veggie garden image

The Ultimate Guide to Growing in your Garden: Part 1

Justin PlattBlog, Food for thought, Food Production, Subsistence Farming, Sustainable Farming

The healthiest food is food grown organically in your own garden. In South Africa (more so than in European nations, for example), many people have access to a garden. Yet, despite worldwide concerns over food safety and food security, not many people are growing their own food. If you are one of them, this blog series is for you!

Why plant a veggie garden, you ask? If you enjoy eating the freshest, tastiest, most nutritious produce you will ever eat, growing at home is the way to go!


8 Reasons to grow a food garden at home:


  1. You can choose to grow different varieties of produce to the standard varieties found in the shops.
  2. You control the growing environment of your garden. There is no need for chemicals and pesticides in your backyard garden.
  3. Growing and harvesting food from your backyard garden ensures you know where your food came from, reducing the risk of food contamination.
  4. It reduces your carbon footprint since you aren’t buying food that has travelled long distances.
  5. You get to eat fresh, in-season vegetables that are more nutritious.
  6. You’ll have the chance to get outside and get some exercise.
  7. Save money on groceries.
  8. It’s good for your physical and mental health! Picture the feeling of satisfaction of growing your own food.


Although it may seem daunting at first, gardening and growing your own food is a very rewarding hobby. In this blog series, we will take you through some of the basics of getting started:

  • Picking the right site
  • Preparing the soil 
  • Choosing which produce to grow
  • Planting
  • Caring for your garden
  • Harvesting
  • … and eating!

We’re teaming up with Organic for Africa with tips and information to get you on your growing journey. First up is finding the perfect spot. 

Choosing the right location 

Picking a good location for your home food garden is key. A subpar site can result in subpar produce. 

Here are some considerations for choosing the right place for your veggie garden:

Sunny spot

There are a few veggies that will tolerate some shade, but most vegetables need six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day. 

Drains well

If your soil doesn’t drain well, this means wet roots, which can lead to rotted roots. If your soil drains poorly, consider planting your veggies in a raised bed or raised row to improve the soil drainage. 

If your soil is very rocky, remove some of the rocks so that they don’t inhibit root growth. 

In next week’s blog, we’ll be focusing on soil preparation, so be sure to check in to find out more about setting your plants up for success. 

Protected from the elements 

Avoid areas that are subject to strong winds that could knock over your young plants or stop flying pollinators from doing their job. You also don’t want a location that floods easily or receives a lot of foot traffic. 

Picked your spot? Good! Read our blog next week to find out more about the next step in the process, preparing the soil.

Although not (yet) packaged for domestic use, our Zylem products (such as Sea Brix°™ with a boost of Nutri-Tech Triple Ten™) would be a great asset to a home garden. Get in touch with the Zylem team to find out more. Contact us on 033 347 2893 or send us an enquiry.


About Organic for Africa

Situated in the beautiful KwaZulu-Natal timber growing countryside of Greytown, Organic for Africa produces a wide range of products from growing medium and compost to specifically screened seedling mixes, various mulches as well as customised and specific mixes. All products are sourced from all-natural and renewable resources and free from harmful bacteria and chemicals.