Growing your own garden at home can be fun, and its also pretty easy if you follow a few simple rules and guidelines. You can grow your own fruits and vegetables, flowers, and even trees.
The secret to improving and cultivating your own home garden is to know which zone you live in and what types of plants grow best there. In addition, you will want to be sure you know what kind of soil works best for different plants as well as other requirements like the amount of direct or indirect sunlight and water the plants should receive. With a little practice, you should be able to watch your home garden grow and flourish, and it will be something you can enjoy for many years to come.
But that’s not all. By transforming your garden into a vegetable garden, you will grow your own food in an ethical and sustainable way.
While allotments used to be popular (and even necessary) among ordinary home-owners and the working class, lately theyve been adopted as something of a niche accessory for growing your own fruit and vegetables in your spare time, especially since fresh produce became so widely available in modern supermarket chains. As a result, owning or renting your own allotment has become a surprisingly expensive pastime too, and it’s become more and more difficult for home-owners who are desperate to avoid pesticide-ridden food and unethically sourced fruit and vegetables to find a way around it.
If you want to live a more sustainable lifestyle without the extra costs, why not look into planting a vegetable garden in your own back garden instead? It might sound like a lot of work to begin with, but in fact it could save you time and money in the long run – and provide you with all the home-grown food you could need on a weekly basis!
Why Plant a Vegetable Garden?
A new vegetable garden lets you make the most of the outdoor space you have, maximising the usefulness of your garden area and not letting any bit of extra room you have go to waste.
A small vegetable garden is also surprisingly mobile, and can be started just about anywhere – be it a greenhouse, garden, allotment or balcony.
As long as you put time and care in planning a vegetable garden, you should also find that these crops are quick and easy to grow almost all-year-round; leafy plants like kale, spinach, cabbage and lettuce thrive particularly well in the UK’s mild climate, while tomatoes, courgettes, beetroots, peppers and carrots – while requiring a little more time and devotion – should turn out perfectly edible too.
When you grow your own vegetable garden you are also guaranteed an array of different food crops throughout the year, depending on when and what you plant – helping you to support an organic and sustainable diet rather than relying on over-produced supermarket produce.
With this extra food for you and your family you will also be saving time and money, both off your food bill and from the repeated trips to the shops that you no longer have to commit to.
For the more green-fingered enthusiasts, starting a vegetable garden is also a great way to relax and unwind in the fresh, calming atmosphere outdoors. Trying to balance day-to-day life and work and home responsibilities can be more stressful than you might care to think about, and taking the time to attend to something outside of these commitments can improve your spiritual well-being and help you feel more relaxed on a regular basis.
Planting a New Vegetable Garden
Once you know what crops you’re going to buy, it’s time to sit down and commit to writing some kind of
vegetable garden planner that will help you organise how and where everything needs to be planted – and how long it’s all going to take. This might involve the use of a calendar and/or timetable of some sort, or it might simply be a case of you noting down what the crop should look like when it has fully ripened. Either way, here is a step-by-step planning process for planting vegetable gardens that could help you get started:
Structure the Space – first of all, you need to consider your vegetable garden design and structure. How far apart, for instance, do the bulbs, seeds and/or roots need to be planted? How much soil do they need? Is the layout flexible enough in case things need moving about? And are the crops you’ve chosen better suited to pots or bedding?
Clear the Ground – next, you have to irrigate the soil and clear the area of any weeds, stones or large bits of dirt and grit – these will only prevent your crops from growing properly in the long run.
Plant your Vegetables – now it’s time to plant your new vegetables. Make sure you space the seeds and/or bulbs as far apart as necessary, and cover each of them with enough organic soil or manure so they won’t be exposed to the air until they’re ready.
Protect the Plants – if you want to protect your saplings as much as possible, you could always plant some small trees or erect a few wind breaks around the vegetable garden itself. They won’t guarantee a perfect crop, but they might deter small creatures from invading the area and prevent harsh rain and wind from uprooting anything that isn’t quite ripe.
If you want to go deep in the subject, have a look at this list of PDF articles ready for printing and to be read during your spare time.
Finally, do remember about the aftercare; take the time to water your plants and care for them as they grow. For the freshest, tastiest vegetables, you need to be monitoring their progress carefully over the prescribed period of time in which it takes them to fully mature. It can be a long and painstaking process, but you’re much more likely to have an array of fresh vegetables to enjoy afterwards if you stick to your original plans and prune, weed and water the garden when necessary!
image credit: artfire.com, stwater.co.uk