produce plenty of organic matter that once mixed into the soil or used as mulch on top will adequately feed your plants to then feed you. There you go, the circle of life.
It is always better to start with seed than seedlings purchased that have more than likely been grown a long way away, in an artificial environment and of the easiest variety of plant to produce en-masse.
If you buy seed, not only will you have a seedling that is already prepared for your environment, but you will have started the process that concludes with saving seed from your own plants to sow next season.
A great habit to start.
Seedlings should always be grown in a protected environment so the purchase of seed raising trays and boxes is rarely a bad idea.
Growing root vegetables from seed is also the only way you can be sure to avoid the curled, bent or retarded root system that so often happens when attempting to transplant a tray of carrot seedlings.
Your plants need to be protected from insects, birds, animals and a variety of mollusc pests, strong winds, hail, flood and blistering sun.
Fruit and veg benefit from being regularly fed and watered , feeding does not always mean feeding the same thing over and over. You need to vary the diet to suit the season.
Leaf veges such as the lettuce, cabbage and mustard greens need more nitrogen for healthy leaf growth, whereas tomatoes will need more potassium once fruit starts to form.
Choose the best varieties to suit your environment and the season.
Once you are completely aware of the temperature, wind, humidity and climate in your specific micro environment it will be an easy thing to plan your planting.
Please feel free to download the expanded article as a pdf file. UrbanGardening