Living Green: Growing Your Own Vegetables

We all know how tasty fresh vegetables are in meals and salads. However, no matter how well you seem to time your visits to the grocery store, finding the freshest of produce is mostly by sheer luck. Growing your own vegetables gives you a break from grocery store trips while ensuring that you enjoy the freshest of veggies grown organically all year around.

Besides that, gardening is a rewarding task that brings a lot of good to your life. Being around greenery calms the mind, which alleviates signs of stress and anxiety. Additionally, gardening provides a perfect escape from the daily hustles of life, which allows you the break necessary to keep yourself balanced. While it can feel daunting at first, growing your own vegetables isn’t that hard. Here are some tips to get you started.

Mixed vegetable box

©Shutterstock – There’s nothing like the flavour of your own home-grown vegetables!

1.      Find the best location

Getting a good harvest from your vegetable garden depends on how well you provided the right conditions for healthy growth. And, providing the right conditions starts with picking the right location for your garden. Here are some guidelines for you:

Sunny area

Light is a necessity for the growth of any plant, and most vegetables do well when exposed to about 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight. You need to pick a place in your garden that receives sun for the most part of the day. However, this is not to say that you can’t start a vegetable garden if you don’t have a backyard. You can grow some vegetables and culinary herbs indoors or in a window box, and still enjoy a good harvest. If you have a southern or western-facing window, that should be the location of your garden as such windows let in a considerable amount of sunlight.

However, if your house is limited in terms of light, you can grow your plants under grow lights. LED grow lights mimic the sun through technology to ensure that your plants get the full spectrum of the light.

A spot that drains well

When plants sit in soggy soil for too long, they end up having root rot and eventually die. In this case, you need a place that drains well and is not prone to floods. You also want it levelled well to avoid soil erosion.

If you don’t have such a space in your garden, consider planting your vegetables in raised soil beds. If you are growing them indoors, go for the potting mix that drains well and pots that have holes at the bottom.

raised vegetable beds

©Shutterstock – Where soils are poor, a raised bed can overcome this problem.

2.      Decide on the vegetables to grow

When you think about how much money you spend on vegetables, you can easily be enticed to grow every vegetable that you see in the grocery store. However, it is good to start with a few and continue adding more as you perfect your gardening skills. But before you get to decide which vegetables to grow, you need to consider the weather in your area first. If you live in a place that is mostly hot, vegetables that prefer a cooler climate might not do too well. Make sure that you do your research thoroughly.

A good guide on the vegetables that you can start with is in your meals timetable. Consider growing the vegetables that you spend the most money on. It would be a waste of time and resources growing vegetables that are rarely used in your kitchen unless you are doing it as a business.

3.      Have the necessities ready

Before you start growing your vegetables, you need to ensure that you have everything that you need throughout the process. For starters, you need the right tools to prepare the soil for planting. Such tools include a trowel, shovel, and garden rake. You also need a watering can, hose or sprinkler for watering your plants.

If you are growing them on the windowsill indoors, you need to have pots, potting mix, and trays to place the pots on. You also need a small watering can as well.

Whether you are growing your vegetables indoors or outside, you need high-quality seeds or seedlings. Be sure to get them from a reliable supplier.  

Patio tomato plant

©Thompson and Morgan / Derek St Romaine – Make sure that you have all of the tools you’ll need to grow the best crops.

4.      Start planting

Most seed packets come with instructions on how to prepare the soil for planting and how you should plant them. Otherwise, ensure that you dig down your soil to loosen it. Next, remove all the weeds and apply fertilizer. Next, make small troughs in the soil to put in the seeds. If you have an indoor garden, you can use your hand to make troughs. In addition, ensure that you are using a rich soil mixture.

However, you need to make a few considerations when planning your garden. For instance, if you are growing tall vegetables such as sweet corn and pole or runner beans, you need to put them in the farthest part of the garden to avoid shading the shorter plants.

Likewise, plants that don’t like a lot of sun should take the shadier part of the garden. You should also consider staggering plantings by a few weeks if you want a constant supply. This way, you have another lot coming up after every harvest.

vegetable garden

©Thompson and Morgan – Plan your vegetable patch before you start planting to get the best results.

Conclusion

Vegetables require regular care. If you are to grow your vegetables successfully, you must be prepared to put in the work in taking care of your plants. Ensure that you are weeding, pruning, and watering your veggies as required – but with proper care and attention you can enjoy the flavour of your own home grown crops.

Tops Tips for Styling Your Garden 2020

We are looking for new ways to adapt during COVID-19 Pandemic.  Our gardens can be an extension of our indoor space – you may want to enjoy the ambience of sitting in your garden with your family, or to grow your vegetables and herbs for health benefits . You can make the most of your garden during the current situation with some simple styling tips.

Your garden can be a space for several purposes; a space to play with kids, an entertaining space, or somewhere for quiet contemplation. No matter the size and shape of the garden, think of ways how you can make your garden work for you. Styling your garden is making sure everything in the garden works together to create a serene and beautiful space for you and your family. Here are some the top tips for styling your garden.

 

Well Shaped Lawn

A well-shaped and carefully tended lawn can change the look of your garden and set it on the right track. Your lawn is one of the first things, and the biggest shape, you will see through your window. There is no standard shape for garden lawns, you can try any shape you like – square, oval, rectangular or circle.

garden style 2020 lawn

©Thompson & Morgan – Invest time in getting your lawn in top in good shape.

To get the perfect lawn it’s important to use the right garden tools but, if you don’t have the right ones, there’s no need to spend a fortune. There are many professional garden companies where you can hire garden tools in the UK.

 

Furniture

Furniture is one of the top styling tips that can transform your garden in summer. The type of furniture can reflect your style like other interior parts of your home. The colour of a furniture set can complement the garden wall or fence colour, or tie in with your patio finish.

garden style 2020 seating

©BVG – Choose garden furniture to match your style.

Folding furniture in bold colours will work for your patio or courtyard, or opt for a set of bench seats. For a luxurious feel add an L-shaped sofa, swing seats, or ‘on-trend’ hanging chairs.

When styling your seating area, remember to create enough space for each person to sit comfortably, and allow enough space to walk around the furniture when everyone is seated.

 

Grow Your Own

The ‘grow your own’ movement has surged with the rise in the food prices. More people now appreciate organic products creating more demand to grow your own vegetables and herbs

Garden style 2020 grow your own

©Shutterstock – The ‘grow your own’ movement is as strong as ever in 2020!

Research has shown that there is an increase in the number of vegetarians and vegans in the UK, which may also explain the increase in homeowners growing more herbs, salads and vegetables in their gardens. Growing your own crops requires regular garden maintenance but using the right gardening tools and equipment will help you to achieve the best results.

 

Lighting

To create a vibrant garden, adding lighting is a great idea. Lighting looks good at night but some lights will also create a decorative feature during the day. You can purchase glittery balls or lanterns to brighten up your garden space.

Garden style 2020 lighting

©BVG – Lighting helps to make the most of your garden in the evening.

Keep the social gathering going even after sundown with some twinkly solar string lights. A little sparkle helps to create a relaxed atmosphere for any party, gathering or social event. 

With all of these top tips hopefully, you are able to gather some ideas for your very own back garden. Creating that perfect space for your children and pets to enjoy, or even just to have a few cheeky drinks with some friends and family. 

 

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