Selecting Varieties For Your Vegetable Garden
- By: Callum Asterman
Creating an amazing vegetable garden involves different priorities to other parts of the garden. The gardener will be less concerned with aesthetics and colour and more focused on output and flavour. Having said that there are some gardeners who want to combine their vegetable growing exploits in amongst the rest of the garden, so rather than having a distinct vegetable plot, they will intermingle certain vegetables and herbs in amongst the normal border planting. In that case, looks may be more important than is normal, but for most vegetable gardeners, a good looking vegetable garden is one bursting with healthy plants that are creating a bumper harvest to be enjoyed by the family at meal times.
So let's look at another factor that is important. If members of the household are going to like eating the output of the vegetable garden, they want to be tasting varieties they actually enjoy eating. Of course it can pay to experiment with a few unusual and new varieties, after all home grown vegetables usually taste much better than commercially grown alternatives. So even if you've never liked beetroot from the supermarket for example, you may be pleasantly surprised by your own efforts to grow it at home.
Another consideration to bear in mind is the financial benefit of growing your own crops. With food prices rising it is now possible to make significant savings by growing your own vegetables. The ultimate objective for some is to become entirely self-sufficient when it comes to vegetables, but to achieve that all year round will require a degree of experience and some means of growing vegetables indoors during the winter months. Also to manage year-round vegetables you will need some form of indoor garden, such as a greenhouse, so we will consider outdoor grown vegetables in this article.
Almost all the varieties that can grow in the UK climate will be suitable for the home vegetable patch but some will present far fewer problems than others. Also the choice of varieties can be important in terms of success rates and of course taste. So first let's consider some of the more popular vegetables and why we might choose to grow them.
Some would consider a vegetable garden incomplete without potatoes. The good news here is that potatoes are one of the easiest varieties to grow at home, come in many different varieties and will almost always taste significantly better than any bought potatoes. There known to be hundreds of potato varieties that can be cultivated in the UK, so gardeners can enjoy trying an alternative to the usual King Edward or Maris Piper. When growing your own why not try Osprey, Rooster, Saxon, Romano or Carlingford. To give your potatoes the best chance, purchase your seed potatoes from a good source such as a good garden centre or specialist supplier (you won't be able to make do by trying to chit your own supermarket spuds as they will have been treated to inhibit sprouting) and make sure your ground has plenty of organic matter such as manure because potatoes need plenty of nutrition to flourish.
Another vegetable that rewards the gardener with great yields, fuss-free growing and great flavour is the onion. Again there are many varieties to choose from with standard onions of differing strengths, plus shallots, which keep easily, and spring onions for the summer.
Once the easy vegetables have been grown with success, gardeners may look at other easy-to-grow varieties such as beans, peas, carrots, and cabbage. Planting vegetables and watching them grow is fun, but the real fun and pleasure comes from enjoying the wonderful taste of homeâ€"grown produce.
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Mark offers suggestions for gardeners thinking about creating a vegetable garden(http://www.lovethegarden.com/how-to-grow/vegetable-garden) in their own garden. Mike is author and enthusiastic gardener.