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‘How to…’ Series #2: Start a Veg Patch

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You can view a concise PDF version of this blog post by clicking here. From there you can save as well as print the version for your own leisure. Happy reading!

 

Here’s the second in Oakleigh Manor’s latest series of blogs posts; the ‘How to…’ series, where we bring you top quality guides for you to be as efficient in your garden as possible. The first edition tackled the often-overlooked issue of watering correctly, by avoiding the cardinal sins of both overwatering and under-watering; click here to read all about it in full. However, if starting your own vegetable garden is something you’ve always fancied doing, please read on.

Self-sufficiency is something I personally like to champion in a gardening domain. For one, it can lead to significant savings in terms of money, time and food miles, benefiting all parties – consumer, retailer and the environment – in the process. Secondly, it is a great educational tool for, say, the children of vegetable gardener’s, for example, and furthermore, in my own humble opinion, I feel the satisfaction of knowing the veg on your Sunday Roast came from your own back garden is extraordinary, thanks to your own hard work, care and attention!

You may really like the idea of having your own vegetable garden, but a common ‘stumbling block’ is the matter of space. However, the idea that you need a significant area to personally grow fruit and veg is a misconception. Sure, a little more space does help, but simply because you have a small garden doesn’t render your potential venture null and void. You can run your veg garden out of hanging baskets! Click here to see a previous blog post from myself about growing chillies in this manner.

But I digress. Here’s a few tips for your vegetable garden before you jump into the deep end:

  • Find the sunshine - It may seem obvious, but it’s importance warrants a mention! When choosing a spot for your patch, make sure it’s an area that will enjoy good periods of sunlight. There is no point sowing your seeds in the shade!
  • Don’t crowd - As a rule of thumb, try to leave an area between plants; planting too close together means that your wares will have to compete with each other, potentially negating all of your efforts.
  • Condition your soil - The soil your plant is growing in is vitally important; a poor soil will only ensure your plants get off to a weaker start than they should. To give them the best chance of thriving, clear the area of weeds and other debris, use compost and manure as well as mulch. Ensure it is fertile and drains well.
  • Decision time - Determine the vegetables you would like to grow, factoring in sunlight, soil type, regional climate and rainfall.
  • Harvest correctly and quickly - Once the harvesting season is upon you for certain plants, ensure you pick those that are ripe frequently to enable more production.
  • Build raised beds - This tip is optional, perhaps depending on space, but building raised beds for your vegetable patch is a good way to keep control of growth, and create a barrier, both physically and psychologically, to discourage pets and small children to disturb them in their own unique way!

So there you have it! This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it’s a darn good start, a springboard if you will. You can find plenty for information online, at your local garden centre or even from friends and family! A personal tip from me: always follow the advice and instructions displayed on seed packets. This can often be a difference in success and failure and I learnt the hard way; my carrot crop of 2013 will be sorely missed!

I hope this article has inspired you to start your own vegetable patch. Leave a comment below if this is the case; we’d be very happy!

 

 

Photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/3517342300/”>woodleywonderworks</a> / <a href=”http://foter.com/”>Foter</a> / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>CC BY</a>

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This article was written by Lewis

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