Have you always loved the idea of having your own vegetable garden, but you’re not too sure how to go about it? Well we’ve pulled together some advice on building the perfect vegetable garden to get you up and running…
Before starting a vegetable garden, work out a layout to scale on graph paper or the computer (if you want to go down this route then SmartDraw is an easy-to-use bit of free software for landscape design.
A vegetable garden should do exactly what you want it to, so ask yourself what do you want to achieve. For example, to feed a family of four all year, you need to really build a vegetable garden that has about 100 sq meters of growing area, not including walkways etc.
However, if you simply want to get your children involved in growing vegtables, then simply use whatever space is available. A few containers on the patio is a great way to get them started!
Before you start your vegetable garden
One of the best bits of advice I can impart to the novice veggie gardener, is to think about the weather…
Climate can roughly be broken down into three basic groupings when planning a veggie plot – Cold, Temperate and Tropical/Sub-tropical. OK, so there’s many degrees of climate within each of those groups, and the UK is pretty erratic.
However, we do get ground frost during in winter months, strong winds in Autumn etc, so just keep these things in mind when deciding what to grow.
What will grow where in your vegetable garden
Different vegtables have different needs so take that into consideration when planning what you want to grow and when…
Things like green beans, broccoli, brussel sprouts etc grow best at temperatures between 10 and 20°C (50 to 70°F). They prefer the weather to be a little cooler and will tolerate a little frost.
On the other-hand, veg such as sweetcorn, peppers, tomatos for example are all vine crops. With this lot you need to make sure the majority of their growing season is in the warmer months and to be honest a greenhouse is a must to get the best results.
Cabbage, carrots, radish, parsnip, leek, lettuce and celery etc prefer an intermediate temperature. They’ll grow best in temperatures between 15 and 25°C (60 to 80°F). So plan carefully, and you can have an all-year-round garden!
A few final Lazy Susan gardening landscape tips
Protect your plants from strong winds
A cold wind will stunt growth, while your warmer winds will dry the soil, strong winds on the other hand will simply break them. If you don’t have a natural protected corner in your garden, then why not build yourself a simple low cost windbreaker from garden lattice or some old fencing?
Make sure your vegetables get plenty of sunshine too
At least 4 hours a day of direct sunlight is the minimum really. Make sure your taller plants don’t block the sunlight for the smaller ones and watch how the sun travels in your garden, this will help you decide what should go where.
Vegetables need water to grow and lots of it
A drip water system is best to give the plants the right amount of water and prevent under or over watering. It will give them what we refer to as a ‘deep drink, and discourage disease. but encourage root growth.
By following these simple tips, your veg garden will be off to a flying start. If you plan a vegetable garden well, you will get fantastic results. A great website to help you get started growing veggies is vegetableexpert.co.uk – I use this site all the time and its a great reference point for planting, growing, storing and eating vegetables.
Happy veggie growing…