Grow some spring veggies and save money

Grow some spring veggies and save money

With the price of fruit and veggies rising at the supermarket, growing vegetables in Australia can not only help you save some money, but is also a great way to get the kids into the garden. Beneficially, you don’t need to grow a large amount of produce to save money.

If you haven’t set up a garden before, heading along to your local bookstore is a great idea.

There are some really useful books for beginner gardeners, including Peter Cundalls The Practical Australian Gardener, How to Garden when You’re New to Gardening from the Royal Horticultural Society and the Yates Garden Guide. Make sure to grab yourself the Australian Gardening Calendar as well, which will give you a guide on what to plant each month.

Drop in and see the team at Collins Booksellers or The Book Place, both on Commercial St W, and see what they have in stock.

Bunnings is obviously a great place to get started with buying seedlings due to having a wide range, but there are some other fantastic options including the Mount Gambier Garden Centre who stock a huge variety of fruit trees, nut trees, seasonal produce and other edible plants. If you prefer to shop online, The Seed Collection is a Dandenong Ranges local business with a great range of seeds to try.

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What should I grow to save money?

Most people tend to start off with the easy to grow options – tomatoes, carrots, radish and so on. While these are great to grow, sowing seeds that will save you money in the long run are a better option. The biggest returns from your garden will come in the form of veggies that are expensive to buy. Cherry tomatoes, baby cucumbers, melons, beans, beetroot, salad leaves, broccoli and capsicum are great options to start with.

Another good tip is to grow produce that doesn’t take up a lot of space. Herbs can be grown in small pots on the windowsill, tomatoes can be grown in pots, dwarf fruit trees can produce a lot of fruit once established (while the output often starts small, it grows yearly). There is a great variety of fruit and veg out there that can be grown at home saving you money. It is really worth weighing up the cost as well – a blueberry bush might cost you $20 to start off with, but over the years you’ll get kilos of fruit off that bush.

Did you know that you can also grow produce from veggie scraps? Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, melons, spring onions and more can all be grown from your food waste. This is a great way to save money and fill out your veggie garden.

Compost and worm farms are a great way to recycle your veggie scraps and City of Mount Gambier residents can get up to 50% of RRP for a compost bin, worm farm or bokashi bin to help cut your food waste in half.

What grows best in Mount Gambier?

Every season brings new growing opportunities, and this spring there is plenty you can grow for fresh fruit and veggies directly from the garden (trust us, they taste much better!). Some of the most popular options for spring growing include:

  • Basil
  • Broccoli
  • Capsicum
  • Chilli
  • Sweet corn
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

You can find a full list of seasonal produce with this vegetable planting calendar from the City of Mount Gambier.

Our tips on growing your own

1. Start small. A small vegetable garden can be a great way to get started, and it’ll give you plenty of opportunities to learn about vegetable gardening.

2. Be sure to research which plants will grow well in your area as well as in each season before planning your garden.

3. Get organised. This will help keep things clean and easy to manage, making it easier for you to focus on growing healthy vegetables!

4. Plant what you like to eat but don’t be afraid to try one new thing each season.

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