Vital Veggies FAQs

Is it all natural and organic?

Everything used in our gardening service complies with or surpasses the requirements of organic certification. Where we need to use fertilizers, they are in the form of natural rock dusts. We make extensive use of composts that are made from a variety of materials that include, saw dust, horse and pigeon manure, organic materials, kelp meal, basalt rock dust and lime.

We foliar spray and these are usually in the form of liquid kelp, molasses, and biological inoculants to boost soil microbial activity. 

It’s as natural as nature intended.

What selection of veggies is there?

We grow every veggie that is suitable for your climate and the season. Please check out the page  for details and call us to discuss your requirements. We do suggest you grow those things that you enjoy most and a few exotics that you would not find in shops. This is where the real pleasure of growing your own comes in by having things not easily found in the shops.

How about watering?

When we install your veggie garden we will chat about how best to ensure your garden is watered in a way which meets your life style.  Watering is your responsibility. The more it is automated, the less of a commitment it is for you. Also, take into account times where no one may be at home during holidays and family events and if there is an absence of nearby friends, a fully automated watering system is what we would recommend.

In the event that your garden dies because you failed to water it, you will be asked to contribute to the cost of re-establishing the garden.

Vital Veggies responsibility, is caring for the garden if you have a VV care package and this does not include watering. As outlined under watering, you must water the garden during those times of the year when it is necessary.

What about harvesting?

Harvesting is one of the great pleasures of caring for a garden and you are expected to look after this. You can check out the harvest guide on both veggies and herbs, where we tell you how things grow and how to harvest them. We'll help you on when and how to harvest your produce, so you gain the best from your garden.

The healthiest food for you is that which is picked fresh from the garden and eaten shortly after.  Then it’s bound to be crisp and crunchy, and as full of nutrients as is possible.

What is in Vital Veggies super soil?

Our soil is tested using a full agricultural soil test to establish the amendments that are necessary. We start with a sandy loam to which have been added 20%   compost, basalt rock dust, lime, special clay, kelp meal, and then whatever is required to get a balanced mineral profile in the soil. By the time the soil is delivered to you and placed into your veggie garden we will have been tending, adjusting and caring for the soil for anywhere up to two years.  We want the soil to have a nice crumb structure and be ready to grow you nice veggies immediately.  With the first planting of veggies, all the soil biology that is a vital part of what we do, will almost surely not have established itself in its new garden location. After installation it may take at least one crop for a bed to become fully settled and be ready to start to produce well. We thank you for your understanding and patience with both us and the soil micro fauna and flora whilst everything is establishing itself in the new garden bed..

And we also add worms to your garden because we consider these essential silent helpers in the soil.

What if my garden doesn’t grow?

In our experience the only reason it wouldn’t grow would be because it was not being watered. We’ve never had a garden that does not grow so we know we can safely guarantee a garden planted by us using vital veggie soil and plants will grow. If the site is not suited to a garden because of overhanging trees and a lack of sunlight, we will tell you before we allow the garden to be planted.

You have a 100% guarantee your garden will grow and produce veggies.

How fast does my garden grow?

A productive garden is a fast growing garden.  Every type of vegetable has its own growth period which in turn is influenced by the weather, sunlight, temperature, wind, and the type of surrounding plants. Then, for many leaf plants, leaves may be harvested for extended periods just by harvesting the larger leaves from around the plant, leaving sufficient greenery for continued growth.

Here’s some indicative growing times for different veggies…


Average Growing Time in weeks


Average Growing Time in weeks


Average Growing Time in weeks


11 to 13


8 to 9


8 to 10


 8 to 9




9 to 11


9 to 16


6 to 12


9 to 17


9 to 11


12 to 17


1 year


8 to 12


8 to 17


6 to 7

Corn - Sweet

9 to 13


10 to 13


7 to 9


10 to 11




8 to 13

After these times, each veggie has a harvest period during which they will produce. We figure you’ll just keep picking your crop whilst it goes.

How much area do I need to grow?

We take as a guide, an area of ten square metres is sufficient to provide the majority of veggies that one person would eat.  Multiplying that up for the family gives the area you’d need. Most people with gardens still shop for some fruit and vegetables. If you want to grow enough for a family it is best to start with a smaller area and see how that works for you.

