- Vegetable Garden
- Spray Free
In her backyard in Spreydon, Christchurch, Ruth has developed a diverse and productive edible garden with raised vegetable beds, fruit trees, berries, chickens and flowers for the bees - a garden that feeds her family, and her soul.
Ruth takes a considered and planned approach to her gardening - though she’s not afraid to just give things a go and learn by trial and error. Various composting systems and a glass house with a solar powered, rain-fed watering system are the hub of garden, and successive propagation and planting-out, ensure there’s something to harvest for family meals all year round.
“Our garden looks like it would be high maintenance, but is relatively low maintenance - through mulching, composting, knowing what weeds look like and being wise with how we crop.”
A natural teacher, Ruth has a particular passion for sharing knowledge about vegetable gardening, and encouraging and empowering others to give it a go. She loves to break the process down and simplify it for people - showing that you can start a garden by starting small ! To this end Ruth will be running beginner vegetable gardening workshops covering topics such as compost, starting from seed, mulch, weeds, time management, chickens, essential tools and giving participants the chance to pot up their own seeds and start to make a planting plan.
Ruth is a full time mum and part time teacher, who loves growing food for her family.
As a teacher she has worked predominately in low decile schools, before training to become a specialist teacher. While she has ‘dabbled’ in gardening all her life, it is only in recent years, with the birth of her son, that gardening has become a central focus for her. "This passion has grown even more in the past year as we've been able to feed out little one his first foods straight from the garden.”
Aside from gardening Ruth’s other passion is teaching others and supporting beginner gardeners to take the first leap – especially those juggling the demands of work, parenting and life-in-general. Her love for sharing knowledge lead Ruth to set up and host her own Youtube channel (ruGrew) which has grown into a community of regular watches, asking questions and seeking advice. These days Ruth is more active on Instagram (grow.nurture.nourish), and still enjoys the messages and conversations she gets to have with people about their gardening adventures. She is looking forward to continuing these conversation face-to-face through the Secret Gardens platform.
If you’ve got one seed you’ve got the beginnings of a garden – just plant it and watch it grow!
Tasks and Projects for February - Trim hedges, keep on top of picking everything, deliver the surplus to the local free vegetable stall, feed all the plants by adding more compost to the top of the soil, ensure my mulch is thick enough, plant more seeds and remembering to plant out the seedlings!
What I'm Planting in February - A succession of some of my summer crops, and starting off more winter vegetables - Seeds for basil, cabbage, celeriac, kohlrabi, lettuce, tatsoi, summer spinach, tasty stems broccoli, kale, beetroot, carrots, cauliflower
What I'm Harvesting in February - Blueberries, strawberries, potatoes, boysenberries, carrots, tomatoes, basil, zucchini, beans, sprouting broccoli, kale, silverbeet, spinach, edible flowers, various herbs, cabbage, celery, last of the garlic, strawberry spinach
A highlight in my garden this month is...... Definitely the blueberries! February is when we start being able to get really good picks daily of our ripe berries - this year I'm not sure if the netting is to keep the birds out or slow down my toddler! If you have any space in your garden I definitely recommend going berries - they always are superior being sun-ripened, but also they are such great 'bang for your buck' because they never really go down in price over summer!
Do you want to learn how to start a vegetable garden? grow from seed? Have you ever wondered what 'annual' and 'perennial' means, or what the difference is between 'thinning' and 'pricking out' ? Come along to the 'Beginner Vegetable Gardeners' workshop to find out that and more! Each workshop will be tailored to the participants questions and interests.
We really enjoyed our visit to Ruth's garden. We picked up some great tips that I am already putting into practice after a visit to the garden centre this morning. I'm feeling inspired once again to get back out in the garden after having lost my way a little last year. Thanks for the experience :)- Jackie