Voting for the 2023 VegElection has now closed. We are currently counting your votes, and look forward to announcing New Zealand's prime (and not-so-prime) vegetable shortly.

Stay tuned!


As New Zealand prepares to go to the polls, the reputation of the country’s favourite vegetables are at stake in the country’s very first VegElection.

As a democratic nation the time is now, to stand up and be heard!  Ticking the box in the inaugural vegetable election will determine the country’s favourite (and most despised) vegetables.

From the nations cherished classics to the vegetables that have been much maligned, New Zealanders will get the opportunity to have their say.  Will tomatoes claim the crown or will Brussels sprouts clinch an unlikely victory?

The outcome of the VegElection will be announced on 11 October. Everyone that votes goes into the draw to win one of three $500 National Gardening Week hampers containing 20 packets of Kiwis’ favourite vegie seeds; plus lots more Yates goodies to get your garden kick started.

Meet the Contenders (or keep scrolling down to vote):

National Gardening Week

16-23 October 2023

'Vegies...Better Homegrown'

With the cost of living crisis continuing to bite at everyone's heels, National Gardening Week is shining a light on the multiple benefits of growing your own vegetables.

Home grown vegies are cheaper, fresher, often have a higher nutritional value and provide a great sense of satisfaction at harvesting time.

Join the growing movement of people who are living off their land and growing more for less.  Even if you’ve never planted peas or potatoes, peppers or pumpkins, there's never a better time to start.

National Gardening Week aims to foster a love of gardening with a focus on growing not only plants but friendships, good health, strong communities and closer connections with nature.  Whether it’s a few pots on the balcony, a small patch or an extensive garden, everyone can experience the joy of gardening.


Yates Gardening Hacks for Beginners

Here are some of our favourite tricks to help save your $$$!

1.    Clear plastic sushi or salad ‘clamshell’ containers make great mini greenhouses for getting seeds started. Just poke a few vent holes in the lid, fill the bottom half with seed raising mix and sow your seeds. Add a little bit of water, close the lid and place the container in a sunny spot.

2.    If you’re planting out seedlings in cooler temperatures you can protect them from frost – and slugs or snails – by using 2L soft drink bottles. Take off the lid, cut off the bottom and push the bottle down over the seedling, into the soil. When the seedling, is ready to face the elements remove the bottle during the day and pop it back on overnight, until the seedling is mature enough to grow on its own. 

3.    If you’re short on space, you can start a bag garden. Black soft plastic polybags can be placed anywhere, are inexpensive and are an economical option to replace rigid and heavier pots when growing vegies and herbs.  Use bigger sized bags as smaller bags dry out faster in hot weather. 

4.    Attract insect pollinators to your vegetable garden with colourful flowers. The more bees and butterflies you have visiting your vegies, the better your harvest will be. 

5.    If you have cats in your neighbourhood make sure there isn’t any exasperating litterbox action in your newly sowed areas by ‘planting’ disposable wooden forks or chopsticks into the soil, to discourage digging… or just a bunch of pruning offcuts pushed into the soil.

6.    Take advantage of sunny house or garage walls to grow tall tomatoes.  Plant seeds in polybags and hang lengths of stretchy cotton plant ties from cup hooks under the eaves.  You can spiral wrap it around the main stems to hang up the plant, then gradually train it to full height. Even a tomato plant heavily laden with fruit will hang quite comfortably from stretchy plant ties.

7.    If you’re growing beetroot, there’s a good trick to maximise your results: soak the seeds in water overnight before you sow. When the seeds sink in the water, they’re ready. Each ‘seed’ is actually a cluster of 1-4 true seeds, protected by a corky outer coating. 

8.    Double the life of your vegetables by sprouting them from scraps that may normally get thrown out, including lettuce, celery, bok choy, leeks, and onions. Simply place the cut base of the vegetable in an inch of water, place in good light and change the water every couple of days.  Once roots have shown on the cuttings, the sprouted vegetables can be planted out in the garden, or transferred into pots, to grow on into new plants. 

9.    Grow your vegetables from seed instead of seedlings. The maths is simple – you get dozens more plants from a packet of seeds, for a fraction of the cost.

10.    Join a garden club or community garden and learn everything you need to know from the pros.