What area do you service?

Vital Veggies will commence garden installations and servicing those gardens in metropolitan Adelaide from mid 2013. We are able to do installations outside this area within country South Australia on request.

Please understand, we are building our team of Master Gardeners and we may not yet have the capacity to service your area. If that is the case, we will place you on a waiting list and work to establish a service in your area. Thank you for your understanding and please check with us for available areas.

Why is all natural, organic growing better?

Organic produce has been proven scientifically to have a higher nutrient content for each calorie of food consumed.  It has a higher sugar content which contributes to a longer shelf life. The food has, time and time again, proven to be tastier than conventional produce. There are definitely no chemical residues as they are totally prohibited. There are no genetically modified organisms allowed anywhere within the production system.

It’s better for the health of the gardener, the soil, and the environment and also for you if you’re eating it. Organic growing has been proven to restore and improve the soil – a major benefit where conventional farming depletes the soil. With Vital Veggies, you'll be growing organic produce right in your own backyard.

What is the difference between organic, certified organic and what you do at Vital Veggies?

It’s easiest to start with what certified organic is. Certification means an independent third party has looked at the growing methods of the farmer and verified it complies with the requirements to be certified organic. This audit is performed usually at yearly intervals and covers all the points covered in the question above. In short, the farmer has used only approved inputs which must meet organic criteria, that they are using approved fertilizers which are not chemical based. Then, if there is a need to control pests, that this is done using biological controls or bio sprays.

At Vital Veggies we are organic in the way we do things – we wouldn’t have it any other way! But we are not certified. At least, not yet!

The challenge now confronting organics, is the growing consumer desire to consume foods from fully mineralized, balanced soils. And it’s this last part that's key – and I’ll repeat that…fully mineralized, balanced soils. Our bodies need foods that have a balanced nutrient profile and it only comes from the soil. At Vital Veggies we only grow our produce in such soils.

Many of our modern diseases that afflict us are the result of eating an unbalanced diet where the nutrients our bodies crave are absent in our foods. The only reason we have such a massive dietary supplements industry is because we are not receiving those necessary nutrients in our foods.

What is beyond organic?

To be certified organic means the produce coming out of that farm meets the requirements to be certified. Organic certification is a process certification with validation as to the inputs going into the farm. That’s where the challenge comes, because it’s by implication that what comes out is better – not by verification. What’s the challenge is, a farmer could get certification, for their farm even if the soil has an unbalance mineral profile and is missing trace elements.
What we’re looking for is food that can be described as a nutra-ceutical - food that leads to good health because the body is receiving the minerals it requires.

Those who are proponents of Beyond Organics are using this as their justification and if there is a chink in the armour of organics it’s just this.

At Vital Veggies we have taken every step to fully mineralize the soil so in fact our foods contribute to good health. And we are in fact, in the class where we are Beyond Organic!

What if I forget to water my plants?

They will die - especially if they get no water. If they get some water, but not enough; this will affect their growth and overall health.

If the plants die through a lack of water we will ask you to contribute to the cost of replacing your planting.

Can I over water my plants?

Our soil is high in organic matter plus clay. These materials hold water in the soil to be available to the plant.  What we are looking for when the garden is watered is a 5 to 10 seconds where the soil is shinny and then the water soaks in. This will mean you’ve watered sufficiently.

Our soil is light and friable and so there is little likelihood of over-watering, especially in a raised bed as any excess water will seep out of the bottom of the beds saving you the concern of a waterlogged garden.

What if I just want the soil and that’s it?

We can supply just the soil. But remember, the productivity of our soil is already high and will produce well only by putting back what is being taken out. Each year we soil test all our Vital Veggies garden beds and add minerals as the soil test shows is required. When you just take the soil, you are really missing out on this testing. Should you take our soil and not use the Vital Veggies Visits service, we cannot at a later date, bring you back into the program as your soil will be different from every other Vital Veggies garden soil.

You wouldn’t drive your car without a service at regular intervals and the soil in your veggie garden is just the same. We test it and tune it up so its operating at optimum.

What if a plant dies?

