August in South Africa is an exciting time for gardeners. As we expect to leave behind the days of coming home to darkness (and we’re not talking about loadshedding, but rather those early sunsets), we can look forward to nurturing our gardens! And the opportunity to plan, prepare, and plant a new vegetable garden is more exciting than ever. Whether it’s for the nutritional value or the budget-friendly benefits, it’s your chance to try growing vegetables at home. Here’s your easy guide.
- The benefits of growing vegetables at home
- Planning in August
- Nurturing your soil with Wonder Organic Vita-Boost
- Amplify with Wonder Organics Veggie Garden
- Focused feeding
- Protecting your growing veggies
The benefits of growing vegetables at home
Saving money with every harvest: When you grow vegetables, you grow your savings. Once you’ve invested in the initial setup, the cost of seeds and maintaining your garden is usually less than what you’d spend buying fresh produce each week.
Boost your mood and well-being: Studies show that spending time around greenery can significantly boost your mood, reduce stress, and improve mental well-being.
Quality control and nutritional value: By growing your own vegetables, you have control over the quality. You know exactly what goes into your soil and your plants. Plus, you’re getting the freshest produce possible, picked straight from your garden.
Planning in August
Starting early allows your vegetable beds to harness the warm, rising temperatures of spring. August provides an excellent opportunity to begin your garden preparation. By the time spring fully blooms, your vegetable beds will be ready to burst into delicious veggies and bountiful harvests.
Selecting the right vegetables
In August, certain vegetables tend to thrive in South African soil. Across the provinces, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and lettuce are great choices to sow as they can handle cooler temperatures and shorter daylight hours. Root vegetables such as carrots and beetroot are also excellent options, as they prefer cooler soil.
For those in warmer provinces like KwaZulu-Natal, consider peppers, tomatoes, and beans. In cooler regions like the Western Cape, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower are great veggie garden options.
Sun or shade?
When choosing your vegetables, consider their sunlight needs. For example, peppers, tomatoes, and beans prefer plenty of sunlight, needing at least 6-8 hours a day. Leafy greens like spinach and lettuce can tolerate more shade, though they also appreciate a few hours of direct sunlight.
The art of companion planting
Companion planting involves growing plants together that can help each other.
Beans and corn: The corn provides a natural pole for bean vines to climb while the beans regulate nitrogen in the soil, which benefits corn.
Tomatoes and basil: These two are perfect partners not just in cooking but also in the garden. Basil helps to improve the flavour of tomatoes. Plus, basil enjoys the shade provided by the tomato plants.
Carrots and tomatoes: Tomato plants can provide a bit of shade for carrots, helping them retain moisture, while the carrots help to loosen the soil for tomato roots.
Peas and root vegetables: Peas fix nitrogen in the soil, benefiting root vegetables like carrots, radishes, or beets. The root vegetables, in turn, break up the soil, allowing better water and air circulation for the peas.
Nurturing your soil with Wonder Organic Vita-Boost
A key component in this preparation process is focusing on soil improvement. The health of your soil directly impacts the success of your vegetables. Enter Wonder Organic Vita-Boost – a slow-release fertiliser enriched with vermicompost.
Vermicompost is essentially a ‘super compost’ produced by earthworms, known to improve soil structure and fertility. This provides five times more nitrogen, crucial for plant growth, than regular compost. In addition, it replenishes your soil with essential nutrients like magnesium, phosphates, calcium, and potash, along with an array of micro-nutrients and trace elements. As a result, your soil is revitalised and ready to nurture your plant growth.
*Wonder Organic Vita-Boost is vegan-friendly and contains no animal ingredients.
- Apply 25 – 50 g/m² of Wonder Organic Vita-Boost to the soil before planting, mixing it in with a garden fork.
- Repeat this process every four weeks to keep the soil rich and productive.
- Be sure to follow these instructions carefully for best results, as misapplication can affect your plants and the safety of pets and children.
Read next: Preparing soil for planting in spring
Amplify with Wonder Organics Veggie Garden
For an even bigger boost, fertilise your growing vegetables with Wonder Organics Veggie Garden. This potent combination delivers a healthy dose of slow-release nitrogen, organic bio-stimulants, and essential micro-nutrients to your vegetable beds.
As an enriched and balanced feed, Wonder Organics Veggie Garden naturally supports the health of your plants, promoting root development and plant growth, and even building immunity. Use 25 – 50 g/m² before planting, and re-apply every 4–6 weeks for the best results.
Apart from enriching your soil, targeted feeding of your plants is crucial. For your tomatoes, peppers, and beans, apply Wonder Fruit & Flower, while herbs and evergreen vegetables benefit from Wondersol All Purpose applied weekly.
For an added boost, applying Wonder Kelp every two weeks will keep your garden thriving, promote strong root growth, and increase flowering and fruiting capacity.
Protecting your growing vegetables
Nothing is more disheartening than finding your painstakingly nurtured seedlings damaged overnight. If you’re falling victim to sneaky cutworms, fight back with Efekto Cutworm bait or Efekto Everdeath.
And if your patiently anticipated new leaves are becoming a caterpillar feast, arm yourself with Efekto Eco Insect Control SC or Efekto Cypermethrin 200 EC. Remember, taking early action can help save your garden from these unwelcome pests.
Enjoying the fruits of your labour
Turn your garden into a source of health, happiness, and considerable savings by growing vegetables. All it takes is a little planning, preparation and the right products. And if you’re ever in need of more expert advice, chat with our Wonder team on WhatsApp.
Let’s get those vegetable garden beds ready!