Growing Vegetables For Beginners
If you have never growing vegetables in your life it can be pretty daunting to start. Where do you start and what do you do? This article will help the beginner to start growing vegetables.
In the world we live in everything is mass produced. Often you won’t eat something that has been grown locally as suddenly local food is expensive – but you’ll be eating green beans from Kenya as they are affordable. Totally crazy isn’t it?
‘You are what you eat’ may be an old saying, but it is a valid point. When you grow your own vegetables, you will know exactly what’s been put on them. Another great point is it saves you money. So not only will you get better tasting and more healthy vegetables they won’t cost you very much either.
Growing Vegetables For Beginners – Do I Have Room?
One of the first questions people ask is: ‘Will I have enough room?’ The answer is always: ‘Yes.’ You see, you can grow vegetables in pots, tubs, a window box, a raised bed (a 3-4ft square bed is a perfect size) or you can dig up a small area in your garden.
It is not necessary to have a greenhouse or lots of land. When you first start out – it’s better to start out smaller, and you can grow lots of different types of crops.
Growing Vegetables For Beginners – The Soil
Before you start growing any vegetables, you will need to know a little bit about your soil. Vegetables prefer a pH of 6.5 (neutral is pH 7). You can buy a soil test kit from a garden centre 5 – you add a bit of soil to the test tube and the testing solution will turn an orangey-yellowy colour if the soil is acid, green if it’s neutral and dark green if it’s alkaline.
If your soil is too acidic you can mix in garden lime, which you can buy at the garden centre – this will raise the pH of the soil.
If you are growing in pots or tubs line the bottom of these with broken pots or bricks, before adding soil so that it’s more free draining for the vegetables you grow in them.
PREPARING YOUR PLOT
A raised bed is a great way to produce lots of vegetables for you and your family. You can buy a raised bed from your local garden centre and then you just put it together. Some people find tending to a raised bed much easier as its 6” of the ground. On of the benefits of a raised bed it that the soil warms up quicker so you can sow vegetable seeds earlier, it also tends to produce more yields. But if you don’t want a raised bed you can use the other options above.
Its best if you vegetable plot has plenty of sunshine through the day – as it will produce more.
When digging your plot the first time make sure you remove any weeds by hand. And before you start growing vegetables, you will need to improve your soil with organic fertilisers such as manure or compost.
Growing Vegetables For Beginners – What To Grow
If you are growing vegetables as a beginner it is best to keep it simple and to only grow what you really like to eat.
You could also consider dwarf varieties they won’t take up as much room as other varieties. Make the most of any walls and fences you might have to grow any climbers such as beans and peas. You could also grow pretty herbs in your borders, such as thyme or rosemary – which you can use in your cooking.
Growing vegetables is much easier if you have the right tools. The tools you will need are a: spade, fork, hoe, trowel, rake, watering can or hosepipe, secateurs, and gardening gloves. It’s best to spend as much as you can afford on quality tools as they will last a long time.
READY STEADY GROW
When growing vegetables it cheapest to sow vegetable seeds, you can buy various seeds from the local garden centre and even the supermarkets stock them in the spring time. You can buy some vegetable plants such as courgettes or sweetcorn as a plug plant from your garden centre or car boot sale. This saves a lot of time and effort rather then having to grow them from seeds.
GREAT GROWING VEGETABLES FOR BEGINNERS
Beetroot – Beetroot is very easy to grow. One of the most popular variety to grow is ‘Boltardy’ it is a very reliable globe-shaped beetroot. It is a perfect choice for beginner gardeners. It produces medium-sized roots, with smooth skin and deep red flesh.
Cut-and-come-again salad leaves – One great way to have fresh salad is to grow cut-and-come-again. These leafy greens and lettuces can start to be harvested when they start their first small young leaves and you just keep picking and they will grow again. They don’t need much space to grow, because you are continually picking them.
Early potatoes – Early Potatoes can be easily grown in pots, tubs or in the ground. Early potatoes can be harvested in June, July. A great variety to grow are: ‘Red Duke of York’. They are a lovely red potato.
Radishes – Radishes are quick and easy to grow. You can sow the seeds individually as they are quite large. The radishes are ready to harvest within weeks. Just sow at a few weeks interval to have radishes continuously.
Lettuce – Lettuces are also easy to grow, choose a variety you like to eat. Sow seeds and thin them out when they are around 1-2” tall. You can start to eat them when they have formed a head.
Courgettes – Courgettes are very easy to grow. Buy a plant from your local garden centre or carboot and plant it out when the risk of frost is over. There are green and yellow varieties, the ordinary or round ones. They produce lots of courgettes for you. But let them grow too big and get marrows.