Plants do die. If that happens and you have opted into Vital Veggies Visits, please tell us and it will be replaced on our next visit. You can replace it with the same veggie or something different if you choose. If many plants die at the same time we'll want to develop an understanding of what caused it and act accordingly. We can fix everything. Sometimes it just takes a little time and consultation. If you have a plant that ‘s not well you can always send us a photo and we’ll come well prepared to care for it. We may however, just choose to replace it.

What happens if my dog digs up my plants?

We’ll replace them for you the first time and then expect you to manage your dog so it does not happen again. If a recurrence happens we’d need you to pay the cost of replacing the plants.

Birds attack seedlings

Our soils are biologically active and this means they have plenty of tasty things that birds sometimes like to eat.  If you have troubles with birds in your garden we can cover that section or the entire garden with bird netting. For tall plants this can be a challenge to do. Generally once the plants are 15centimetres high or more birds are not so much a problem. However, the longer the netting can be left over the plants the better. Birds, can forage around plant roots and this can damage them so it’s best to protect the plants with netting.

If you loose plants as a result of bird attack we will replace them at no cost to you.

Sometimes, you may have possums or rodents eat produce. In such cases, removal of the possum is necessary or poisoning to get rid of rodents may be required. This is your responsibility.


Wilting can be either from insufficient watering of a plant, a normal response of the plant to elevated temperatures, or a disease .

In high temperatures, it’s a normal reflex action of plants to protect against excessive moisture loss when temperatures move toward the high twenties and beyond.  To be sure it is this; it is preferable to have watered the day before in the evening so you know there is adequate soil moisture. Wilting can also be due to a lack of water and in this case you MUST water the plants to revive them.

Wilting can also be an indicator of verticillium wilt in tomatoes and if this is the case, them we’d like to hear about it as soon as you have discounted the earlier two possibilities.   

How often will you replace a plant for me?

We consider your garden a shared responsibility between you and us, and we want you to enjoy great success in the garden. If you do loose plants then we will replace them once and at that time, action needs to be taken to prevent a recurrence.  A repetition with the same cause will incur a replanting cost and we appreciate your understanding.

What are your cultural practices?

Simply, all materials we use are entirely natural with no, or minimal processing. We add biology to the soil where appropriate and feed that biology with approved organic inputs.   

We do not use any chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, nano particles or genetically modified organisms.

Whatever we use would be an approved input to a certified organic farm and there is no exception to this.

In summary, we make our own composts from diverse organic sources and add naturally occurring minerals to that compost and then add biodynamic preparations used for compost making. All our seedlings are grown out organically.

Our soil is blended using soil, rock dusts and seaweed meal.

We garden for you, how we garden for ourselves. We wouldn’t have it any other way!  

What do I need to care for?

You need to take overall responsibility for the garden. This means watering it, harvesting the produce as it is ready and watching for any pest infestations.  The worst that this involves is checking and removing caterpillars from any Brassica’s you are growing.  In this situation we’d be taking action to improve the health of the plant so this is not required of you into the future.

If you see any other problems, we’d like to hear about it or we’d ask you to send a photo so we can manage it for you.  We’ll be onto it as quickly as our schedule permits but that may mean your help until we can get there.

If I’m on Vital Veggie Visits, can I stop?

You certainly can stop when you give us the notice required.  What you have in your garden today, we may have begun working on some three or four months before.  Especially when you are on our Gourmand service plan, some of the more exotic veggies we will be growing three months before you see them in your garden. We simply ask you inform us 4 months prior to your required date of finishing.

If you can’t do that and we have grown special veggies as seedlings for you we will ask you cover the cost of the seedlings at our cost of $1.65 per seedling.  You would be informed of this within a few days of us receiving your notice to finish with us.

Finally, if you do need to stop, we’d appreciate knowing why, so if there’s anything we need to improve we’ll do so. We like to garden for you and would like to continue to do so.   

How do I know this food is better for me?

Let’s start with the absence of any use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides – that’s better for you. Then, all seedlings where possible are grown from organic seeds and using a very gentle supportive growing method that gives plants the best start possible. Next, we use a methodology for soil management that stands in the footsteps of Dr William Albrecht, Dr Carey Reams, and Dr Arden Andersen – all highly qualified to give the technical parameters that we follow to create mineral balanced, highly fertile soils that are naturally productive.

