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8 beginner plants for edible gardens

13th Jun '19 • By Georgia Budden

If you’re looking for a fool-proof starter garden, consider these 8 beginner plants as the best way to start. Whether you want to save on your next grocery bill or give organic growing a go, your very own veggie garden is a great way to get your hands dirty!

If you are a novice gardener looking to make a start on this wonderful hobby, we would like to recommend some of these best beginner plants that you can grow and tips to remember before growing your own vegetables. Not only will your garden come alive but your next weekend family feast will be bursting with new flavours from your freshly picked fruit and vegetables.

1. Eggplants

This deeply coloured purple fruit is one of the easiest to grow, if you’re a beginner. They are actually related to tomatoes but unlike their cousins, they need a warmer climate. So, find a really sunny spot and watch them thrive. It normally takes around 13 weeks for them to mature. Make sure you place your eggplants in a row, and with at least 50cm space between them. They are a big plant with an extensive root system.

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2. Melon

In Australia, the popular types are rockmelon, watermelon and honeydew. Sweet and juicy when they are ripe, these melons taste like heaven and a great way to quench those thirsts in Summer. They really are a great fruit for your edible garden, adding not only aesthetic value but a great accessory for those fruit platters and desserts. Just remember that you need around four sunny and warm months in order for these to mature, before being eaten.

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3. Chillies

Red peppers are great if you want to add a bit of spice to your next meal. Chillies can be placed anywhere you want around the garden; they only need water and sunlight. There are different varieties like bell peppers and chilli peppers which are distinguished by their spiciness. Ensure you plant each one 1 to 2 feet apart and they get 6-8 hours sunshine a day. Check the soil is well drained and don’t be afraid to add compost when planting.

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4. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are one of the easiest plants to grow in the garden. Even if you don’t have the space to grow them, placing a big and leafy tomato vine into a flower pot around your small garden can improve the look of your property. Make sure you use a large pot that has drainage holes. The soil needs to be loose and well-draining; only use one tomato pod per pot. Just remember not to let them rot on the ground as they will produce quite a few in number. 

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5. Herbs

No matter what kind of herbs you consider growing in your soon-to-be edible garden, remember that these are one of the easiest plants to grow. If you are a beginner in the art of growing your own food, any kind of herb will help you gain some experience. There are so many herbs you can grow, that are only limited by the kinds of meals you like to cook. These include basil, chives, coriander, dill, mint, parsley and chives. If you’re having trouble, do your research on reasons your herb garden might have failed.

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6. Strawberries

What could be sweeter than freshly picked strawberries? How about freshly picked strawberries from your own edible garden? This is probably the best fruit to grow as strawberries are one of the easiest, they’re very hardy and easy to maintain. Strawberries are a great fruit to grow as they have a multitude of uses from cheesecake, smoothies to fruit platters.

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7. Grapes

These are some of the best fruit to grow, as you can find a grape that suits every climate. Sunshine, well drained soil and plenty of air circulation are all you need. Structure is also important, so consider investing in some kind of hardware like poles and wires or a fence, which will all do the job. When Summer is over and the grapes are ripe, you can use them to make delicious jam, marmalade, wine or simply eat them raw.

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8. Lemon trees

Planting lemon trees in your new edible garden can be a smart investment. Besides offering fruit all year round, they are very easy to look after and come in various sizes. From planting a big lemon tree in the centre of your garden to planting some smaller ones in pots around your outdoor area and inside the house, the choices are endless. The lemon is a fruit that has so many uses in the kitchen, from adding to cleaning products to baking lemon meringue pies and making lemonade.

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Any or all of the 8 beginner plants mentioned would look great in your garden. Better still, each one is worth growing because they taste so good!

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Further reading:
5 ways to makeover your backyard
How to create a sustainable garden
The best gardening trends for 2019
How to create an indoor vertical garden in your apartment

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