All Women's Talk

7 Tips for Your First Vegetable Garden ...

By Alison

Could you use some tips for your first vegetable garden? Growing your own veggies is the perfect way to get some organic produce into your diet. Home-grown veggies have the best taste - imagine being able to pick some carrots or potatoes from your own garden and cook them straight away. Try these tips for your first vegetable garden and experience the pleasure of picking tasty veggies for your dinner …

1 Start Simply

Start SimplyThe first of my tips for your first vegetable garden is to start simply. For the novice gardener, it's better to buy plants rather than seeds. Cultivating seeds can be a challenge, and buying plants means that you can get your vegetable garden started earlier. Herbs are great for beginners, as you can start harvesting them quickly.

2 Container Gardening

Container GardeningKeeping your vegetable garden to a limited space has advantages for beginners. You'll have less maintenance work to do and you can start with just a few vegetables. So try growing your veggies in containers or raised beds. However small your outdoor space, everyone has room for a herb garden or a few pots; there are plenty of veggies that can be grown in containers.

3 Sunny Spot

Sunny SpotPlenty of sunlight is essential for a vegetable garden. Your veggies won't grow if they don't get to sunbathe for several hours a day. If your garden or outdoor space is shady, forget trying to cultivate a vegetable garden. Leave it for your next home and stick to growing plants that like shady conditions.

4 Strong Soil

Strong SoilAn essential stage in growing vegetables is to prepare the soil and feed it. Soil must be well drained; if growing in pots, they need to have holes at the bottom. If you're going to be growing in the earth, get a fork and start digging! You can buy fertiliser, but the best kind of food for your veggies is your own compost. It's not that difficult and is a great way of using vegetable peelings, rather than throwing them away.

5 Suitable Size

Suitable SizeIt's tempting to let yourself be carried away by the prospect of having your first vegetable patch, especially if you've been living in apartments and never had the chance before. But keep your first veggie garden a manageable size and don't try to grow every vegetable you like. You can enlarge it as you get more experienced.

6 Grow What You're Going to Use

Grow What You're Going to UseThere's no point in going to the effort of growing vegetables that you don't like, as you'll just end up giving them away. That's nice for your friends, but you should be able to enjoy your own efforts. So grow your favorite veggies that you know you will use; it's better to grow more of a few types and use them all.

7 Time

TimeFinally, be realistic about how much time you can dedicate to looking after your vegetable patch. At the very least, they'll need watering daily; you'll also have to do a certain amount of weeding and pest control. If you don't have a lot of spare time, keep your veggie garden small scale.

Growing your own vegetables means that you will have tasty produce for all kinds of dishes. If you have a glut of tomatoes, you could make tomato sauce or chutney. Other vegetables can be frozen or canned. So why not start your first vegetable patch; your home-grown veggies will be organic and much more tasty than those bought in the store. If you're a gardener, what are your triumphs and disasters?

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