And finally, the very best guide of all is, the produce tastes better and if you don’t agree we’ll simply refund your money. We care for your garden as it were our own! In our eyes, we can’t do better than that.     

Do I need to pollinate my plants?

In general, bees, ants and birds take care of the task of pollination.  However,  squash, zucchini, pumpkins and other vine crops may need your helping hand. If you have lots of flowers but no fruit then you need to help nature. On inspection you will see the plants have both male and female flowers and you can simply get a cotton bud and wipe it over the pollen in the male flower and wipe it on the middle part of the female flower. Think as if you were a bee doing the job.  You can use a small stick, a small paint brush or even a chop stick to complete the task.

Alternately you can pick a male flower and take it to a female flower.  One male flower will fertilize several females.

If you don’t do this you will have lots of flowers but few fruit.

Should I add any fertilizers to the soil?

We very specifically ask you to add nothing to the soil. We manage yours and every other Vital Veggies garden collectively and if you add something to the soil you will affect our ability to achieve outstanding results for everyone.

If you really think something should be done please tell us and we’ll consider your suggestion.

Our soil is fully mineralized, balanced for all major nutrients and trace elements so adding something else is likely to affect the way the soil is designed to act. We’d ask you not to and after all, you’re paying us already to do that.   

Do you plant according to the cycles of the moon?

There have been many proponents of bio-dynamic gardening who have studied and developed methods of growing plants which we follow. Our seedlings are planted according to such a calendar and transplanted into your garden based on this calendar. We’ve discovered great results from this and so share this with you in your garden.

Do you companion plant?

We have companion planting tables and follow them.  We’ll do whatever is natural to give every plant in your garden the best opportunity to produce beautifully for you.

Should I prune my tomatoes?

We do not advocate pruning. But if you feel it is better then on this one, please go ahead and do what you prefer. For our own plants, we do not prune.  If you want to grow tall vines then you’ll need to prune and you do so by pinching where a leave meets the main stem. We always stake the vines at the time we transplant the seedlings so as not to disturb the plants roots.

When do I harvest melons?

This is not easy to get exactly right. Melons harvested early will get no sweeter. They will soften but not sweeten. There are a few other guides and here they are. They will smell sweet when put to the nose. At the growth point just where the plant stem attaches to the melon, a small split may develop above the melon. If you leave it too long a split may develop in the melon skin itself and in which case you should harvest immediately.

Another way is to tap the melon and listen for a dull thump – it’s ready to pick. And also the skin color may change to a lighter shade away from green.  Good luck and if you need further help, please call us.

What types of gardens does Vital Veggies provide?

We only supply and fill raised gardens. You can chose from gardens you see in our website or provide your own.

We only garden in our soil because it has been tested, amended and retested to be the very best soil we can offer in which to grow your food. Even if you have your own garden beds we would need to install a raised bed over the top, fill it and then maintain it. When you want great results using balanced soils full of trace elements, it’s the only way we can give you the results we are looking for.

When it comes to soil, we only have one and that’s the best we can provide. It’s the same soil we use to grow our own food.  We test it once a year to see how it needs to be amended and act based on that soil test.

When it comes to the raised bed we have, there is a choice of in-ground, galvanized, rendered, rendered low line and then balcony, patio gardens.  You see all those on this page….

Do you speak about gardening at community events?

Roger Carthew is available to speak at community events about gardening. His expertise is in soil and its links to human health. From a healthy soil follows healthy produce and good health for those that consume the produce. 

A healthy soil will grow all sorts of produce and so you do not need to be an expert on specific plants to enjoy outstanding success. 

To book speaking engagements within Metro Adelaide please contact us. In general those presentations are free of cost. To elsewhere in South Australia and Australia, there is a cost and you need to consult with our office regarding that.  


Do you use insecticides, herbicides, or fungicides?

Each has a role to play in managing insects, weeds or fungal outbreaks in conventionally grown crops. In fact, in healthy soils you do not need any such chemicals. So with Vital Veggies, we use none of these chemicals simply because a healthy soil grows healthy plants. If insects are eating your plants it’s because insects are natures way of getting rid of sick plants and so, they are suitable for them and no one else. If there are fungal outbreaks, it’s quite probably solved by adding silica to the soil which we’ve already done.

