How to start your own vegetable patch

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A back garden is a fantastic thing to have. If you have a back garden in your home it means that you have somewhere that your children can play safely outside, somewhere that you can dry clothes easily in the summertime, somewhere you can sit and relax, somewhere you can grow beautiful flowers, and much more. A garden presents endless opportunities and most garden owners are not using theirs to its full potential. One of the best ways to use a garden is to dedicate one corner to growing some vegetables and herbs. We have all visited a friend and been full of envy when we saw their bountiful vegetable garden but we all think it is too much work for us. The truth is that it is easy to have a fruit and veg garden. All you need to do is get started. Follow our simple steps to starting your very own vegetable patch.

1. If you don’t have a garden

You may think the one absolute requirement here is a garden but that is not the case. If you have a balcony you can put many of these plants in some containers or pots and start your own mini veg patch. Even if you only have a window you could put some outdoor shelving on the sides of the window to start growing some veg.

2. Size matters

Anyone who told you that size was not important didn’t understand gardens. If you are only using a balcony or window sill you will likely only be able to focus on one or two vegetables. We think the ideal size to start with is a 10 x 10-foot area of the garden. This will allow you to grow around five types of vegetables and three types of herbs. If you decided to go any bigger than this you will likely be overcome with weeds. 10 x 10 feet is both manageable and bountiful.

3. Choosing the right vegetables

I have two rules when it comes to picking the vegetables for your garden. Think about the seasons and think about what you like. Thinking about seasons is important as if you only choose summer veg there will be many months where your garden is empty. By choosing a selection of vegetables that ripen in summer, autumn, and spring you will have a wide selection to choose from all year round. After that, simply choose the vegetables and herbs that you love.

Lettuce, peas, and carrots are the most popular spring vegetable choices and are useful in a wide range of meals. These are a great place to start. Tomatoes, peppers, and herbs will all do well in summer so you should really focus on these a lot as those summer months mean high production. In autumn you can usually rely on potatoes, cabbage, and some kale to come through so introduce a little of these as well to ensure you are mixing it up.

4. Preparing your plot

The first thing to do is to fence off your garden. These plants will attract a wide range of animals so we suggest digging six inches into the ground and starting a chicken wire fence. This should keep rabbits and dogs away. The next thing to worry about is insects. If you only see a small few then you can just pick them off however if you are starting to get outnumbered then you may need to introduce some sprays. The most important thing is that if you see a dead plant you throw it away immediately. Keeping it away from healthy plants will give them the best chance of survival.