A Japanese GardenEclectic Garden, Perth
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5. And vegetable bedsNever underestimate proximity to the kitchen with an edible garden. The longer the trek, the less you will use it. Be realistic about how much time you have to maintain the garden when you are working out the size of beds. It may be that growing a few salad greens and some herbs is about all you can manage. Most vegetables need plenty of sun but are not keen on wind so think about this when locating beds. Soil is, of course, crucial. If yours is not that great, raised beds like these ones designed by Sustainable Garden Design might be the answer. Don’t forget access to the garden. You’ll soon get tired of lugging bags of potting mix through the house if there’s no side path. And will watering be relatively easy?
9. Keep kitchen gardens weededWarm spring weather encourages weeds to germinate, so get the hoe out and remove them while they’re small. It’s much, much harder to get rid of weeds if you let them mature, particularly if you wait until they flower and spread their seed around the garden. Weeds harbour slugs, snails and other pests and take valuable nutrients that your vegies need. Mulching around young plants will not only help keep weeds and pests away but also retain moisture in the soil.
Sourcing local produce is a great way to cut down on travel miles and boost your local economy – and you can’t get more local than your own backyard! Growing your own herbs means fewer trips to the supermarket, less plastic used in packaging and less money spent in the long-term on groceries. This garden features an impressive installation of Corten steel tanks that serve as handy vegetable and herb beds.Beck believes that every sustainable garden should at least have a small herb section that includes the basics, such as basil, italian parsley, chives, mint and a few leafy greens including rocket, cos lettuce and spinach. “All of these are very simple to grow – even for the most meek and timid of gardeners,” he says.