Live your own ‘paddock to plate’ dream with fruit, vegies and herbs grown right at home in planter boxes. It’s easy to grow your own kitchen garden in pots and containers in your backyard, courtyard or even on your windowsill.
Angie Thomas, Horticulture Consultant to Yates said: “People often think it’s too hard or they don’t have the space to grow their own food. I’m on a mission to bust that myth and start a ‘planter box to plate’ movement!’’
“There’s nothing quite like eating produce you’ve grown yourself. It always tastes better and there’s a certain satisfaction that comes from nurturing a seedling to a full-grown plant. By taking your food from planter box to plate, you’re also doing your bit for the environment with zero food miles and packaging”.
Here are Angie’s top tips for creating and maintaining your very own planter box.
What you’ll need:
- planter box
- potting mix
- your favourite edible plant seeds!
- Pick your plants wisely
Choose fruits, vegies and herbs that are compact or dwarf varieties. The naturally smaller plants are better suited to growing in a container.
Angie's favourite potted edibles to grow right outside the kitchen include basil, parsley and strawberries as well as leafy greens like lettuce, silverbeet and spinach.
- Location counts
If your planter box is in a sunny spot choose fruits, vegies and herbs that perform best with full sun. These include rosemary, thyme, sage and fruiting vegies such as tomatoes, capsicum and chillies.
If you have a partly shaded spot, leafy vegies and herbs like silverbeet, coriander, rocket, parsley, basil and lettuce will thrive. In the cooler months you can also plant Asian greens, spinach and kale to make quick, delicious and healthy salads.
- Keep your planter box well-watered
Potted plants dry out much faster than plants growing out in the garden, so it’s important to keep an eye on your soil moisture (it’s easy to test moisture levels with your finger.)
A self-watering planter box or trough is an easy solution if you can’t water every day. They have a water reservoir at the base that can help keep the box watered over several days.
- Feed your plants
It's important to fill your planter box with a good quality potting mix to give your plants the best start in life. Once the plants have settled in remember to feed them each week with a liquid fertiliser.
- Stay on top of it
Take full advantage of your handiwork and remember to pick your fruits, vegies and herbs regularly. This has multiple benefits - it helps keep the plants compact and tidy and promotes more fresh and tender new growth or more fruit.
- Watch out for creepy crawlies
Keep an eye out for insect pests like aphids and caterpillars. A few can be picked off (or squashed!), but a larger infestation can be controlled with an organic pest control spray.