How to grow your own fantastic fruit and veg
Novice gardeners can become expert growers at speed, by working in stages, and the first step forward is to pick your plot...
Good gardening includes using natural ways to protect your plants from bugs, and choosing the best and easiest varieties to grow.
Experts from GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk have put together a list of easy steps to take to create a great fruit and veg garden.
A spokesman said: “Nothing beats being able to enjoy delicious fruit and veg you’ve grown yourself .
“Our tips will help you through the whole process from preparing the soil and planting through to protecting your plants, staggering growth and even creating your own compost for next year.”
So here's what you do;
Choose where you garden
Picking the right plot is the first step. You want somewhere sheltered, sunny and warm with well-drained soil. If you don’t have enough space in your garden, why not consider container gardening or building a few raised beds to house your crops.
Prepare the soil
Once you’ve picked your plot, you need to get the soil ready. Most fruit and vegetable crops need balanced, good quality soil. Dig over removing any stones and clear the patch of all weeds. Finish off by digging in some compost.
Picking your varieties
If you’re a first-time gardener, then it’s always best to play it safe. Opt for varieties that have been well tested to give good flavours, are fairly pest resistant and are easy to grow. Salad leaves, potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries and rhubarb are all great beginner’s plants.
Grow tasty treats
As well as picking something easy to grow, choose something you like to eat. There’s no point growing fruit and veg you’ll never enjoy eating.
Stagger your plants
Always follow the instructions on seed packets or with seedlings but try and stagger for a longer harvest. There’s nothing worse than everything being ready to eat at once.
Digging all the little holes to plant your seeds or seedlings can be time consuming. Try pressing a muffin tray into the soil and the indentations should be deep enough to plant in to.
Feeding your plants
Your plants need sun, rain and good soil to survive and a little plant food every now and again will give them an added boost. Get some advice on what your plants need
It may sound obvious, but don’t forget to water your plants. Avoid watering during the hottest part of the day. Instead try early morning and late evening.
Protecting your plants
Bugs love nibbling on your seedlings and newly sprouting crops so protecting them is a must. Avoid harsh chemicals where you can and instead look for natural solutions like companion planting. Other things you can try include laying egg shells around plants to deter slugs and attracting bugs, like ladybirds, who love nibbling on garden nasties.
Make your own compost
Once you’ve got the gardening bug, think about making your own compost ready for next year. Throw in things like dead and rotting leaves, fruit and vegetable waste and egg shells.