Beginners tips for growing vegetables in your garden
With many of us now working from home, some have turned their hand to gardening and subsequently, growing their own fruit and vegetables. While not all of us are naturally green fingered, it can be relatively straightforward to turn your hand to growing crops. You might be planting tomatoes, carrots or potatoes for the first time, or maybe even the tenth – regardless of where you are in your vegetable growing journey, here are some beginners tips to get you started.
What are the benefits of growing your own?
There are so many benefits to becoming a little more green fingered. Not only can it generally help you to eat more fruit and vegetables, but it can also teach you which are seasonal – something that we’ve lost thanks to the fact we’re able to buy the likes of strawberries all year round. It also lets you take control of when to harvest your food. You’ll find that vegetables ripened in the garden also boast more nutrients than some store-bought vegetables that need to be picked early for transport.
If you start growing your own, you may also find that it helps improve your mental health too. Deborah Wood, director of Premier Polytunnels says that “gardening has proven to lower stress levels, lower the risk of dementia, and reduce feelings of anxiety. Seeing a garden that you have tended and nurtured thrive is definitely rewarding and gives you a sense of pride.”
Find out what you can grow
If you’re a beginner, start with a small crop. It’s better to give yourself time to understand what you can grow and what thrives in your space than growing too much all at once. Plus, starting small will allow you to learn the basics before spending a lot of time and money.
We’d recommend starting off by selecting up to five types of vegetables to grow. You’ll get plenty of fresh produce for meals throughout the summer, and it’ll be easy to maintain them. You should also grow what you love, so if you hate tomatoes, no matter how easy they are to grow, don’t grow them!
Create the right environment
This is crucial to growing and harvesting a successful crop. If you don’t have the right environment then your vegetables won’t thrive. Items such as polytunnels are a cost effective alternative to having a glass greenhouse and retail at the fraction of a cost, so it may be worth looking into these. Deborah Wood added, “As standard, polytunnels are designed to be built straight onto a soil base, so there is no need for a costly prepared base first”. They’ll allow you to grow your crops in adverse whether conditions, which we all know the UK is famous for.
How to improve the quality of your soil
Let’s talk about dirt. Your soil holds all the secrets to producing top quality produce. If your soil isn’t quite right then don’t panic, there are a number of ways you can improve it. One of the biggest helping hands you can give it is to feed it an organic diet. Sounds silly but living soil has the same basic requirements as we do – food, water, shelter and air.
Another key thing you can be doing is regularly testing your soil to make sure the pH balance is right. Pick yourself up a soil test kit and get testing – they’re indispensable and may just help to transform your yearly crops!
No matter whether you’ve been growing for many years or this is your first, these top tips will help you on your way to becoming a green fingered king or queen.