Preparing a veg plot....(11 Posts)
If you do go for a magazine, I'd suggest Kitchen Garden rather than Grow Your Own - GYO is ok and has improved, but is still rather style over substance IMO.
Joy Larkcom's book Grow Your Own Vegetables is fantastic, it has a month-by-month guide as to what to sow, as well as a veg-by-veg guide which is good as a quick reference.
Personally I'd avoid weedkiller myself, even Roundup (which is suposedly relatively quick to break down) - from what I've read there are still a lot of questions about the long term effects, and it really isn't that difficult to clear a plot without.
Your suggestion of skimming off the weeds, turning over & then adding loads of horse muck sounds like a good one. Raised beds also sound sensible if you're needing to keep dogs off.
You might like to treat yourself to a monthly gardening magazine like Grow Your Own. It's a little bit pricey but it has lots of good information and photographs but when you take into consideration the add-ons that come with it like the free veg seeds and a huge roll of plastic covered wire in this month's edition it's well worth it. As the issue date will be on sale in the preceding month it gives you a good idea of what's coming up on the gardening calendar ie May edition on sale in April. they have a good website too
When siting a veg plot you need a sunny open position and to make sure you have a water source that is not too far away. I'd site it near the house as you don't want to be running up and down the garden with buckets of water and watering cans. Maybe invest in getting an outside tap installed. Also water butts are a good investment but be extra vigilant and make them safe to prevent animals and kids falling in.
I would consider using a systemic weed killer (it kills the weeds right down to the roots internally) on the plot before turning it over, however don't dig a cold wet soil and avoid walking on it as you will compact it. We have had two very bad cold summer seasons so wait until your soils warms up before planting - you can help it by putting black plastic down.
Start a compost bin - not a heap as it attracts rats. Declare war on slugs now.
Consider soft fruit bushes which look after themselves. Redcurrants, gooseberries, blackcurrants are easy-peasy and freeze well. I like to put flowers in my veg plot like lavender, sweet peas and pinks to attract the bees for pollination.
Last but not least put a bench or seat in the veg garden so you can sit out on warm summer evenings with a or even better a and survey all your hard work.
It is really rewarding growing you own veg. There's nothing nicer tahn serving up a blackcurrant sorbet on Christmas Day or making lovely jam as a gift and saying 'and this is from our garden'... All we need now is some sunny weather to get us started. We are due snow again tomorrow darn sarf.
Sorry that was a bit long.
Start small - a single 8 x 4 bed, then add another when that is full : I now have 14
but that way you never feel overwhelmed
get a copy of Geoff Hamilton's Ornamental Kitchen Garden from a charity shop. Inspirational.
Have a look at www.gardenersworld.com They have a section on 'What to do now' for the garden, greenhouse, veg plot, etc
I think veggies are as beautiful as flowers, so if I had a choice would put all our raised beds near the house. You're more likely to do a little bit of weeding here and there, so it's not a chore and it's easier to go and pick stuff for supper ;)
also, do you know of anywhere (books or online) that gives you a yearly 'what to do know' sort of thing? like in january: what to prepare, what to sow, what to dig up? type thing?
Thanks for that link.
Yes i was thinking bottom of the garden, although it is just DH and I here so no chance of stray footies!
I think raisedddd beds for us will be nessary, unless we want dog-piss-potatos! one of my dogs sees barriers as a challege...
thanks, all tips and hints welcome!
I learnt my lesson last year because i planted all of my radish seeds at once, so i got pretty fed of of them after a while!
So i now need to be organised and sow my seeds so that they are not all ready at once!
Can you freeze veg fresh from ground? all veg or just some?
We have a very long, south facing garden. We started with our veg plots to one side, tucked behind our protruding garage, but it feels like it's cut the garden in half, and the plots are rather vulnerable to stray footballs. Was hoping to move them this year, but as I'm due in September it's unlikely. They will be moving to the far end of the garden, still catching lots of sun, but more out of the way. It also means that I don't have to look at the in winter when we're not really doing anything with them
lazy fair weather gardener!
Ours aren't raised beds. We marked the plots with canes and string, then used a half moon cutter to cut up blocks of turf. We were told to flip these and leave them till the grass died, then dig them in, but the damn grass wouldn't die, so we just broke them up and composted them. DH then dug down each patch to 2 spades deep and mixed in fertiliser. On the second patch he also sifted out all the big stones, which took him ages, but was well worth it. Root veggies haven't done well in the stoney soil at all.
After that I think we left it for a month before planting anything out, which gave us time for chitting potatoes and getting seedlings going properly.
Here's a site I was reading at the time we were planning it.
We are moving into a new house shortly and I wanted to have a Veg plot in the garen. We are actually moving quite rural, and have a sunny south facing garden, and on the other side of the a house a more shaded garden. Where would be the best place to put veg plot?
How do it start? I was thinking of marking out the area i want to use. remove all the weeds and turn all the soil, making in some horse manure to fertilise it. what then?
Thank you for your help, I have the whole garden to make look pretty, so i think i shall be on this section a lot more!
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