We’re beginning to sniff the first hint of spring air here in Brida, and that means it’s time to start thinking about vegetable plots. A little bit of simple planning, and you should be able to get the most out of your space. Let us tell you how.
For a start, you can increase the choice of vegetables in your garden when you grow different crops throughout the year. You can have brilliant harvest combinations and also provide food for insects. The better the relationship between beneficial and harmful insects, the more insect species will find their way to your vegetable garden.
Vegetable crops typically take root at different depths and use nutrients from various soil layers. It means you will need to use fewer fertilizers. Your soil is even enriched with nitrogen if you also plant butterfly-friendly plants. Your main objective should be to keep your beds constantly covered, otherwise, weeds will spread uncontrolled, and you will spend more time weeding and have fewer vegetables to harvest. You know, that’s not fun!
That said, unfortunately, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all recipe. If you want year-round vegetables and keep your soil healthy at the same time, then that’s going to be a bit of a challenge. You will need to set your priorities, and if you are new to vegetable gardening, you will want to start slowly. You can start by trying out the side-by-side and successive cultivation of vegetables on individual beds. That could be your best bet in the first season because you can see what works for you and then build on your plan based on your experiences.
We really do recommend that you make a gardening plan because then you can keep track of which beds are occupied at any one time. Keep it simple, you don’t need to be Picasso to do this. Take a piece of paper in landscape format and write the 12 months of the year at the top. Next, draw a rectangular box for each bed in your vegetable garden underneath. You can then find out what to plant when from the seed packets of the plants you want to try out. The result should look a little like this:
| March Apr May June July August |
Spinach ……..…………………Cauliflower ………………………………….. Endive
It is also worth knowing that many vegetable crops occupy a bed for only a few weeks or months. You can sow or plant some vegetables before or after the main crop. Those are the plants that use the bed for the longest time of the year. Another possibility is to grow several crops simultaneously on one bed or in one row. We’ll write more about that in our next column.
Here is a suggestion for you. Why don’t you pop into our garden centre, so that we can help you? Describe your plot to us and tell us what you want to do. Tatiana and I would love to sit down with you, perhaps with a cup of coffee and help you to get started. No obligation on your side.
Hope to see you soon.