Smart Living Tip: How to Grow Your Own Vegetables

Saturday, March 12, 2016

I by no means possess any green fingers, but it's become a habit of mine to keep a plant or two by my side in every house I've stayed in. It started with herbs - mint, mostly - before phasing in and out of peace lilies, aloe veras, beans... All easy to grown and maintain stuff. This time, I decided to give a small vegetable patch a go. Just a little corner of our garden, you know, nothing too fancy. 

We bought three wooden buckets and filled them with soil. Cherry tomatoes, lettuce, capsicum. It's lovely to watch your own vegetables grow, though slowly at first. Remembering to water them becomes a habit after a while, too. Most of the time I'd go overboard with plucking the unwanted leaves, because you don't want the nutrients to go wasted on the shoots that are not going to give you anything, do you? In almost no time at all, the tomatoes and lettuces were ready. Making salads with your own freshly picked vegetables is a joy and a source of some small pride. 

You learn things along the way too, as much about your nurturing patience as about the plants themselves. Such as: 
  • Do not let the lettuce to flower, which tends to happen all of a sudden when the weather turns warm. 
  • The ever-changing Auckland weather - warm, wet, windy, sunny - means that the tomato branches are prone to going moldy, sadly. To prevent this, you should treat your seedlings and soil before planting. 
  • Carrots are very sensitive, so it's better to grow from seeds than to transfer from pot to patch as seedlings. They were my biggest failures to date. 
  • Capsicums are slow to grow! They are testing my patience big time these days. 
I cannot wait to try out new plants, vegetables or otherwise. Influenced by my enthusiasm, M has started building her own balcony planters. It's such a fun and educating exercise, I'd recommend to everyone, especially those with their own gardens and little children. 

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