Growing Your Own Vegetables

Jan 2023 | Sustainable living

We have been growing our own vegetables for a number of years. It has definitely been a learning curve. We have had some absolute disasters but also some great yields. It is hard work but great for the soul and returning to a more natural, sustainable life.

Growing your own vegetables has numerous benefits. It can save you money, provide you with a steady supply of fresh produce, and give you a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Additionally, growing your own vegetables can reduce your environmental impact by eliminating the need for packaging and transportation.

Growing your own vegetables also gives you the opportunity to experiment with new varieties and can be a fun and educational experience for the whole family, as you learn more about the plants and how to care for them.

grow your own vegetables

Planning your new vegetable garden 

1. Choose a location that has at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day.

2. Choose vegetable varieties that are suitable for your climate and growing season (and that you eat a lot!).

3. Prepare the soil by tilling or digging, and then adding organic matter such as compost or manure.

Tilling is the practice of aerating the soil to permit moisture and air to permeate, allowing seeds to germinate, encouraging root growth, controlling weed growth, and integrating fertilizers into the soil.

4. Start your own compost bin to help reduce food waste. We use (not an advert, this is just what we use).

5. Plant seeds or seedlings at the recommended depth and spacing for each variety.

Some seedlings require planting indoors until they are strong enough to be planted outside. Generally, seed packets give full instructions on how to start the growing process.

* A wise gardener once told us, where it says plant one seed plant three. One for the ants, one for you, and one for anything else.

6. Plant in succession to ensure a continuous supply of fresh vegetables throughout the season (Rotate your crops each year to ensure soil fertility)

grow your own vegetables

7. Plant companion plants around your vegetables to attract beneficial insects and repel pests.

Companion plants are plants that are grown together to enhance their growth, health, and productivity. Some of the benefits of companion planting include pest control, improved soil fertility, and increased yields. Common companion plants include marigolds, nasturtiums, garlic, and chives. Marigolds help repel nematodes, aphids, and other garden pests. Nasturtiums act as a trap crop for aphids and other pests, and can also be used for companion planting in salads. Garlic and chives are good companion plants for many garden vegetables, as they both repel aphids, slugs, and other pests.

grow your own vegetables

8. Water regularly and provide adequate drainage to prevent root rot. (invest in a water butt or two with drier summers upon us, these are invaluable).

9. Weed regularly and mulch to keep the soil moist and reduce weed growth.

10. Fertilize every few weeks to ensure your vegetables get the proper nutrients (Use an organic fertilisers).

11. Monitor your garden regularly for pests and diseases, and take appropriate action if necessary.

12. Cover vegetables such as cabbages with netting (a lesson learned the hard way from two very hungry pigeons).

13. Harvest vegetables when they are ripe and store them properly to ensure optimal freshness.

14. Preserve surplus vegetables and share with friends, neighbours and family.

15. Enjoy!

” Why try to explain miracles to your children when you can have them plant a garden”

Sarah & Heidi xxx

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