Getting your garden started is half the battle. So, keep it simple! Try these easy-grow fruits and veggies that’ll thrive even under the brownest thumb.
Beetroot (all year)
From salad superstar to the hero of the Aussie burger, you’ll be hard pressed to find a reason NOT to grow these delicious, low maintenance roots all year round. Delicious and colourful, they’re a great source of folic acid and fibre. To plant, soak the seeds in water for 24 hours to separate them, then sow 20-30cm apart. You’ll need to pick out the weaker plants as the seedlings grow, and in two months you’ll be seeing beetroot-red.
Leafy Greens (all year)
Butter, cos, red oak, rocket – there’s an almost endless variety of crunchy leafy greens just ready to call your garden home. The best part is you can start harvesting them in a matter of weeks. Sow seeds directly into the garden, at a depth 3x the diameter of the seed and water daily.
Be sure to keep an eye on them in hot weather – they can go from being mostly leafy to being mostly flower and seed (known as ‘bolting’ to seed). If they do, they’ll lose their crispy, crunchy flavour. Slow them down with some extra shade during the hottest months.
Herby and aromatic, basil gives any meal a freshness boost. There are a range of varieties, each offering their own unique flavour twist. Plant seeds, or store-bought seedlings in early spring into a sunny spot – then sit back and enjoy fresh basil all summer long.
Have a shady spot in your garden? No problem for basil growers – just choose a larger leaved variety, which can tolerate more shade. Be sure to prune any flower spikes to encourage a bushier, leafier plant.
Bright, crunchy and naturally sweet, super versatile green beans are easy to incorporate into lots of delicious dishes and super simple to grow. Just sow your seeds in a sunny, well drained spot – water once to get them going, then wait for the shoots to appear! We grow our beans BIG in Queensland, so be ready to build a frame or trellis for them as they grow. Sow new seeds every two weeks for a constant supply throughout the summer.
Cucumbers (Aug- Mar)
As cool as they are nutritious (which is very), cucumbers are an upwardly mobile bunch – give them something to climb and you’ll get armfuls of refreshing fruit all summer long. Plant them 40-60cm apart along a trellis or fence line and water regularly for a summer of refreshing salads and classy sandwiches.
Packed with vitamins and phytonutrients, this cosmopolitan cousin of the pumpkin grows at breakneck speed. Plant seeds in August in a sunny, well drained position (improved with a bit of blood and bone) and water well. Plants will need to be at least 70cm apart. In 8-10 weeks, you’ll be eating your fill of ratatouille and pasta veggie bake. The flowers make a great addition to salads, too.
Pick fruit when young for tastiest results and to keep the plant producing for longer.
Broccoli is a chilled out veggie, thriving in cooler conditions. Which makes it the perfect winter guest for your garden. Like other cruciferous vegetables (close cousins brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage) it’s rich in a whole range of vitamins, and a good source of folate and minerals. Start seeds in a starter pot and then transplant them to your garden when they’re about 7cm tall. Things happen a little slower in winter, but you’ll be ready for harvest in 17-20 weeks.
While it’s not completely true that carrots give you night-vision, they are loaded with nutrients and packed with flavour. They’re also super easy to grow – just sow seeds into freshly-broken soil (about 5cm apart) and keep them moist. Then start picking and eating from when the seedlings first appear.