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Growing Veggies in Your Garden: The Prep

Jul 2015


Vegetable Garden

Scotland is a mixed back for growing fruit veg. While we’re well equipped to keep the plants nice and hydrated, our Spring and Summer can be a little lacking in the sun department.

However, with a little care and attention you can turn even the wettest of gardens into an oasis of juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers and pristine potatoes. And it’ll take a huge chunk out of your shopping bill too.

In this blog we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of creating your first veg garden.. By the end, we’re sure your fingers will be greener than the runner beans springing up in your garden.

 

Location, Location, Location

Think back to your biology lessons in school. What is the one big thing plants need to grow? Yep, that’s right. Sunshine.

Neither fruits nor veggies like growing in the shade so pick a patch of garden that is exposed to the sun for most of the day – five hours is the minimum exposure we’d recommend. Avoid digging your garden near high walls, trees and fences as they’ll cause your greens to grow all squinty as they go in search of sunshine.

Situating your veg garden away from other plants helps protect it from hungry slugs too.

 

Dig in Deep

Before you roll up your sleeves and get started, I’ve got to tell you one thing: all the hard work you put in know will be repaid many times over come harvest time so get ready for some elbow grease.

Okay, now you’re prepared I’ll tell you the bad news. You’ve got to dig out the area of your veg garden to the depth of one spade – around 40 to 50cm or 1 to 1.5 feet.

During your digging, pick out any bits of root or stem and fling them into the compost pile. You don’t want them growing back and stealing much needed nutrients from your future dinner ingredients, do you?

Be careful not to go overboard and dig up your entire garden though. As well as knackering you, it’s quite depressing to watch the weeds quickly reclaim the unused patches of earth.

 

Spruce up Your Soil

Okay, don’t get offended now but your soil is probably not that good. If it’s anything like my garden, it’s half sand and half old rubble from the house. That sort of composition clearly isn’t the ideal growing environment for any healthy plant.

Pick up some good quality compost from your local garden centre and work it into the soil you’ve dug out. If you can get your hands on a clothes peg, manure is slightly cheaper option – just make sure its already rotted down or it can damage the plants later on.

Next you’ve got to make sure your soil is good for growing. Get your hands dirty and have a rummage around in your new veg garden. If it’s heavy and full of clay, add some grit to break it up. If it’s particularly sandy, fold in some extra compost or manure to improve its water retention.

When it feels good and spongy, you’re ready to go.

 

Finito

And just like you’ve got a veg garden that’s ready to grow. All you’ve got to do is work out what you want to eat a couple months down the line and get it planted.

That, however, will have to wait for our next blog. So get to work and we’ll catch up with your progress next week.

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