Welcome to the Vegie Growing Challenge

The Yates Spring Vegie growing Challenge began in 2010 and quickly developed into a wonderful community of gardeners sharing daily trials and successes that come with getting a vegetable garden going in the midst of spring weather. It is due to this incredibly supportive community that the Vegie Growing Challenge is returning for its 14th season.

And as always Yates has been supportive and generous as it provides this fabulous platform for all gardeners of all levels of experience with gardens of all sizes from the tiny to the enormous, to grow and develop as well as the opportunity to win great prizes.

We are looking forward to another wonderful season gardening alongside some inspiring Kiwi gardeners.

Important Dates:

The 2023 Yates Spring Vegie Growing Challenge begins on the Thursday 1st September 2023 and runs until Friday 8th December 2023.


Main Prizes:

  • Best individual gardener – $1000 Give a Garden Gift Card and $300 worth of Yates products

These will be awarded to three outstanding gardeners who participated fully in the Challenge.

Runner Up Prizes:

  • Best Starting Out Gardener - $300 worth of Yates products

We are looking for one enthusiastic gardener who is new to gardening or someone who is a bit rusty because they haven’t gardened for a very long time or a someone with more passion than experience.

  • Best Supporter, in honour of Carol Oates - $300 worth of Yates products

We will be looking for one gardener who encourages other gardeners, has great top tips and is a friendly and supportive presence in the Yates Vegie Growing Challenge.

  • Yates Wild Card Winner- $300 worth of Yates products

This one gardener could be anyone who stands out to the Team at Yates and could be a steady weekly blog poster, or an enthusiastic kid, or someone who overcame a challenge during the growing season and carried on anyway, or for any other reason where we see a keen gardener doing good things.

Encouragement Awards

Also scattered throughout the challenge are Encouragement Awards for gardeners who need encouragement along the way, have a success worth celebrating or anything that stands out to the Team at Yates as a worthy reason.

Also, up for grabs:

ONE weekly pack of seeds for a randomly selected gardener, announced on a the What’s Going On section of the main page on a Monday.


How to Join

  • The first step is to join the Yates Garden Club if you haven’t already. Just click HERE, and then click the "Join / Sign in" green button and you will be able to start sharing straight away.
  • Then head over to the ‘My Blogs’ box near the top right of the screen
  • Next begin to compete by posting regular blogs, photos, and comments about your gardening journey.



  • We are looking for honest, regular updates about your garden, the good and the bad, the ups and the downs. It isn’t about being the best gardener, it is about the journey.
  • Many gardeners blog daily, and some blog weekly and some are completely intermittent, and that is ok, spring is a busy time, and we get that. Although we do suggest that unless something really exciting happens we don’t recommend posting more than once a day.
  • Give your post a descriptive and exciting title. Write about what is going on in your garden, share recipes and hints and tips other gardeners may enjoy.
  • Write in a style that reflects who you are and have fun with it.  Posts can be between 200 – 600 words on average. As enthusiastic as you can be, try not to write thousands of words each day!


  • We appreciate there is always a lot going on in gardens, however the photo upload is limited to 1 picture per post at 2 MB max.
  • Avoid including multiple images in a collage, as due to the small size it does make it difficult for to see properly with multiple images in a collage. You can add extra images in the comments below.
  • We’d love to see photos of you in your garden, so remember to post a few of these from time to time.
  • The photos not only show us that you are actually gardening in the challenge, but they may also help other aspiring gardeners. And we love seeing them.



  • The comments section adds a wonderful ability to reach out and connect with the other gardeners. A message of support or some friendly advice can enhance your gardening journey and enjoyment of the challenge. We encourage active use of the comments section, so reach out and make some new friends.
  • The comment section requires you to sign into the Disqus program so you will need to sign into this as well in order to make comments. You can sign in via email, Facebook, or other options. If you have problems signing in let us know and we can help you out. The best way to reach out is to comment on Sarah the Gardener’s latest post.



Sometimes things go wrong in the garden or in the community and you may need some help.

  • If you experience something that isn’t working as it should let us know straight away by commenting on Sarah the Gardener’s most recent post, use the ‘Contact Us’ link on the bottom right of the page or send a message on the Yates NZ Facebook page and we will help you out as soon as we can.
  • If you are having horticultural problems then you can:
    • Reach out via your blog for community advice,
    • Comment under Sarah the Gardener’s most recent post
    • Use the ‘Chat Now’ box on the bottom right of the screen
    • Or use the ‘Contact Us’ link on the bottom right of the page or send a message on the Yates NZ Facebook page and let them know you are in the Vegie Growing Challenge and help will be on the way as soon as we can.


There are several ways you can keep up to date with the things going on throughout the challenge:

  • What’s Going On – On the main page of the Gardening Community is the What’s Going On link which be regularly updated information about the challenge, Encouragement Awards and the weekly free seed winners and other useful notices related to the Challenge and the Community. Check there often for updates to enhance your Vegie Growing Challenge experience. Don’t forget to click on the image link for more information than is found beneath the picture.
  • Sarah the Gardener’s blog post – Sarah is the Yates Brand Ambassador and will join you in this challenge and will read all of your posts and is there to encourage and help you out. She posts in her blog once a week - on a Monday with news and information regarding the challenge, hints and tips and timely advice for your garden and also how things are going in her garden and again on a Friday with . You can find this blog on the Main page of the Vegie Growing Challenge.  


  • Gardeners are required to log-on to the Yates website and submit at least 3 blog posts during the competition period to be eligible for the prizes.
  • Entries are limited to one entry per individual, with the exception of school garden participants or parents with small children. Please make it clear whether each post is from the parent or the children or school garden.
  • For more information regarding the rules, terms and conditions and finer details just click HERE.



  • Thank you once again for signing up and joining the Yates Spring Vegie Growing Challenge. We hope you enjoy participating as much as we enjoy hosting it.  Good luck and have a fabulous season.