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Edible Gardening

Growing your own food can be a lot of fun and whether you have single pots or a large block, there’s room to grow something for your table.

The best bit about an edible garden is you get to eat all the delicious things you grow! There’s something special in the flavour of a home grown strawberry or tomato that you just can’t get from the shops.

If you’re lucky enough to have some little helpers, it’s a lovely way to introduce children to gardening and share in their joy at harvest time.

ECH Social and Therapeutic Horticulturalist Dean Gaston recommends to get started with your edible garden you need to think about the space you have, how much sunlight the area gets, and what you love to eat.

“Herbs and salad leaves can easily be grown on a windowsill or in small pots. Larger pots are great for plants like beetroot, carrot, celery or tomatoes,” says Dean.

If you have more space, you may decide to start a small vegetable patch. Raised garden beds are a good option as you do not need to bend over as far to tend your patch and come in a wide range of shapes, colours and sizes.

Dean suggests fruit trees are another great option such as apples, pears, and citrus trees like mandarins, oranges, lemons and limes. These are available in dwarf varieties that are easy to maintain, growing between one and two metres tall.

The smaller varieties can easily be grown in a large pot or half wine barrel, and what’s better than sinking your teeth into a freshly picked ripe pear on an autumn day?

If you want to learn more, ask your local nursery. They can advise you about the plants most suited to your conditions and what equipment you’ll need to get started.

If you end up growing more than what you need, there are a number of community produce swap groups throughout South Australia where you can trade fresh produce. To find out which group is closest to you, email urban.sustainability@sa.gov.au