"In spring, by the end of the day, you should smell like dirt." - Margaret Atwood
It's my goal to live by this quote this spring. And so far so good. As I sit here writing this I am looking down at the specks of dirt under my finger nails that still remain even after my shower.
For me, gardening rejuvenates every part of my mind and body. Sinking my hands in the soil focuses my mind back to the present moment. Pulling a few weeds helps me let go frustrations and in the process turns them into compost to feed the garden. Digging stretches and builds strength in my back. And of course when you grow vegetables, you also get to eat your own organic produce. Yum!
Thinking about growing some spring vegetables this year? Here are a few veggies to get you started:
For something different try growing some heirloom carrots and colour your plate in reds, oranges, yellows, whites and purples. If space is an issue, try growing some baby carrots in a container.
Beetroot are one of my favourite vegetables and if you are unsure which variety to pick, try an heirloom mix to see which performs best. Plants can also be grown in containers and being in the same family as silver beet, their leaves can also be harvested for eating. Here's how to get started.
Do your best to start growing your ginger in September or October to ensure you maximise your growing season for a high yield. Container growing is a great option, especially in Sydney.
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We generally think of zucchinis as being dark green and cucumber shaped, however they can also be yellow or light green, as well as round or bottle shaped. Fresh zucchini and squash are much tastier and you can also harvest your own edible flowers!
For a quick an easy vegetable growing experience, try growing some radishes. You can have a crop within as little as 4 weeks!
Just like ginger, the earlier in spring you plant your rhizomes the better. Turmeric will also grow decorative lush green leaves in your container while it's developing it's rhizomes underneath. Here's how to get growing!
Tomatoes are an essential spring crop. If you haven't grown them before try some cherry tomatoes first because they are the most robust and disease resistant. Even within the cherry varieties there are yellow, red, black and speckled types and even different shapes. I often grow them in a large container but if space is an issue try hybrid tomato varieties bred for hanging baskets and small pots.
Chillies are perfect for container growing and provide a great splash of colour in the garden. They are also a great plant to grow up for Christmas gifts.
Freshly grown beans are tasty enough to munch on raw and growing different colours is a fun way to introduce kids to gardening and encourage them to eat their veggies.
Sunflowers are easy to grow from seed and there are plenty of varieties to suit both large and small space gardens. Can you guess what the Guiness World Record is for the tallest sunflower grown? Click the article to find the answer.
It's always a good idea to grow some flowers to attract beneficial insects, so why not grow some that are also edible! From salads, to ice-cubes and cake decorating, edible flowers are just the thing for adding that touch of class.
Got a surplus of one type of veg? You could swap some for something else you need! Find out about crop swaps!
Native Bush Foods
You could also add some native bush foods to your garden. Here are some of my favourites:
There is so much to grow at this time of year. What are you growing in your patch this spring?
Anna Gregory grew up on a bushland property and lived without mains electricity for the first 12 years of her life. She is a keen gardener, worm-farmer, and jewellery-maker. She blogs about her gardening and DIY projects here.
Read this next: How To Grow A Garden In A Small Space
[Images: Anna Gregory & Pixabay]