Never kept a veggie patch before? Check out these simple tips that are perfect for beginner gardeners, so that you can enjoy your home-grown endeavours from planting to table!

1. Start small

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment when you’re buying seeds or seedlings, but the more plants you buy, the more plants you need to care for.

Keep it simple and think about the fruit and vegies that you and your family most love to eat. Choose those varieties, but keep it to two or three to begin with, and don’t buy a huge number of plants in one go.

2. Keep your expectations reasonable

While you’ll probably be surprised by just how many veggies you’ll harvest, it’s important to keep in mind that your patch isn’t likely to mean that trips to the supermarket are a thing of the past. Don’t forget that the veggies you buy in the shops are produced on a commercial scale, and your little patch probably isn’t going to yield enough to feed your entire family – but what you do produce will be delicious and well worth it!

3. Be neat and precise

When planting your veggie patch, it will pay later to put some thought into where you pop your plants. Have a look at the labels to see how far apart to plant them, and follow the instructions to allow them enough room to grow into.

Plant tall or climbing crops towards the back, so that they don’t block sunshine from hitting smaller plants or make harvesting difficult once they have grown.

Planting in rows will help you to easily and quickly identify your plants – and the weeds!

4. Create paths between beds

You’ll need to be getting up close and personal with your plants to check for pests and diseases and of course, harvest! If your patch is on the larger side, build paths into the design so that you can easily access all your plants.

5. Stagger crop plantings

It’s very tempting to plant all your seedlings at once, but it makes sense to stagger your seedling plantings.  This way you will have a usable volume of veggies available over a longer period of time, rather than more than you can eat ready to harvest all at once!

If you do find yourself with an excess, consider giving away some of your yummy produce – or for a tomato crop, cook up a big batch of pasta sauce and bottle it. For excess herbs, blend them with a little oil and freeze them in ice cube trays - then just pop a cube into the pan for flavoured cooking oil.