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Published 02 April 2020

With the cooler weather conditions about to set in, autumn is a great time of year to start your own vegetable garden.

Vegetable gardening provides a range of benefits, including outdoor exercise, plus the opportunity to enjoy nutrient-dense, great-tasting vegetables picked straight from your garden. And in there's difficult times, it's one less item you need to grab at the supermarket when you're trying to go less often and for less time.

Home-grown vegetables can also be produced with fewer chemicals than commercial crops and you’ll enjoy cooking them all the more because you grew them.

You don’t need a large backyard to grow vegetables. Pots or raised beds can produce a surprising quantity of vegetables.

Involving your children in gardening may even entice them to eat a vegetable or two.

Vegetables to plant in April or May

  • Spinach - A cool-weather crop that’s great in salads or blanched.
  • Snow peas - Plant seeds in autumn to enjoy crisp snow peas in spring. Water at sowing and then avoid watering until shoots peep through the soil to prevent the seeds rotting.
  • Radishes - If you want a quick crop, you can’t go past radishes. Within six weeks you’ll be harvesting. Great in salads or eat them on their own with a little salt and pepper.
  • Garlic -  Sow your cloves (pointy end up) for harvest of beautiful bulbs in November.
  • Kale - Easy to grow and nutritious. Even if you’re not a fan, it’s a great food for chickens.
  • Broccoli and cauliflower - Watch seedlings closely for caterpillars. Pick off or cover to prevent damage.
  • Beetroot - Easy to grow from seed. Thin out as they grow. Thinned-out seedlings can be used in salads.
  • Carrots - Plant in friable soil without too much fertiliser to prevent distorted growth. Keep the tiny seeds moist.

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