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Tips For Creating A Vegetable Garden

Author : Mark Bartley


If you think that a vegetable garden might involve lots of work for very little return just don't worry – even the smallest vegetable garden can give you a continuous supply of fresh, tasty vegetables for most of the year. And with a packet of seeds costing less than the price of a pound of bananas, you get a wonderful return on your investment too.

In the beginning

Before , there are a few things you'll need to consider first. One of the most important factors is where to position your vegetable garden. Do you want it close to the house or at the end of the garden? Also think about the orientation of your garden – a south-facing position will give you the most sunlight and therefore the longest growing time, but an exposed position will also increase the risk of damaging frosts in the colder month. If your garden is shaded this will also affect what crops will grow best and how efficient your vegetable garden will be. You also want to make sure that your vegetable plot doesn't detract from the rest of the garden, so make sure that everyone is in agreement before you start digging.

What kind of soil do you have?

The next thing to find out is what kind of soil you have. This is a two-part question – you will need to know what the texture of the soil is and what is its pH or acidity. For example, you may have a sandy soil that's great for drainage but will allow nutrients to leach from the soil very quickly. Alternatively, you may be on a heavy clay soil that will need plenty of organic matter to prevent it from becoming waterlogged in winter and baking hard in summer. In most cases, the quality of the soil can be improved by adding well-rotted manure or other organic matter. This will break up the soil and also introduce fresh nutrients – essential for growing vegetables.

The second part of the equation is the pH or acidity of the soil. How acidic your soil is will give you an idea of what kind of crops will do well in your vegetable garden. If you have an acid soil you may find that some crops such as peas and beans tend to suffer from poor growth and low yield. However, once again plenty of organic matter and a good dressing of lime will help balance out the pH. You should be aiming for a pH of 6 to 6.5. This will be suitable for almost all kinds of vegetables.

How much work are you prepared to put in?

Getting a new vegetable garden started and producing its first crops involves lots of hard graft initially, but once it is established (and you stay on top of the weeding!) vegetable gardens are pretty low maintenance. You can make life easier for yourself by creating smaller raised beds or, if you're really not sure about committing a section of your garden to growing vegetables, growing your first vegetables in containers gives you plenty of options for placement. An alternative to changing the existing layout of your garden is to rent an allotment, but these are in short supply and you may have to join a waiting list to be considered for one. But whatever you decide to do, it is worth remembering that growing a range of healthy vegetables requires a degree of planning, some basic knowledge and plenty of enjoyable time outdoors - it's certainly not a five minute exercise.

What do you want to grow?

Once you have decided on your positioning and determined what kind of soil you have, the next thing is to plan what you are going to grow. Do you prefer salad crops or do you want a year-round supply of seasonal vegetables? As one crop ends another can be planted, making the best use of the space you have. Spring crops such as lettuce, radishes and spring onions give way to summer crops such as courgettes, cauliflowers, cabbages and peas. During the autumn you can begin to bring on your winter crops including various types of main crop potatoes and the hardier vegetables such as leeks, sprouts and winter brassicas. By doing some reading up online or in books before you start with your gardening in the spring you can ensure that your vegetable garden keeps you supplied with wonderful, fresh produce all year round and the impact on your household budget will be a favourable one


Author's Resource Box

Mark provides useful information for anyone thinking of creating a vegetable garden at home. Mark is a successful writer and publisher on home and garden subjects.

Article Source:
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Tags:   vegetable garden

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Submitted : 2011-01-11    Word Count : 878    Times Viewed: 651