A healthy plant has a higher sugar content and a different energy signal than a sick plant, which means it is bypassed by insects who are the scavengers of the earth, - eating anything that’s sick and under stress.

Do you use artificial fertilizers?

As a general rule, artificial fertilizers make nutrients readily available to plants - in fact too available. In a biologically active soil, nutrients are cycled through dead micro and macro fauna and flora. In this system, artificial chemicals disrupt the biological cycling of nutrients. It’s the profusion of biology in our soils that gives it its highly productive nature.

We have no need to use artificial fertilizers and encourage you not to do so yourself. They disrupt the natural balance of carbon and nitrogen in the soil and are one of the major contributors to the loss of top soil being experienced in farming.

Can I plant my own veggies?

If you want to plant your own veggies we encourage you to do so.  We use seedlings extensively in our plantings because they can save you anywhere from four to  eight weeks of growing time where we give you that head start. Also, we grow our seedlings in “big”250ml containers so this allows them to develop well and then be transplanted.

With Vital Veggies we want to fit in with what you need. Tell us what that is and we’ll do our very best to accommodate you.

At the start we’d expect to help you with many things and as we go along we’d hope you take over more and more.  Regardless, you’ll be sure that Vital Veggies will be there to help as your needs dictate.

What should I do if I get a pest infestation?

Call us! Tell us what’s going on and send us photos. The faster we manage it the better and the less your plants may be damaged. Having said this, our experiences are simply, we do not have pest infestations. Our soil ensures a plant is fully nourished and mineralized and so doesn’t send out signals to pests asking to be “got rid off”. At Vital Veggies, pests should be a thing of the past and can go and live off someone else’s plants!

Additionally, a plant that gets stressed is more susceptible to attack so we take all kinds of action to ensure we energize the seeds pre planting to get better germination, followed with a set of growing procedures designed to create healthy seedlings.

If we do have a problem with pests, our main thought will be, we need to further mineralize the soil to stop insect attacks, we need to foliar feed and can we further reduce plant stressors so as to have “happier” plants. There are never any chemicals used anywhere because we have managed it with a healthy soil.

What does a veggie garden cost?

There are two parts to having a Vital Veggie garden. The first is the investment for the garden beds, soil and installation. Secondly, there is the maintenance with the regular weekly or fortnightly visits. The costs will vary widely depending on what sized garden you install and the plan you take. We invite you to have a look at the price calculator for further information.

You can always choose to install further garden beds and to change your plans for maintenance as you choose, subject to the notification you need to give Vital Veggies.

The things that affect the cost are the area of garden, your choice of garden beds and access to your space.

When should a garden be started?

Anytime is a good time to start a garden. Our natural productivity of the soil means many things grow which may not grow for example in winter. So when you feel the time is right, do it. From the time you order a garden bed to installation, we require four to six weeks to arrange the soil and seedlings. If you want exotic produce, that may take up to 8 weeks to arrange for you.  So the best time to arrange a veggie garden is now.

In advance we ask for your consideration and understanding if delivery of your garden bed takes a little longer. We move as fast as is possible given the quality of soil, seedlings and service we strive to provide. At the time of booking your garden installation we'll give you an installation date which we'll keep you updated on.

How much space do I need?

Tell us what you are looking for and we can come up with some creative solutions. Going vertically can increase your gardens productivity dramatically. On average, one person needs around ten square metres to be supplied most of their fresh produce. And remember, you can always start smaller and still buy things from the fruit and veg shop until everything is fully productive.

I’m struggling for sunlight?

You do need a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight for your garden a day. Orientating your garden so it works best for you, your family and the forces of nature are what we at Vital Veggies will help you with. One solution may be to do more vertically and we’d look at this when you give us a call.

What should I plant?

You should plant what you like and if you want to be adventurous with something different then give it a try. But don’t plant things you don’t like. How much you plant depends on your needs and whether you plan to share, preserve or freeze the surplus. Be sure to grow what you enjoy and also what you know will contribute most to your health.

Do results vary from season to season?

What you harvest from your garden really depends on how nature co-operates with your growing plans. Extremes of weather, both hot and cold slow down the growth of your garden. So yes, having a garden gets you more in tune with nature. Some times you’ll have too much, just enough and not enough. That’s gardening for you and also seeing the seasonality of your garden links you in with nature as well.

