Edible Garden: Creating the Perfect Vegetable PatchHeather Roberts July 24, 2015
Planting an edible garden is not only practical and functional, but can also be quite aesthetically pleasing and add character and atmosphere to a backyard. There are many things to take into consideration when planting a vegetable patch. While there is a high amount of garden maintenance and upkeep required with a vegetable patch, you will reap the rewards when harvesting the fruits of your labour and cooking delicious meals with fresh and tasty ingredients. This form of effective landscaping and gardening can be quite therapeutic. To have the best success with your vegetable patch, keep the following tips in mind when planting and creating:
- Location – this is a vital element in a successful vegetable garden. Think carefully about where you are going to place a vegetable patch in your yard. Vegetables need at least 6-8 hours of sunlight to grow well so ensure you find a place that has high sun exposure.
- Convenience – you want the vegetables to be in easy access when ready for harvest, so find a place that is nearby the kitchen. Rather than it becoming an effort to harvest vegetables, having it close to the backdoor will provide easy access for you to collect fresh vegetables and add them to your cooking.
- Start small – this is important so that you don’t become overwhelmed or anxious with a large vegetable patch. Start seedlings off in small tubs or containers on the window sill. Once they are successfully growing in this area, transplant them to the larger soil and tend carefully to the vegetables during this process.
Vegetables need particular care in the way that they are planted and the soil needs to have a high amount of nutrients for the best results. The soil should be organically rich to encourage healthy and extensive root systems. To have a particularly fertile soil, raised beds are the best option. This method means efficient spacing in the yard as well as less chance for weeds to grow when the vegetable leaves and foliage cover the soil.
To get the best benefits out of your vegetable garden, make sure you pay attention to how you are planting. Rather than planting in rows which can take up a lot of space in the yard, stagger the vegetables a triangular pattern so that you maximise the space. Be mindful not to plant the seeds too close together as vegetables do need space to grow and not smother one another.
Use the space in your yard wisely by choosing clever vegetables that can grow up in a vertical direction. Vining crops such as pole beans, peas, tomatoes and melons can be supported by cages, trellises, fences or stakes. This will save considerable space in creating a vegetable garden.
Always be mindful of the seasons as the weather has a huge influence on how crops grow. Some vegetables grow better in warm climates and other in colds. Do research this before planting, and only vegetables in their prime season to avoid disappointment. Many vegetables grow all year round, so these are ideal to start off planting with.
Succession planting is a clever method to achieve cross-seasonal vegetable growth. Transplanting vegetables across the seasons will mean that the vegetable will develop and mature quickly. When done correctly, a lettuce can be followed by a corn, and the corn can be followed by more greenery all within the same season. It is important when doing this to ensure that the soil is regularly replenished with compost each time a transplant occurs.
For more ideas visit: http://landscapersgardeners.co.uk/