STAGE 2: Planting Vegetables into the Garden

Be A Fun Mum gardening expert, Renee from About the Garden, is sharing how to prepare and plant your vege garden.

STAGE 2: Planting your Vegetables Seedlings into the garden

Planting your Vegetables Seedlings into the garden

Planting your vegetable seedlings into the garden is easy if you’ve already completed STAGE 1: Steps for preparing an existing garden for Planting Vegetables.  Once you’re confident your garden soil is prepared, your ready to ‘roc-n’roll’ with planting.

Supplies

Seeds or Seedlings

Garden gloves

Bird Netting

Bamboo or timber stakes

Tools

Garden Trowel

Hammer

STEP 1: Seed or seedlings?

In my experience it’s always best to plant seedlings in the garden over seeds. WHY? Because ants or birds can carry off seeds, but you will have no idea until weeks after it’s happened. It’s horrible disappointing for everyone. Try growing seeds in a seedling tray or toilet rolls first and wait until the seedlings are at a good size before planting them into the garden.

It’s important before you start growing your seeds or planting seedlings that you are planting the correct vegetable or herb for the season. If you’re unsure what you should be planting now in your garden this yearly seasonal growing guide is very useful. Your local garden centre will have good stock of in-season seeds and seedlings for you to choose from.

STEP 2: Planting

Planting is pretty straight forward, especially if you are using biodegradable products like toilet rolls. Simply simply dig a little hole that’s big enough to fit the depth and diameter of the toilet roll and pop the toilet roll into the hole with the seedling right way up. Push soil around the toilet roll to hold in place.

If planting seedling stock from a garden centre, pinch the bottom of the plastic punnet, then gently pick up from the root ball rather then the leaves, as this can cause the little plant stem to break. Place the seedling in your pre-dug hole and gently push the soil back around the plant.

Spacing is really important when you’re planting out seedlings. Whilst they may look small now, some seedlings can grow into spreading plants that can over take the space, shading other plants causing them to die. Tomatoes are an excellent example of a vegetable seedling that requires substantial space. Spacing requirements for seeds and seedlings can be found on the packaging.

Planting your Vegetables Seedlings into the garden

STEP 3: Watering

It’s always a good idea to give your plants a good drink of water immediately after planting; this helps them settle in and reduces ‘plant shock’. I tend to hand water my newly planted seedlings, adding a little SeaMax™ Fish & Kelp to the watering can. This organic product is just amazing, it is a little smelly, but fantastic in helping little seedlings settle into their new home in the garden.

HOT TIP: As I’m generally a time poor gardener, I came up with this great idea of laying drip hose around my vegetable garden BEFORE mulching. This means during the week I can plug my water hose to the drip hose and give my vegetable garden a good slow drink over a length of time. I won’t lie, this small investment saves me so much time and to make sure I don’t forget to turn the tap off, I set the alarm clock on my phone.  The secret to making this work is to ensure that every seedling is close to a section of drip hose and when turned on, the hose is only ‘dripping’, not spraying water everywhere.

Planting your Vegetables Seedlings into the garden

STEP 4: Mulching

After I’ve water the seedlings and set up my drip hose, I spread a thick layer of sugar cane mulch around the garden, being careful not to cover the seedlings. You want your mulch to be approximately 4cm thick, as mulch acts as an excellent insulator for the hot sun, keeping the moisture in the soil. As an insulator, mulch also protects the seedling root systems from over heating during the hotter months.

DO NOT skimp on mulch, it really does make a massive difference to your gardening success.

Step 5: Protecting Your Baby Seedlings

It’s true, I get quite protective of my baby seedlings and nothing annoys me more then walking out to find my dogs digging them all up!

After the first few baby looses, I learnt that I needed to cover the seedlings until they had grown. It turned out; my dogs weren’t interested in the seedlings themselves, but all the ‘stinky stuff’ I’d put into the garden to make my babies grow. Frustrating. So now I hammer several timber stakes into the ground and throw a simple bird netting over the top. The bottom of the netting is secured with a few well placed bricks.

HOT TIP: Remember to remove the bird netting as seedlings grow, tomato and beans for instance will attach and grow through the netting. It’s incredible difficult to remove these plants from the netting without damaging them or the net, so just pull it aside as they grow, that way the net can be re-used in the future.

Planting your Vegetables Seedlings into the garden

This formula for planting a vegetable garden has really taken my success rate through the roof. Just to re-cap, my three key processes for success, that you shouldn’t skimp on are:

  1. Compost
  2. Drip hose system
  3. Mulch.

With these three key items I can generally get away with watering my vegetable garden 1-2 times a week, depending on rain and humidity in South-east Queensland.

Planting your Vegetables Seedlings into the garden

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Renee is a self confessed fun maker. She admits to not being the world’s best gardener, but believes that getting kids into the garden is one of the most important experiences. It’s a way to teach children about the environment, food production, healthy living, science and sustainable practices in a fun and physical way. You can see more of Renee's fun gardening projects here: http://www.aboutthegarden.com.au/

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Comments

  1. says

    Thanks Be A Fun Mum!

    I’m currently harvesting BUCKETS of cherry tomatoes from the plants you can see in the pictures above. My fridge is ‘Tomato-tastic’…..lol…. MUST learn more about preserving if I keep getting crops like this!

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