What do I do if something is not growing as I think it should?

Please tell us and we’ll check it out. There can be all types of things that affect how your plants grow and we’d like to know what you think so we can monitor the progress of your veggies. With every visit we check your veggies and hearing from you gives us extra understanding of what’s happening.

What do I do about weeds?

If you have weeds in your garden and you know they are weeds then you are welcome to remove them. However, if you want to leave that till your Vital Veggies Visit then we weed the garden for you with each visit. We consider weeds an indicator of what’s happening in the soil and with time you will discover there will be fewer and fewer weeds as the soil improves.

We’d also ask you to keep grass mowed around the garden and prevent other areas of your garden from going to seed so we can keep seed transfer into your raised bed garden to a minimum.

What is a raised bed garden and why should I have one?

A raised bed garden allows you to grow plants in soil that is higher than that of the surrounding soil. It also allows you to grow on a patio area or even over a concreted area or even on a suitable roof top.

According to those interested in biodynamic gardening, raised bed gardens result in a more successful veggie garden. At Vital Veggies we only ever use raised bed gardens.

Can I place a raised bed garden on my balcony?

Sure you can. Check out our rendered raised beds right here. You MUST ensure the garden bed does not exceed the load factors that your balcony has been designed for.

How do I store or preserve my harvest ?

There are many great ways to use your harvest if eating it all is not within your means. Sharing is another option and then preserving it for later use is a fantastic option.

Preserving can mean a number of things such as freezing, by fermentation or bottling. Have fun and feed the family with your delightful produce.

Do I save water by growing at home ?

A home veggie patch has been demonstrated to use only 20% of the water involved in the same produce grown commercially.  Home veggie gardens save water.

How should I pick?

Use a clean sharp knife or a pair of scissors, as is best suited to the job.  It’s better to harvest leaves and leave the plant there for lettuce type crops and even celery. Take care not to bruise your produce as you harvest.  Don’t leave your newly harvested produce out in the sun.

What is crop rotation?

We practice both crop rotation and companion planting at Vital Veggies to give you the best produce possible.  Rotating your crops means growing heavy feeders after a legume crop after a root crop. So for example, sweet corn after peas and beans, after beetroot.  Whilst this is important, our use of mineralized composts does reduce the need to do this. Where possible we follow crop rotations so the same successive patch of soil is not growing the same veggies, season after season which can deplete the soil of minerals and create the circumstances for pests to develop.

We’ll manage this all for you and in fact, you won’t even know it’s happening.

Do I need compost?

Certainly you do. We have compost as a central part of maintaining a mineralized soil. With each harvested crop we will add five or six millimeters of compost over the entire area. This compost will maintain soil fertility and also invest in improving the soils fertility for future crops. At Vital Veggies, this addition of compost is included as part of the regular maintenance of your garden we perform. We only ever use our own biodynamic composts which are biologically active and fully mineralized based on previous soil tests. .

What makes a vegetable organic?

To start with, when it has been grown in soil where there has been no additions of artificial fertilizers and chemicals for three years or more. Then, all fertilizers need to be from natural sources and quite possibly from composted sources. The seeds were quite possibly organic to begin with and there were no chemicals used anywhere during the growing process. Most definitely, there were no genetically modified organisms used within the process of growing the produce.  There will also be a strong reliance on working with nature and the soil biology to grow the food.

Why is it important to limit or exclude the use of pesticides in growing practices?

In conventionally grown produce there could be up to 400 different chemicals used to kill weeds, insects and other pests. These chemicals are a primary cause of cancer, of decreased fertility, and many other serious health conditions. Avoiding them is prudent and possible by eating organic produce like Vital Veggies.

Should I have a lawn or a veggie garden?

Some people have described Vital Veggies as being like a lawn that you actually get something out of.   If you have the space, have both but it makes sense to have a veggie garden that saves on buying veggies compared with buying at the supermarket. Given a choice, get rid of the lawn and have a veggie garden instead.

For more on this, check out this link.

How often should I add organic material to my garden?

We look after all those things at Vital Veggies as part of the care package. And what we do depends on the soil test results we’ve obtained.

After the first harvest what happens?

