Starting your patch from scratch

Fresh herbs and vegetables can transform any meal into a masterpiece and no matter where you live, there are loads of seeds or seedlings to help get you started.

Before you rush out and buy your veggies or herbs, you’ll need to prepare your patch for planting. Luckily, it’s as easy as one, two, three.

All you need to do to get started is:

  1. Choose the right location
  2. Prepare the soil
  3. Grow for your climate
  4. Sowing seed
  5. Planting seedlings




Let's prepare for planting

If you give your vegetables the best possible start, you’ll be rewarded with loads of produce and very few pests or problems.

choosing the location

1. Choosing the location

  • Most vegetables and herbs prefer six hours of sunlight per day. Watch your backyard throughout the day to ensure you select an area with adequate light.
  • Remember that the sun is lower in the sky in winter and the shadows will be different to summer. Try to position your patch so it receives year-round sunlight.


preparing the soil

2. Preparing the soil


grow for your climate

3. Grow for your climate

  • Vegetables are seasonal and will grow either during the cooler months or the warmer months of the year. Always grow crops in the right season. For example, tomatoes in the warmer months and broad beans at the coolest time of the year.
  • Cool and warm season crops will be sown and grown during different months of the year depending on where you live. Check out our monthly garden calendar for ideas to of what to plant.


Quick soil fixes

Clay soil

Add gypsum to help open up the soil and organic matter to improve the soil structure.

Wet soil

Vegetables need free draining soil. If the garden stays wet, consider building raised beds up to 15cm above the surrounding soil to improve drainage.

Sandy soil

Sandy soils should be improved with organic matter like compost and sheep pellets to improve water retention and soil texture.

Soil pH

The pH of the soil dictates which nutrients will be available to crops. Vegetables prefer a pH around 6. If in doubt, buy a pH test kit and improve as necessary.


Let's get planting

With your soil prepared and your garden ready, it’s time to plant. Here's what you will need:

To plant and grow tomatoes in the garden, you will need:

  • Trowel
  • Garden gloves
  • Fresh seed or seedlings
  • Stakes or climbing frames & ties (climbing plants and tomatoes)
  • Watering can 

Step 1

How to sow seed:

  • Form a shallow row or channel in your garden bed. It should be the depth that it's recommended your seeds be sown at (follow the directions on the packet).
  • Space seeds along the row as best you can. It can help to mix fine seeds like carrot seed with sand to help spread the seed more evenly.
  • Mark your row with a label and backfill the soil.
  • Water gently with a fine mist.
  • Allow seeds to germinate before starting a regular watering regime.
  • Thin seedlings out to the recommended spacings. The seedlings removed may be transplanted or used fresh in salads.
  • Do not sow an entire crop at once. Sow seeds at fortnightly intervals to spread your harvest so you enjoy your crops when they are at their tasty best.
  • If growing climbing plants, insert the climbing frame before sowing seeds to avoid damaging the roots later.
  • Apply snail and slug pellets to protect the young tender seedlings.

    Seed can be started in seedlings trays or sown directly into the garden. If starting in trays, use Scotts Osmocote Professional Seed Raising & Cutting Mix

Step 2

How to plant seedlings:

  • Choose a place in the garden with at least 6 hours of sunlight per day, preferably protected from the wind.
  • Make a hole in the prepared garden bed large enough for the seedling plus its root ball.
  • Carefully tap the seedling out of the pot, trying to keep as much of the potting mix around the roots as possible.
  • Carefully place the plant in the hole. Make sure the seedling is at the same depth as it was in the pot.
  • Backfill around the seedling, pressing the soil down firmly to hold it in place.
  • Water generously with Scotts Performance Naturals Vegetables & Herbs Liquid Fertiliser to settle it in.
  • Insert a stake or climbing frame if required.
  • Apply snail and slug pellets to protect the young tender seedlings.

    NOTE: always follow suggested spacings provided on the labels.


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