Tips on Planting Your First Vegetable Garden

comments (0) May 17th, 2016

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DesDT DesDT, member
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Demand for high quality, chemical free, fresh fruit and vegetables is at an all time high. Organically produced products can be hard to find and expensive; even if you do manage to locate them it's not easy to be certain that they've really been grown to the standards claimed. One answer to this dilemma is to grow your own but there is often a perception that the garden that will result will be utilitarian and unattractive.

This is a false idea, and it's entirely possible to have a vegetable garden that provides fresh, delicious produce and which is also attractive to look at. As with so much in life, it's all in the planning. It's becoming more and more popular these days for people to plant their own organic vegetable gardens. Tough economic times and health concerns are part of the reason many are choosing to grow their own veggies, but there are other benefits, as well. For one thing, there is absolutely nothing better tasting than fresh picked vegetables straight from the garden. And the practice of gardening itself is a healthy and relaxing pastime. Once you learn the basics, it's not so difficult and most people actually find the work itself to be one of the most enjoyable aspects.

Try Different Things

Try to get away from is the image of neatly and boringly laid out lines of cabbage, beans or tomatoes. It's true that straight rows might make picking a little easier but you're not looking to go into business, you just want to produce fresh foods for yourself and your family whilst maintaining an attractive outdoor space. Mixing different plants together will create far more interesting designs than lining them up like children waiting for permission to enter the classroom. It also makes it harder for pests and diseases, which tend to prefer particular crops, to home in on their preferred victim. Some species will even protect others, onions mixed with carrots will confuse the carrot fly which seeks out its chosen plant by its odour. You should really consider edible landscaping if you want to create such a garden.

Learn Your Gardening Lessons

If you have little or no experience, you can start small. First you need to choose a suitable location. Select the area in your yard that gets the most sunlight. Most vegetables need plenty of sun and they will grow to be bigger, healthier and tastier if they receive an adequate supply. You can always create a bit of shade if you want to grow strawberries, greens or other plants that require a shady spot.

It's a good idea to learn a bit about gardening as you go, if you are a complete novice. Luckily, there are many good free resources online to help you. The BBC and City Planter both have extensive information on their websites and there are hundreds of other sources of good information aimed at the beginning gardener.

And you don't have to learn everything overnight - your first step before setting up your garden is to understand a little about the soil. Most soil is adequate for growing vegetables, but there are a few basic considerations, so I would suggest checking one of the online gardening sites to find out a little more. If you have rocky soil, or lots of clay content, it's a little trickier and you may want to use raised beds or clay pots.

Another idea to get away from is the one that states that there is a rigid defining line between vegetables that you eat and flowers that you look at. Many flowering plants produce edible leaves, lots of vegetables have fantastic looking foliage so if you want rhubarb next to your roses who's to say they shouldn't live together? Just think of edible blooms as lavish dish decorations.

Squeezing lots of different plants together will cut down on your weeding and also reduce watering. It's true that many plants need a certain minimum space to grow in but often less than you'd think. Remember that you can start to eat some crops very early, you don't need to wait until they're all mature to take them to market!

Follow the Basics

The basics are fairly simple. Setting up a compost bin and preparing the soil by getting rid of any weeds are the key to getting started once you've selected the plot. Once that's done, and you've decided between raised beds, pots or planting directly into the ground, it's time to plant! One of the things that can make first time gardening easier is the purchase of pre-sprouted plants. Some seeds are difficult to sprout and there's no shame in buying them already growing.

This sort of gardening takes a little more planning in the early stages; if you don't know where to start you could consult with competent London gardening services experts. This sort of creative project is exactly the sort of thing that professionals love and you will discover that they'd be delighted to help you plan a space that looks as fantastic as it tastes.


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posted in: Gardening, vegetable garden, garden tips, grow your own