Fruits & Vegetables

From windowsill herbs to a kitchen garden our step-by-step growing guides make it easy to raise fresh food at home. You can have a tomato plant in a pot, rows of vegies in the ground or a mini orchard of citrus trees. Learn when to sow, transplant, water, feed and prune to harvest crops year-round.

How To Grow Organic Garlic
Garlic has a rich history of being used for its healing qualities. There is evidence to suggest it was given to the pyramid workers in ancient Egypt to keep them strong and protect them from illness. It was regarded as a panacea by Chinese, Greek...
 Winter Crops To Plant In Autumn

It’s time to start growing delicious seasonal vegetables. Image: Alamy 

The cool autumn weather provides ideal working conditions for gardening.  The soil is still warm for planting and the time is right to grow vegies to eat in the coming months. All you need to produce a good crop is a sunny, sheltered position. ...
6 Ways To Prepare Garden Beds For Winter Vegetables

Get the vegie patch ready for winter gardening 

Early autumn is the changeover time when it comes to growing vegetables, so it’s time to pick the last of the summer produce and plant the new autumn and winter crops.  A bit of work done in the garden now will ensure you have a good harvest during...
A Quick Guide To Growing Asian Greens

Branch out and create your own stir-fry garden at home. Image: Thinkstock 

From Thai and Chinese to Vietnamese and Malaysian, Australians love Asian food.  Whether we’re whipping up a stir-fry or going out for sushi or yum cha, we just can’t get enough.  And the good news for Asian food buffs is that the greens they l...
How To Plant A Herb Pot
Strawberry planters are tall containers with holes around the sides that feature protruding cups to support the plants. They’re ideal for a selection of culinary herbs, as trailing varieties can be planted in the side holes and plants with a more...
5 Extraordinary Uses For Bananas

Find out how you can use bananas around the home and  garden. Image: Thinkstock

We all know bananas are delicious but did you know they can very useful around the garden? Here are five extraordinary uses for bananas you probably didn't know about.    1. Attract birds Put an overripe banana on a raised platform in the gar...
Preserving Herbs

Grow and preserve your own herbs for a supply of great homegrown flavour

At this time of the year, herb beds are bursting with more produce than can be used. But instead of wasting surplus summer herbs, harvest the whole lot.  Pick herbs before the flowers develop on warm, dry mornings after the dew has evaporated. Us...
5 Extraordinary Uses For Lemons

Lemon is a versatile fruit that can be used in the kitchen and around the home

Lemon is an extremely versatile fruit. It is a wonder ingredient but can also be used in a number of useful ways around the home and garden.  Here is a list of five extraordinary ways you can use lemon.  1. Stop insects invading  Repel ants by sq...
Growing Summer Herbs

Try out different herbs like thyme, rosemary and basil in pots before planting up a kitchen windowbox. Image: Getty Images 

Culinary herbs are at their tastiest from midsummer,when their foliage is still fresh and unblemished, as their flavour peaks just before flowering. This is the time to harvest large quantities to preserve for later. Water and feed herbs well aft...
No-Dig Vegetable Patch

Turn part of your lawn into a flourishing vegetable garden. Image: Geoff Beck 

If you have lawn and want to turn part of it into a flourishing vegetable bed, try the no-dig method.  A no-dig vegetable garden is constructed on top of the ground and can even be created over existing garden beds or hard ground. It is built up...
Grow Organic Vegetables

For flavour you can’t beat, raise your own vegies in the backyard. Image: Thinkstock 

Nothing tastes better than homegrown ingredients picked fresh from the vegie patch.  And if you garden as organically as possible, your crops will be rich in vitamins and minerals, and free from poisonous chemicals.  The summer holidays are a g...
Grow Leafy Greens

Produce a feast of fresh greens in any outdoor space using troughs. Image: Cheryl Maddocks 

Growing greens in the backyard means you’ll always have the ingredients for a fresh salad to hand and you only need to pick enough for that day.  Salad ingredients include all the types of lettuce, leafy greens and the young leaves of vegies such...
In this DIY video, we show you how to plant a bowl of herbs with the kids.   Keeping the kids entertained over the school holidays with creative ideas can be daunting.    Simple to make, we created this herb garden as a great way to begin t...
Raise Tomato Plants
To experience the best tomato flavour, you have to grow your own, and now is the time to plant them.  Tomatoes give a higher yield for space occupied than any other vegie.And they’re not hard to raise, growing as well in pots as they do in beds. ...
How To Grow A Date Palm From Date Stones
Date palms have a long history of cultivation. They have been grown for their fruit since ancient times and are believed to have originated in the area that is now Iraq. The humble date has been grown and enjoyed by Pharaoh and peasant alike and ther...
How To Grow Lemon Tree From A Pip
Don't throw away those citrus pips!  Citrus pips germinate easily at any time, but they will produce better plants if sown in spring or early summer. TIP Feed lemon trees in spring and summer with a citrus plant food.
How To Plant Peanuts
Did you know you can use store bought peanuts to plant a peanut plant? Use shelled, raw nuts, as salted or roasted ones won’t germinate. This a great project to do with the kids as it is super easy, produces fast results and teaches the concept of re...
How To Regrow From Kitchen Scraps

