Spring is a fantastic time for vegetable gardening along the Gold Coast. What to plant this spring in your veggie garden can be a fun start to a plentiful spring and summer of home-grown veggie’s from your garden.
Know your zone!
It is best to ensure you are planting for the zone you live in to ensure you aren’t planting too early. Be sure to check out a Regional Zone Planting Guide before you plant if gardening is a new endeavour for you. However, if you are around the Gold Coast, you are in Zone 4 - the Subtropical region. Therefore, using the zoning planting guide, you can determine what to plant this spring in your veggie garden and get busy.
Herbs are great for every garden.
Great herbs to get started within your veggie garden this spring include chives, basil, oregano, dill, thyme, sage, and parsley. Planting these herbs in your spring garden will give you a great start to your garden, and a plethora of herbs to choose from for your spring and summer cooking needs.
Many of the herbs grow very quickly and yield a large crop early for use. You will want to place your herb garden where it can get a decent amount of sun – somewhere where the plants can receive at least 5 hours daily. Full sun is fine for most herbs. It is important to remember that many herbs have their own requirements that need to be considered. Dill likes to reseed itself once it has been trimmed back several times. Mint can be a very invasive plant so you may wish to grow mint in its own container. Oregano likes a medium, nutrient-rich soil and can tend to dry out in the warmer months, so make sure you water appropriately and mulch to help control moisture.
A variety of fruits and vegetables are important.
When you are determining what to plant this spring in your veggie garden, you will want to ensure you have a variety of fruits and vegetables included. Some perfect choices for spring planting in Zone 4 include beetroot, broccoli, cabbage and carrots. Chinese cabbage, melons and parsnips are also great choices. Sweet potatoes, lettuce, and watermelon are best planted in the spring. And don’t forget about pumpkin and tomatoes, which should be planted in the spring for best growth as well.
Sweet potatoes should be planted toward the end of the spring months; however, once they are planted, sweet potatoes typically can grow all year long. On the other hand, early spring is the perfect time to plant white potatoes – but don’t over-water and be sure to control moisture with mulch. Tomatoes also have great success with spring planting but these plants have to be watched closely in the hot, summer months.
It is important to remember that pumpkin plants encroach on all surrounding plants and spread out wildly when growing on the vine. Therefore giving pumpkins their own space to grow is important. This will ensure you get the hardiest plants without allowing the pumpkin to strangle other veggie plants in your garden.
Soil is important.
Remember, the soil type and temperature are important to your spring veggie garden. You will want to ensure you are using rich, nutrient-filled soil once the soil temperature is warmer and ready for spring planting. For instance, when considering tomatoes, in most cases you will want to make certain that your soil is not too high in nitrogen. Choosing cow or sheep manure for fertilizer is a good choice. If the soil is too rich in nitrogen your tomato plants will produce more leaves than fruit.
However, it is important to remember that some of your veggies and fruits will not need extra fertilizer at all. Just add compost if you need additional organic matter in your soil if you are trying to keep the nitrogen levels down. Again, too much nitrogen can cause leaf overgrowth with no fruit growth in some plants. The beetroot is an example of one vegetable you want to not add fertilizer to at all.
Conversely, the silverbeet plant will grow best and hardy with the addition of nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Also knowns as Swiss chard, the silverbeet is a relative of the beetroot family but grown for its leaves and stems. It is a cool climate plant and is a great pick-and-eat plant because the plant will keep producing more leaves even after you have picked the leaves. Many leaves can be harvested at once and it will not be detrimental to the plant.
Whether you are new gardener or an expert, deciding what to plant this spring in your veggie garden can be a fun time. Planning what yummy herbs, vegetables and fruits you want to get started with gives you an excellent beginning to your spring, summer, and autumn garden and ready for a productive and successful year of gardening.