Getting fresh: tips on how to make your own vegetable garden

Getting fresh: tips on how to make your own vegetable garden

For gardeners, it doesn’t get much better than eating food you’ve grown yourself – fresh tomatoes still warm from the summer sun, or peas straight from the pod onto your plate. And no matter how small your garden is, it’s still possible to have the fun of growing your own food. Here are our top tips on how to make your own vegetable garden.

 

How to prepare your vegetable garden

Before you splash out on seeds and seedlings, you’ll need to decide where your vegetable garden is going to be. If you can, choose a spot that gets at least 5 or 6 hours of sunlight during the day, as most vegetables need sunshine to grow and ripen. However, if your garden is shady, it doesn’t mean you can’t grow vegetables, just that you’ll need to be more careful in what you choose to grow.

Make your vegetable beds no wider than 1.2m (4ft), so that you can reach the middle of the bed from the sides without having to walk on the soil. Allow space for pathways between beds, with enough space for a wheelbarrow to pass.

Clear the soil of all weeds and stones, and dig in lots of organic matter (e.g. compost or leaf mould) to improve the soil structure. Once you’ve dug the soil over, tread it down gently with your feet to firm it and get it roughly level, then rake the surface so that you end up with a level bed filled with friable (crumbly) soil.

 

What to plant in a vegetable garden

The most important rule when deciding what vegetables to grow is first to consider what you enjoy eating. There’s no point growing vegetables you don’t like. Then you need to look at your garden’s conditions, how much sun or shade there is and what the soil is like, to see which vegetables will grow best. Listed below are a few good veggie choices for tricky conditions:

3 vegetables for heavy clay soils:

  • Green beans
  • Pumpkins
  • Cabbage

3 vegetables for sandy soils

  • Carrots
  • Beetroot
  • Radishes

3 vegetables for shady gardens

  • Chard
  • Leeks
  • Kale

 

Vegetable garden in a grow bagGrowing vegetables in small spaces

If you don’t have space for vegetable beds, don’t worry. Many vegetables, including tomatoes, beans, lettuce, carrots and even potatoes are easy to grow in pots or grow bags on a patio or balcony. Try bush cherry tomato varieties ‘Tumbling Tom’ and ‘Balconi’, dwarf runner bean ‘Hestia’ and dwarf purple French bean ‘Amethyst’ for a prolific harvest throughout the summer months.

If you’ve always wanted to grow your own vegetables, now’s the perfect time to start. We have everything you need to get you going, from seeds and plants to help and advice, so come on in and see what’s in store! 

You might also be interested in:

Home trends: sustainability in interior design

It’s important to consider sustainability in interior design, as we all become far more aware of our environment and the need to live a life where we are responsible for everything we do that impacts our planet. This extends to inside the home as well as our gardens and outside spaces. When we design and decorate it is very important to think about all aspects inside our home and not just that it needs to be aesthetically pleasing but also good for the environment. Think about implementing the below into your interior design projects and you will be putting sustainability at the fore of your home. 

Read more...
How to encourage late summer flowers?

It is easy to encourage late summer flowers for as long as possible, all year round, and whilst it can be a little more tricky during the cold winter months, there are definitely ways to extend the flowering season in your garden to as late in the year as possible. We’ve put together these ideas to help you encourage those last summer flowers to enjoy for as long as you can. 

Read more...
Top vegetable growing tips for July

 ‘In July the sun is hot / Is it shining / No, it’s not!’ As musical comedy duo Flanders and Swann pointed out back in the sixties, the weather in July can be chancy, but nevertheless, it’s a great month for gardeners. The days are long, and you can start to really enjoy the fruits of your labours in the veg patch. To make this year your best harvest ever, here are a few tips on what to do now, as well as how to get the better of plant pests and diseases.

Read more...
Garden plant of the moment: Anemone

Late in summer, as other flowers start to fade, Japanese anemones come into their own. With their elegant sculpted flowers on long graceful stems and their bold maple-like leaves, they’re an unmissable presence in the border well into autumn. Happiest in partial shade, they’re ideal for brightening up dull spots in the garden, and once they’re settled they’ll spread and come back year after year. Here’s how to make sure your Japanese anemones grow and flourish.

Read more...