Start your own Vegetable and Herb Garden
Now that Spring has finally arrived, the weather has improved and temperatures are rising it’s the perfect time to prepare your own vegetable and herb garden, planter box or large pots for planting. Some planning now will give you a rich Summer harvest.
Here are some basic but important tips to follow:
Find a position outdoors that receives as much sunshine as possible throughout the day. You may already have a vege garden in a sunny position but, if not, find a new position if necessary. The vege garden will probably need a weed after Winter. Attend to this first. After you’ve cleared the garden of weeds cultivate the soil with a fork or spade. Dig the soil over thoroughly. This will encourage aeration. Organic compost or Peat Moss can be added to the soil to improve the structure of the soil and drain the garden effectively. It will also help to retain moisture in the garden on hot Summer days. After a wet Winter the soil will be depleted of nutrients and the PH has probably decreased to leave the soil more acidic. If you want the best results from your garden it’s worth adding Trace Mineralised Lime (TML) to the soil. This will not only raise the PH to sweeten the soil but add valuable trace elements like Potash, Magnesium and Iron. This will improve your plants’ growth and ensure you grow the best quality veges and herbs. Once the TML has been thoroughly forked in leave the vege patch for several days before planting the veges and herbs you wish to grow. General garden fertiliser can be added to the soil as an alternative to TML.
There are plenty of vege seedlings that can be planted now including Broccoli, Lettuce, Beetroot and Cauliflower. Although Tomato seedlings are currently available from garden centres I suggest you wait two or three weeks before planting. Planting Tomato seedlings in a glasshouse where they have warmth and shelter would be fine.
Runner Beans and dwarf Peas can be sown now.
Remember to place slug and snail bait near the plants to protect them. Baysol is a long lasting bait that is very effective. To be on the safe side place chicken wire over the bait to prevent dogs and cats from eating the bait. You’ll need to keep an eye out for insects on your crop throughout the growing season. If you notice Aphids or Caterpillars or other insects you can use an organic insecticide such as Pyrethrum.
Keep your plants watered during warm weather.
In summary, to start your own vegetable and herb garden:
- Vege gardens need plenty of sun
- A good weeding may be needed after Winter
- Cultivate the soil to encourage aeration
- Add compost or Peat Moss for soil structure
- Add Trace Mineralised Lime or fertiliser for PH
- Wait several days before planting your veges and herbs
- Use baits and organic insecticides if you wish
Good luck and happy gardening!