As we visit your garden to care for it regularly, we’ll see it coming up to harvest and be arranging for the next crop and so on. Once you’re done with the harvest we’ll remove the crop residues if you want and then apply a coating of our compost and then replant the veggie of your choice.  It’s that simple.

Will you use any products to protect my plants from being attacked by pest/insects?

We won’t need to because a fully mineralized soil will take care of everything by ensuring the plants are healthy and hence insect and pest free.

Is there a guarantee that I can plant anything on this kind of soil? Will all the veggies be compatible to it?

This soil will grow everything you could ever expect to grow in a raised bed garden in your backyard.  Guaranteed.

Soil and health: How does organic gardening help the environment?

One of the first principles of growing organically is stewardship of the soil. That’s good for the environment in a multitude of ways. Plus there are no chemicals used anywhere when you grow veggies with Vital veggies because they are not needed.

Finally, the more veggies you grow with Vital Veggies, the less will be grown on conventional farms and that’s all good because of the way they farm, not to mention the transport and storage involved in getting it from the farm to you.

Does organic gardening improve sustainability?

Absolutely it does and why do you think we created Vital Veggies because at Vital Veggies we care about the health of the planet and people.

If I used to apply chemical/ liquid fertilizers, can I convert it to organic garden?

The conversion process in a formal sense would take three years if you were seeking certification. In reality, and doing it for your self would take a couple of years. Using Vital Veggies it’s in an instant – well, almost. Ask us to install a garden for you and it’s definitely an organic garden once installed and within six to eight weeks you can start to harvest some things.

How do I start a home organic garden?

You could do it yourself and it would take you at least two years and a lot of knowledge to get close to having a successful organic veggie garden. Not to mention the considerable cost and need for hard to discover resources. Alternately, you can go with Vital Veggies, and in as little as two to three months you will be eating organic produce. Purposely, Vital Veggies has made it really easy to enjoy great veggie garden results in a very short time, compared with the alternatives.

Do I need organic seed to have an organic gardening?

Where organic seed is available on commercially acceptable terms we use it. They have greater vitality, germinate with greater success and they fit with great integrity into the philosophy behind Vital Veggies. It’s just that, sometimes the seed is not available in which cases we try for heirloom and after that conventional seed.

Once we receive the seeds we take action to vitalize the seeds. In planting the seeds we soak them for a time and then plant them using a biodynamic planting calendar.  We have found this gives us the best results.

Would it be easy for us to install our own garden?

If you install your own garden it’s a lot of work and most likely a few years before you have it working really well. Vital Veggies will have your garden up and growing in four to six weeks and you’ll be able to start to eat veggies at about 10 to 14 weeks after you order your garden. From there it only gets better.

Vital Veggies will work with you however you want. It can be your raised bed or ours, Our Vital Veggies Visits or you do it yourself. What we do insist on is providing the soil. But please remember, if you are not on Vital Veggies Visits, your garden will most likely fall behind, as it most likely lacks the entire support service that the Visits provide. The best is to have the Visits package.

What are the common vegetables that we can plant to have a garden?

You really need to plant what you like to eat. Certainly having a variety of lettuce, beetroots, cabbages, cauliflowers, zucchini, squash, pumpkins, carrots and potatoes are all good. Including some melons is great as well.  But best of all is you can grow produce that you’ll never find in the shops. But remember, plant what you like to eat.

And also remember, most produce is seasonal and will only grow in your locality at certain times of the year. Very often, you'll get just one crop annually.

What is the standard size we need to start a garden?

We’d suggest you start with around five to ten square metres. This gives you a start and you can always add more later if you so desire. It’s generally considered an area of ten square metres will be sufficient for one person’s supply of fresh garden produce.

How can we choose the best veggie to plant on our garden?

Our main recommendation is to plant what you like and whatever you do, if you don’t like it, then be prepared to give it away or don’t plant it in the first place.

Is it true that you need to have a green thumb in order to make a beautiful garden?

With Vital veggies soil those without a green thumb get a green thumb. It’s all in the soil. We’ve taken people who could never grow a garden and had them growing veggies like a pro. So yes, a green thumb is what your friends and family will think you have. So we simply make you look like a great gardener.

Why it is better to have organic veggies than conventional produce?

