There’s nothing more satisfying than cooking a delicious meal from scratch. But imagine if you had also grown the ingredients that went into that dish? If this sounds like your dream come true, it’s time to start planning your very own vegetable garden! In this post we’re going to guide you through the process of planning and planting your patch, so that you can be serving and eating your own produce in time for the summer months.
The first thing to consider is placement. Most vegetables prefer a sunny spot, however if you also use your garden for relaxing or entertaining, then you may want to reserve that area for yourself. Try to find a space that provides enough sunshine for your veggies to grow, but that won’t intrude on your favourite reading spot. It’s also worth considering how much you want to grow at this point so you can decide how big your plot will be. As a guideline, an ideal size would be around 10x10ft.
Type of Planting
There are a number of different options out there for how to plant your vegetable garden, and the right one for you will depend on the size and amount of time you want to spend on it.
- Traditional rows – This is the classic method of one large patch of soil that’s dug and cleared of weeds before compost is added. Make sure you leave enough room between your rows to get to your crops.
- No-dig – this method means you don’t have to dig up the ground, but instead you do the prep on top of it. A thick layer of mulch provides the bed for your seeds.
- Raised beds – this is an attractive and practical option, particularly for back gardens. The raised beds are easy to access and won’t create a lot of mess in your garden.
- Square foot gardening – perfect for small spaces. This can be done in raised beds and helps you split your crops into even areas.
Good soil is an extremely important part of any vegetable garden. To start off with you want a rich healthy soil – this will be easy to dig and drain well. Your soil should be dark and crumbly. Make sure there’s not too much sand, silt or clay – if this is the case use compost to improve your soil and create the ideal base for your new seedlings.
To prep the soil, first dig it to loosen up then add your compost if required. Water it well, leave it to sit for a few days before planting and avoid walking on the freshly tilled soil during this time.
One thing to keep in mind if you are lucky enough to grow a large amount of vegetables is will you be able to use them up? It’s great to have a bumper crop of courgettes, but if you or your family are not that keen on them, will you want to be forced to eat them over and over? Choose vegetables you love and try a varied selection so that you don’t get sick of cauliflower.
Salad leaves, spring onions, courgettes and tomatoes are all great choices for beginners as they are easy to look after and produce good crops. Potatoes and carrots are also a great choice, or for something different why not give marrows or radishes a go? Add vertical growers like peas and beans to make the best use of space.
Whichever plants you pick, it is important to keep in mind that you should not plant the same crops in the same place each year. This is known as crop rotation; it’s a practice that allows the soil to replenish its nutrients and prevents the build-up of pests and diseases.
Caring For Your Vegetable Garden
Once it’s planted your garden won’t look after itself, so make sure you keep on top of these jobs for the best results.
- After planting add mulch to improve the soil, keep weeds down and help retain water
- Regularly check for weeds and remove any you spot
- Water generously and regularly
- Feed your garden with a natural fertiliser*
- Remove any dead plants or blooms
*Why not start making your own compost? You can use the offcuts and peelings from your vegetables to create a rich and eco-friendly fertiliser.
Need some help getting your vegetable garden started? At JB Landscaping we love a bit of gardening, and helping you create the perfect patch for your home-grown vegetables would be our pleasure. Get in touch today so our team can help you turn your vegetable-based dreams into a reality, and let us know what you plan to grow in your new vegetable garden.