Sweet potatos and pineapples will sprout on a sunny windowsill. Image: Thinkstock 

The best way to get kids into gardening is to go for fast results and maximum enjoyment.  It’s easy to grow a mini pineapple, date or lemon tree in a pot indoors, but don’t expect too much in the way of fruit from your new house plants. Growing...
Top 9 Edible Plants For Spring
Spring is a fantastic time in the garden, as the warm weather causes plants to wake from their winter slumber and burst forth with new growth.   It’s also the perfect time for growing a range of edible fruits, vegetables, herbs and even flowers that...
Tips For Growing Passionfruit

Learn about how to grow and nuture this popular vine. Image: Alamy 

An extremely vigorous vine, passionfruit (Passiflora edulis) is native to South America, and is the national flower of Paraguay. It has striking white and purple flowers that are produced before the fruit, and the vine climbs by means of tendrils...
Produce picked at its peak then eaten straight away is one of the healthiest, most cost-effective and satisfying ways to reap the benefits of summer gardening.   Summer is a great time for eating fresh fruit and veg planted during spring, but it's al...
Growing Mushrooms

Mushrooms range from the common button to the more exotic golden oyster. Image: Thinkstock

They may be small in size, but mushrooms are big on nutritional benefits.  With virtually no sodium or fat, they’re cholesterol free, contain the B vitamins niacin and riboflavin, and are a good source of dietary fibre.  Tasty and versatile, th...
Growing Citrus

Juicy, tart and sweet, citrus fruit are a garden favourite and kitchen staple. Image: Getty Images 

There’s nothing like the scent of citrus blossoms wafting through the garden. Add glossy green foliage and the taste of fresh organically grown fruit and you’ve got the complete backyard package. Citrus are high in vitamin C and are ready for pic...
Leafy Winter Greens

Colour up the vegetable patch with the bright stems of rainbow chard. Image: Getty Images 

True or English spinach, Spinacia oleracea, is a fast cropper that is mostly grown in cool or cold regions. In warm areas it tends to bolt to seed so is grown as a winter crop.  Silverbeet, or Swiss chard, actually belongs to the beetroot family...
There's no better way to get fresh fruit than straight from the tree in the backyard. Unfortunately, pesky birds such as cockatoos have the same idea, and love to steal fruit, damaging the tree in the process.   To protect fruit trees, you can...
Growing Strawberries

Spring and autumn are the seasons for raising strawberries. Image: Getty Images 

From the Rosaceaeor rose family, strawberries are part of the genus Fragaria. They probably got their name from the early British practice of laying straw under the berries to keep them off the ground.  Wild strawberries grow in woodland clearing...
Growing Beans
Easy to grow and tasty to eat, beans are a top backyard crop. Part of the legume family, these podded vegies are a good source of vitamins B and C, and fibre. Fast growers, they provide abundant fresh food for little work, adding colour to the ve...
How To Grow Beetroot

Beetroot can be used raw, grated into a salad or sliced for sandwiches, or cooked and eaten warm. Image: Getty Images 

A staple on a hamburger with the lot, beetroot is making its way from the can to the garden as people discover the health benefits of this brightly coloured veg. The leaves of beetroot are high in beta-carotene, which has antioxidant properties,...
In this DIY video, we show you how to make a raised vegetable garden bed in your backyard using timber sleepers.   This no-dig garden is ideal for any backyard, and it's simple to build using timber sleepers.   Garden expert Adam Woodhams built and p...
Raise tropical fruit, green mangoes on a tree,

For fruit, flowers and shade you can’t go past a mango tree

Delicious and exotic, tropical fruits like mangoes, guavas, passionfruit, kiwifruit and lychees are easy to grow and cultivate, making them the ideal crop for the home gardener wanting a taste of paradise in the backyard. True to their origins, t...
How To Transplant Lemongrass
A fast-growing perennial, lemongrass is a tall tropical or subtropical grass that is quick to outgrow pots and beds.  Transplanting lemongrass into a bigger container or bed is best done during spring and summer.  Water the area well for two da...
Cooking With Asian Herbs
One of Australia’s best known and loved cooks Adam Liaw, winner of 2010’s MasterChef series, grows as many of his own herbs as possible.  Says Adam, ‘They taste better when fresh and are very easy to grow. A bunch of mint might cost $5 but for th...
How to grow asian greens, bok choy,pak choy,  soy sauce and chilli on a display board

