So you've got your Freedawn Garden in a Box? Awesome! Here's what to expect & how to make sure your garden grows sucessfully.

Getting Started

Take everything out of your garden box, open it up to form the tray & spread the waterproof cover over the inside
Fill a bucket with 4L of water, add the soil block & leave for about 10 minutes. Mix the soil around & break up any solid pieces that are left.
Add the soil to your box, sprinkle the fertiliser evenly over the top & lightly mix it into the soil. Plant your 3 seeds an equal distance from each other & the sides of the box and get ready to watch them grow!

Your Plants

Part of the fun of your Freedawn edible garden is finding out which plants you're growing. Here's the possible list of what you might have & some info about them
This might be one you typically avoid on your plate - but you don't have to. Try it raw in a salad, pan fried with garlic & butter or soak it in lemon/orange juice.

Silverbeet is ready to be harvested when the leaves are about 30cms long. Start with the outside leaves & cut them off using a knife or scissors near the base of the plant.

Did you know? Silverbeet is commonly called Chard outside New Zealand & Australia, & the Romans considered it a delicacy.
Kale's picked up popularity in NZ over the past few years but it's been around for ages. Try it in a burger, give it a good massage to soften it & put it in a salad or make kale chips.

Kale is ready to harvest when the leaf is a bit bigger than your hand - and you don't have to take all the leaves at once, just grab what you need. To harvest them cut the leaf off towards the bottom - about 3cm from the dirt. Try and leave the center leaf until last as that helps the plant to keep growing.

Did you know? Kale has more than 15 times the vitamin C content of carrots.
Beetroots aren't just found in a can - they're great fun to watch grow & push their way out of the ground. You can even add the leaves to a salad. Roast them with potatoes & pumpkin, blend them to make your chocolate cake super moist or eat them raw - just remember to peel off the skin first as it's a bit tough.

Beetroot grows under the soil but you'll be able to see the top of it to give you an idea of how big it is. You can also gently dig around the base to get a better look & it's ready to go anytime from about golf ball size - but you can certainly leave it longer to get a bigger beetroot. You should harvest it while the leaves are dark green though so if they start to lighten in colour it's ready to go. To harvest it grab the stems & gently pull the entire plant out.

Did you know? Beetroot's have been used as a hair dye since the 16th century
Tomatoes are actually a fruit, and like any good fruit they're great to pick straight off the plant & snack on. They are a champion in salads, or of course blend them up into a sauce to go on pretty much anything! Although the tomatoes we provide are a small variety, if you have a super green thumb & your plant starts growing big you can help it out by putting a stake in your garden to help hold it up.

Tomatoes are ready to be picked when they're firm & a nice red colour. To pick them grab the stem with one hand & the tomato with the other and break it off just above where the tomato connects to the plant.

Did you know? Tomatoes contain Lycopene which is said to help protect your skin against sun damage
Parsley is one of the most commonly used herbs & for good reason. With its soft smell & fresh taste you can use it in anything from soups to sauces to cooking with vegetables or in salads.

As it's a continuing herb you can keep harvesting parsley for as long as the plant is alive. Best to wait until leaf stems have 3 segments (e.g there's 3 branches coming off the stem) & then cut the stem just below the lowest of the 3 stems.

Did you know? Parsley is a rich source of vitamins K, C A & the B group. It was also worn as an ornament on the head in ancient Rome.
Chives are great cut up & used in fresh salads, in omelets or scrambled eggs & on potatoes with sour cream.

Chives are ready to be harvested when they're about 30cm tall & you simply cut them off close to the ground. You'll need to harvest them if you want to eat them before they sprout purple flowers.

Did you know? Chives have been used to help an upset stomach & also to prevent bad breath.

Top Tips for Growing your Garden

  • Put your garden somewhere you'll see it everyday. Check in to make sure your plants have enough water & give them a bit of love
  • Be patient. Some of the seeds can sprout after 3-4 days but some will take up to 2 weeks before you see anything. Don't worry if you don't see anything straight away.
  • Don't over water them. Your plants love water but not too much. A good way to judge is to feel the soil. If it feels damp & it sticks to your fingers it doesn't need any more water.
  • Try to avoid moving your garden once you've planted your seeds as it can cause the soil to crack & can damage the roots. If you do need to move it try to keep it as flat as possible.