Creating your own vegetable garden – no matter the size of your outdoor space – can be a rewarding and rewarding experience, and a great way to eat fresh, healthy food.

As we continue to stay indoors to fight the spread of the coronavirus, it’s a hobby anyone can practice and enjoy, and spring is one of the best times to start working out.

If you wanted to make your own vegetable patch but weren’t sure where to start, we brought in the experts to create a comprehensive guide for you below.

What tools do i need?

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Royal Horticultural Society chief horticulturalist Guy Barter says a shovel is enough, but a fork, rake, hoe, trowel, watering can and wheelbarrow can make all the difference.

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How to start planting?

seeds, gardening

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Horticulturist Guy says any container can be used to grow vegetables. Boxes, bins or even plastic bags can be used especially if they have been used to package foodstuffs – polystyrene boxes used for broccoli or fish for example. However, it cautions that those used to contain petroleum products, paints, wood preservatives and other industrial materials should be avoided.

Ben Raskin, head of horticulture at the Soil Association, adds that old take-out boxes with holes drilled in the bottom for drainage make great seed trays and recommends putting the lid underneath to catch drips or on. the top to keep the compost moist. Jess says the cardboard interior of the toilet rolls makes a biodegradable container that you can then plant directly in the ground later. They will add organic matter to your soil and be beneficial in the long run.

What are the best vegetables to grow indoors?

radish

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For an indoor vegetable garden, Gardening Organic head gardener Emma O’Neill recommends cutting and browning salad leaves, microgreens and radishes for growing indoors in a container or planter. These all germinate quickly and easily with just a little water and light. Emma suggests that if you don’t have access to seed bins, you can even recycle household waste for use as growing containers – plastic fruit or vegetable trays, yogurt pots, and cream jars. ice cream work great too.

For balconies or outdoor terraces, Emma adds that potatoes grow brilliantly in containers. Choose a “main crop” variety and plant it from mid-April.

Likewise, horticulturalist Guy recommends growing pea shoots, mustard and watercress microgreens, fenugreek, arugula, lamb lettuce and salads from cut and revived seedlings, similar to supermarket “pillow packs”. These can be raised on window sills so that even those without a garden have the opportunity to grow food of incomparable freshness.

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Make sure the soil is moist

Make sure the soil you use is moist, but not too wet, advises the Soil Association. Test the soil with your finger, making sure to wiggle it slightly below the surface to check for moisture levels there. If it is a little dry, water gently until it is just damp.

The association also recommends keeping the seeds warm until they germinate. Most seeds like a temperature between 15-20 ° C to germinate and covering the trays or jars with a sheet of glass will create a mini greenhouse effect and keep them warm until they have started.

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For outdoor cultivation

beet

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Garden Organic expert Emma says spring is a great time to plant many different vegetables such as beets, carrots, spinach and spring onions.

Prepare your vegetable garden soil first – make sure it is free of weeds and raked to a fine consistency, then sow directly outdoors, following the directions on the seed packet. . Water well, tag and check regularly for weeds, which can be removed by hand as soon as they appear. You should start to see signs of life within a few weeks.

There are also many vegetables that can be grown indoors and moved outside after a few weeks once they are large enough to handle and have at least two true leaves. Tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and zucchini are good examples. Tumble tomatoes are great in a hanging basket.

For small gardens, the RHS Guy horticulturalist says containers can be planted with fast-growing Swiss chard, lettuce and spinach for early crops, as well as early potatoes to be picked in early June.

Placed in a warm, sunny location, container crops can accelerate and mature a fortnight before those in cooler soils. If you are feeling creative, you can make bells, cold frames, or other protective devices to stimulate the harvest – usually also by advancing the harvest a fortnight.

Raised beds are convenient and make a big difference on clay soils, but flat growing, perhaps with flat, non-raised beds, is just as good in most cases.

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Check your closets

Shot of fennel seeds in spoon on wooden table

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RHS Guy’s horticulturalist says many seeds can be found in the kitchen cupboard; celery (this will be leaf celery), chickpeas, cilantro, cumin, dill, dried peppers, fennel, fenugreek, peas, mustard, star anise and so on, make good micro-salads or can be grown as herbs or vegetables.

Sweet potatoes, fresh ginger, and yams can be potted and sprouted in a warm location and the resulting shoots rooted as cuttings and used to grow crops of these roots. Many similar cultures can be found in stores that stock Asian, Caribbean, and African foods. Pot-grown supermarket herbs can be grown, but are surprisingly finicky, no doubt having been forced out with generous heat, water, and fertilizer during cultivation.

How to boost my garden soil?

ground

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Soil has a sort of “natural boost” in fertility, so if you make a new vegetable plot from uncultivated soil, the inherent built-up fertility will do for a year or two, says the soil. horticulturalist RHS Guy. Otherwise, fertilizer is needed for best results – it is widely offered by mail order, usually cheaper than in garden centers. Garden compost on its own is usually sufficient to provide what most plants need, as is rotten manure.


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