Growing edible food in your family garden is an extremely rewarding activity.
Transforming a paved space or shrinking the amount of unused lawn into a vegetable garden is a fun school holiday project for kids and adults alike and offers fantastic hands-on education about food production in the home.
Our Raised Garden Beds allow anyone to set up a vegetable garden in one day thanks to their simple DIY modular design. These garden beds consist of termite and rot resistant side panels and posts that slot into each other, allowing for easy expansion and versatility of shape dependant on your outdoor space. No bolts, screws or tools are required, so you can slot together the garden beds nice and quick and spend more time doing the fun stuff—planting!
The first thing you want to do is find a suitable space outdoors that will tolerate water run off and has adequate exposure to the sun. The majority of edible plants require 5+ hours of full sun to thrive, so monitor this space throughout the day before setting up your garden beds. On extra hot days, we suggest setting up a temporary 50% shade cloth cover over your garden bed. This can be taken down once summer heat eases, rendering the position of your garden bed suitable all year round.
Measure out your chosen space and plan out your garden bed design and select the herbs, veggies and companion flowers taking note of planting distances. The 300mm Added Depth range is ideal for vegetables, while the 150mm standard depth garden beds are suitable for herbs and salads with shallower root systems. Check out the entire Raised Garden Bed range in detail right here.
If you are setting up your garden beds on pavers lay down some weed-mat first before filling them up with soil. This will ensure minimal soil run off on pavers, and will prevent lawn roots from spreading and taking over if your garden bed sits on lawn. If you are setting up your garden bed on existing soil that is free from invasive root systems, you do not need to lay down weed mat.
Fill the garden beds up with a premium quality potting mix, or create your own by mixing three bags of regular potting mix with one bag of nutrient rich compost.
- Refer to the seedling labels to find out how far apart you should plant your seedlings. Don’t forget they will grow so take care not to overcrowd your garden bed.
- Lay your seedlings out on the soil to get an idea of how your plant arrangement will look.
- When you are ready to start planting, squeeze the bottom of the seedling containers to ease the seedlings out. Gently ease apart the bottom of the roots on each seedling. This will help the small roots spread out and grow into the soil.
- Dig your holes a small amount deeper than the depth of the seedling roots. Place each seedling in its hole and fill to the top with soil. Gently press down around the root base of each seedling.
- When you are finished planting, apply a 2-inch layer of mulch around your seedlings. Do not mulch right up to the base of the plant as moist mulch gathering around the base can cause it to rot.
Check with your council or state water corporation for watering rules and restrictions that apply to your property. There may be restrictions in place around the style of watering you are allowed to use, how often you can water and which days you can water on. If you’re based in New South Wales, you might find our post on Smart Watering in NSW quite handy!
As a rule of thumb, schedule watering every 2nd/3rd day for 2-5 minutes in spring and every day for 2-5 minutes in summer. Everyone’s garden bed conditions will differ in sun exposure, temperature and air flow, so we recommend checking the soil moisture after the first few waterings and altering your watering schedule as necessary.
Our Raised Garden Beds come with a DIY irrigation system for easy watering. Connect them up to one of our Tap Timers for automated on and off operation, which is especially handy if you go away on holidays. Set the timer to water early in the morning or in the evening, when evaporation is least likely to occur. If you are restricted to hand watering or using drip irrigation, you can easily connect drippers (not included) to the black tubing in place of the provided sprinkler.
Follow these steps to set up the included irrigation:
- Insert sprinklers into the centre of your garden beds and measure out the amount of poly pipe required to join them. Cut to the length needed.
- Attach the 4mm poly pipe to the Twista Spray.
- Attach the drip faucet to the other end of the poly pipe.
- Screw the snap on adaptor onto the drip faucet and connect your garden hose.
- Connect the irrigation system of the Raised Garden Bed to 13mm poly pipe or one of our Garden Hoses and add a BTX1 Bluetooth Tap Timer for automated watering.
The great thing about vegetable gardens is that they are a constant source of activity for you and your household. From harvesting to composting and weeding, they provide lots of quality time outdoors. Staying on top of maintenance ensures your garden stays healthy throughout the season and the soil stays in peak condition for future plantings.
If you have a medium to large garden, making your own compost is a great idea. Plants require nutrient rich soil to grow, and you will need to replenish these nutrients in the soil with compost and other organic matter like manure and mulch a few times a year. You don’t need to have a large family to produce enough food scraps to make home composting worthwhile, and it will save you money buying good quality compost throughout the year. Creating compost in your own home is a wonderfully educational experience for children, teaching them the cyclical journey of edible food and plants.
With increased community awareness around the recyclable nature of food scraps in the home, selected councils around Australia are moving to or have already adopted an additional bin in their waste system—one that includes FOGO (Food Organics, Garden Organics). FOGO bin collection results in the production of high quality Australian standard compost that will be used in local parks, gardens, reserves and farms, and it diverts food and garden waste from landfill.