Sow what? Kick gardening goals with this planting calendar

How to grow your own food in 2021: the ultimate planting calendar

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RICH PICKINGS: From cherry tomatoes and lettuce to spring onions, there's no limit to what you can grown in your garden. Photo: Geraldine Cardozo

RICH PICKINGS: From cherry tomatoes and lettuce to spring onions, there's no limit to what you can grown in your garden. Photo: Geraldine Cardozo

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Know what to plant, and when, with this handy tool.

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Did you know that spinach doesn't like to be planted next to strawberries? Or that carrots thrive next to tomatoes?

If you're one of the millions of people took steps to be more self-sufficient at the start of the global pandemic by growing more of your own veggies, you may now be reaping the rewards of your hard work in the garden.

Chances are though that you may also have experienced your fair share of fresh food fails in the process too - from limp lettuces to crucified cauliflowers.

Having the knowledge and remembering what to plant when can be quite a task.

With Google searches for 'how to grow vegetables' reaching an all-time high back in April last year, it's vital for newbie growers as well as seasoned professionals to keep up the good work on producing their own food at home.

To help them along the way, lawn and garden product supplier Evergreen Care has created the ultimate planting resource on its Love The Garden website.

Evergreen Care's marketing manager, Narelle Peart, said 2020 was a big year for gardening, with many Aussies taking up the activity during isolation.

"We're pleased that getting outside and back into nature has provided such solace during these challenging times.

The Australian planting calendar can be printed out, then stuck on your fridge door or kitchen noticeboard.

The Australian planting calendar can be printed out, then stuck on your fridge door or kitchen noticeboard.

"Our annual planting guide makes it easy to understand what to plant and where, to really reap the rewards in whatever space you may have available to you".

The downloadable 'What to Plant When' planting calendar details 22 plants and gives you the lowdown on what crops may be planted together and which pairings you should avoid.

In Australia we have two main planting seasons - spring and autumn. The harvest periods are variable depending on when the crops are at their best and how long they actually take to grow to maturity.

Generally we are lucky enough to be able to harvest at least some crops all year round, except perhaps in the coldest areas.

When you grow vegetables, you'll need to make sure you provide the best possible conditions for them to flourish.

This goes beyond the basics like the type of soil and fertiliser - you also need to think about what veggies you are planting alongside one another and also watch out for pests.

For instance: Did you know that you should never grow peas next to onions? Or that if you have leeks growing next to cauliflowers, neither will do well?

Top tips for getting the most out of gardening in 2021

Don't worry about space

There's a misconception that growing your own produce requires vast amounts of land but you can actually grow lots of fruit and vegetables in pots and containers. In fact, some vegetables do even better in pots than in the garden.

Don't be too ambitious

Start small. A small vegetable patch or a couple of pots to get you going would be ideal. Get used to what's required and learn the basics before advancing onto bigger and better things in the next planting season.

Understand the seasons

Most produce is seasonal and reaches maturity at varying times across the year so understanding the life-cycle of what you're planting and then planning ahead is key. This is where the planting calendar will really help you out.

Know your soil

This may sound strange, but a simple 'squeeze test' can tell you all you need to know. Understanding the makeup of your soil will help you determine if it requires any additions before you start planting as different plants thrive in different soil types.

Protect your plants

The secret to success when it comes to growing your own is staying attuned to your plants needs and how the change in seasons throughout the year affects your plants. Think of them as your plant babies; they need attention, care and love to survive and in return they'll provide you with lots to enjoy.

You can also check out common problems for certain vegetables using this slide-along tool:

To download the calendar and for more planting tips click HERE.

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