Fresh greens, ginger and chillies are all essential ingredients of Asian cuisine. Image: Getty Images 

Asian vegetables are the pick of the bunch when it comes to choosing a low kilojoule, high nutrient food that’s easy to grow at home then prepare in the kitchen.  They can be grown all year round in northern parts of Australia and during the warm...
Growing bush tucker, handyman magazine, diy,

Hardy natives suited to the Aussie climate, bush tucker plants have little need for fertilisers or pesticides

Hundreds of kilometres from supermarkets and fast food outlets in remote parts of Australia, many indigenous people live off the land with a bush tucker diet. The food-hunting survival skills, passed down for generations, ensure outback inhabitan...
How To Grow Asparagus

Prized for the delicate flavour of its young shoots, asparagus heralds the arrival of spring

Easy to grow, asparagus is one of those crops that is worth cultivating at home for the difference in taste alone.   This vegetable is a good source of energy-releasing B vitamins, including folate, which may lower the risk of heart disease and s...
A Quick Guide To Growing Pumpkins

Follow our quick and easy guide to planting pumpkins. Image: iStock 

Eaten mostly as a winter food, pumpkins should be planted in the summer months. Seeds need to be sown into warm soil in order to germinate and December or January is the ideal time to get started for an autumn harvest.  With a sprawling habit, pu...
Grow International Herbs In Pots
Having pots of plentiful herbs on hand helps you stay creative in the kitchen 
All across the world people have been cooking with herbs for thousands of years, creating distinctive local dishes and recipes to be handed down through generations. Growing herbs in the garden is an easy way to bring these exotic flavours and me...
How to grow ginger, Handyman Magazine, gardening,
Ginger has been used in Asia for over two millennia to flavour food and drinks. It is an herbaceous perennial, meaning the leaves die down in autumn.  It has a hot, spicy taste without the burn of chilli and many health-giving properties, such as...
Growing potaotoes, potatoes dug out of the ground

This backyard classic is easy to grow and popular on every dinner table. Image: Thinkstock 

Boiled, baked, fried or roasted, potatoes have been one of the world’s most important food crops for centuries.   Originating in South America, they were introduced into Europe in the 1500s where they quickly became a staple in the diet of many cultu...
Build a Raised Garden Bed, Handyman Magazine, Garden, DIY
Winter is the best time to build a raised bed so it’s ready for planting in spring and it only takes a day.   There are many reasons to install a raised bed, not the least of which is to make gardening easier on your back and your knees.   Raised bed...
Raised vegetable gardens are ideal for any space, but are especially useful in sloping backyards where a level growing bed is needed, or in yards with poor soil.    They also save your back as you won't need to constantly bend over to work in the...
Handyman Magazine, DIY, Garden, Growing Berries and Grapes
Berries and grapes are packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Image: Getty Images 
The old saying ‘You are what you eat’ is proving more and more true. Scientific research increasingly supports the notion that what we ingest has value far beyond satisfying hunger.   The evidence is mounting that certain foods affect our bodies...
Handyman Magazine, Garden, How to Grow Spinach, DIY
Grow this fast-cropping vegie from seed for a supply of fresh greens all winter long 
Famous for giving Popeye his bulging muscles, most of the iron in spinach is not easily absorbed by the body but this leafy annual is still a nutritional powerhouse.   It’s an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and antioxidants. It’s also rich in...
Handyman magazine, DIY, planting onions
Onions are a kitchen staple and despite taking a long time to grow compared to many fast cropping vegies, they are very easy to add to the home harvest.   They need a sunny spot in rich, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7 that is not high...
passionfruit vine with purple and white showers

Passionfruit vines bear beautiful large purple and white flowers

The passionfruit vine is characterised by starry flowers and distinctive leathery-skinned fruit.   Native to the Amazon region of South America, it was named by Spanish missionaries who believed sections of the petals resembled the crown of thorns fr...
Chillies growing on a vine

Chillies grow year round in tropical and subtropical climates

Easy to grow, good for you and boasting a multitude of culinary uses, chillies are a great addition to your diet. They bring tears to your eyes, make your nose run and burn your mouth, but chillies are still loved by millions of people worldwide. Chi...
Basil growing in a terracotta pot

Herbs like basil are easily grown in pots

Growing your own herbs means that you simply snip off what you need when you need to add to recipes or use as garnishes. You won't have to buy a bunch of basil when you only want a few leaves, saving you money and cutting down on food waste. And spac...
Tomatoes growing on a vine

Eat juicy homegrown tomatoes straight off the vine

The tomato is the most commonly cultivated edible, and it’s easy to understand why. Red, yellow, green and even purple, tomatoes come in a range of colours, shapes and flavours to satisfy the senses. And it isn’t just Australia’s favourite, it’s also...