The major difference that no one can dispute is they are grown without the use of chemicals of any kind and so do not have any chemical residues. This is better for our health. Then, when it comes to the nutrient qualities of organic versus conventional, organic has been shown to be superior in a number of cases.

Further, organic growing has vastly superior outcomes for the environment compared with conventional farming.

What is the most important factor that we need to know in starting our own garden?

What’s most important is the soil and knowing how to create a balanced mineral, biologically active soil with the correct structure is where you need to start. This can take a lot of research and understanding so that’s why we started Vital Veggies so for you; we take the hard work out of gardening.

Where is the best place to locate your garden?

A garden needs direct sunlight for the best results. Then, you want it close enough to where you cook so you can just grab something whilst you’re cooking. And finally access to compost, worm farms and even street access needs to be considered. The easier all this is, the better and more pleasure you will get from your garden. 

How do I know when a plant is ready for picking?

For every veggie that is grown by Vital Veggies we have a brief history, growing notes and harvest guide. It’s best you refer to that for details. As a brief note, some things like lettuces and broccoli can be harvested as they get large enough and are growing whilst others need to be harvested at the right time.  Please check out that guide.

How can we protect our plants from pest?

With the Vital veggies super soil and our regular visits, concerns about pests should be a thing of the past. Our experience indicates that a healthy soil grows healthy plants which do not attract pests. If you have pests it’s indicating we possibly need to foliar spray or to alternately improve further the soil.

Why should I have my own Vital Veggies?

If you eat, the regular Vital Veggies Visit service fee is quite possibly less than you spend on fresh produce. Other than the initial investment in the raised bed garden, you’ll almost surely be getting vastly better produce for less than what you spend on shop bought.

What is the Vital Veggies Kit?

You’ll need a raised bed garden which either you can buy separately or direct from Vital Veggies. Then you need our soil. Without our soil, we can’t work with you. Finally you’d need to make a decision on which service plan you want to choose depending on your needs.  That’s it.

What Vital Veggies products or packages are available for me to choose from?

You have a range of raised bed gardens to select from and then some options around the frequency of our service visits and what we do during them. Checking out the links shown will give you the answers on this.

Is training or a manual provided with the Vital Veggies Service?

When you work with Vital Veggies, it’s more like a partnership where we do things and as we go along you learn things. Eventually you may choose to reduce the level of our support and that’s fine. So there are no instructions or manual. Just learning by doing and always, the friendly team at Vital Veggies will be there to help.

I want to try Vital Veggies but I am busy with my work. Does Vital Veggies really make it easy for me?

With Vital Veggies and the regular visits, there’s little for you to do. If you’ve automated your watering in reality you simply need to harvest the produce. There’s every possibility that’s less work than going to the supermarket. Growing your veggies in your backyard, could save you time.

What type of growing media is acceptable to use for the Vital Veggies Service?

We insist on using our soil so, what we grow we know how it performs. We understand our soil because we have tested it to completely understand the amendments that are required. For you to add anything to the soil of a Vital Veggie garden is something we quite specifically request you don’t do. Why would you, because it’s already as good as is needed for you to grow healthy veggies.

Is there are a need for Vital Veggies to replanted in a specific period of time?

One of the options with Vital Veggies is that we replant with seedlings you want when you’ve harvested the previous crop. So, we always keep your garden fully stocked. There may be occasions where we leave blank spaces for a few weeks and that’s because we wish to do a planting all at the same time and to prepare the soil all at once.

Why do my veggies taste different from shop grown?

This is one of the main reasons why you grow your own. So often, the produce of commercial, conventional production systems has little or no taste – a prime example being tomatoes that taste no better than cardboard. Our taste buds were developed to know good food when we eat it. A balanced soil nutrient profile shows by growing food that has greater shelf life, superior taste and an enhanced nutrient profile. These qualities are the result of terrior, a term that refers to the confluence of factors which are geographies contribution of climate, topography, soil and then man's cultural practices – all in combination conferring quality to food. Some prime examples would be the Hunza Valley in North Pakistan or the Nile Delta pre Aswan dam. As we talk of a terrior for wine, so we can talk of terrior for our fresh produce. If it tastes good, there's a very good chance it is good for us. Our experience at Vital Veggies is, the tastier the food, the healthier and more nutrient dense is the food. Everything goes together – hand in hand!