Grow your own veg at home

12 June 2020 | Environment

As the need for sustainable living grows, forward-thinking property developers are designing homes
with designated garden spaces with the idea that more and more homeowners will want the ability
to grow their own food.
For example, one new apartment block development in Stellenbosch marketed by RE/MAX
Helderberg, has a hydroponic rooftop garden that allows residents to grab their pick of the day from
their very own roof top organic grocery.
According to Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, this trend will
continue to grow as the demand for sustainable living increases.
“I predict that over time, homes with sustainable features such as fully developed and well
maintained vegetable gardens, will add to the appeal of the home and will add value to the property
should a homeowner decide to sell.”
Even for those who have no intention of selling, Goslett notes the potential savings homeowners
stand to make from growing their own vegetables.
“There are many good reasons why homeowners should grow their own vegetable gardens at home
– the most important of which is that it will lower one’s impact on the environment.”
It may seem overwhelming at first, but with proper planning and research, homeowners will be able
to walk into their backyard for all their homegrown produce. To help homeowners get started,
RE/MAX provides some tips to help grow a vegetable garden at home:
What to grow and where to grow it
Homeowners would have to think about the space they have available for gardening, as the location
of the garden is vital to its success.
Homeowners should also decide which vegetables they intend to grow and how much time they can
dedicate to the garden. Those with minimal space may have to consider container gardening – which
is growing produce exclusively in containers instead of planting them in the ground.
An advantage of this type of gardening is that the garden can be moved at any time and will require
less water and save costs. Unfortunately, it will limit the amount of produce a homeowner can
The location of the garden will be determined by the size of the garden and watering requirements.
Homeowners should consider where the garden will get the most sunlight as most vegetables
require a good eight hours of sun to reach optimal growth.
Vegetables also need a lot of water. Gardners who are worried about their water bill, may want to
consider installing a greywater system.
Get the right tools
Gardening can be hard work, so there is no need to make it harder than it should be by having low-
quality tools.
Invest in good quality gardening tools – it pays to do proper research on what tools are essential and
long-lasting. Some of the essentials include a trowel, pruning shears, watering can, garden rake, and
an angled shovel.
Test and prepare the soil
The key to gardening hearty and wholesome vegetables is having deep, organically rich soil.
Well-prepared soil encourages vegetables to grow, which is why homeowners need to analyse the
soil before starting a vegetable garden. A good place to start is by determining the pH level of the
soil. Once you know the condition of the soil, it will need to be cultivated by adding fertilizer and
topsoil and then turning it around with a shovel. The soil will then need to sit for a couple of days
before you can start planting their desired vegetables.

As a final word of advice, Goslett suggests that those who are new to gardening should think small in
the beginning.
“Gardening requires a lot of maintenance and can become overwhelming. Start by planning for a
garden you know you will be able to control. Also, treat you garden as an investment, because a
well-looked after garden can increase the appeal of your home should they decide to sell,” he

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