Planning a Vegetable Garden

Growing your own vegetables can be very rewarding and if planned right, can be fairly effortless.

Here are a few things to consider before heading down to the local garden centre to get all your plants and supplies.

1, How much space do you have. Draw a quick lay-out of the space if possible. This will help you visualise and plan. If you have a small garden, consider using pots and containers to grow your vegetables in.

2, What would you like to grow. Consider what you like eating and cost but also how much time you have to tend to your garden as some plants need more care than others. Read up on different kinds of plants before being them and if you are raising them from seeds, makes sure you get the timing right. This, you can find out at the back of most seed packets.

4, How much sun does your garden have. Most plants need 6-8 hours of direct sunlight a day.

3, What kind of soil does your garden have ? This may have an affect on what you can grow and how. If your soil-condition is poor, then you may need to add some fertile soil, have raised beds or use containers. So make sure you check the soil before you head down to the garden centre. You can easily check what kind of soil you have by soaking it a day before testing.

Dig up a handful of soil and squeeze it hard in your hand. If water comes out, it means you have a problem with drainage.

Then open up your hand. If the ball of soil falls apart with a gentle touch, it probably means your soil is too sandy. If the ball holds together firmly and is hard to break, it means your soil is full of clay. Either way, you should add some organic soil to improve condition.

Perfect soil should hold together and slowly crumbles apart, a bit like a piece of chocolate cake.

Tip ! There is a lazy way of preparing your soil, without lots of weeding and digging.

All you need is a wooden frame, good soil and some newspaper.

Put wooden frame on top of your desired location i.e. on top of vegetable garden or even lawn. Lay down a couple of layers of newspapers at the bottom of the frame. Fill up with soil. Done. The newspaper will act as weed barrier but should still allow the roots of your plants to penetrate through if necessary. Simple, relatively clean and easy.

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