Some vegetables are difficult to grow if the soil is too acidic or
alkaline. You need to test the soil with a pH testing kit which can be
bought online (click here)
or in most garden centres.
We have a page
that describes why and how to test your soil,
click here to go
All soils appreciate being fed and being kept in good
condition. Chemical fertilisers will give a quick feed to your soil but
it won't last. The best solution is to dig in some well-rotted compost
or manure. A spade-full per square yard is about the minimum, twice that
amount is best. Compost and manure will decompose in the soil
encouraging worms and bacteria. This will feed the soil and keep it in
So what's the solution if you have no compost? Adding
bonemeal or blood, fish and bone (available at almost all garden
centres) at the rate on the packet will give the soil a feed which will
last for much longer than any chemical feed. Digging will improve the
structure and condition of the soil.
One of the very first things to do when planning a vegetable patch is to
start a compost heap. Initially it will take about a year to produce
good compost so start one now. We have a few pages on how to make a good
compost heap, click here to go
Nearly finished! The next stage is to draw a plan of your vegetable
patch and work out what to grow where. What vegetables do you want, how
many, do you want fruit as well and what about some herbs? And don't
forget the compost heap, where will that go?
This stage of the process is important and is very
similar to planning an allotment. You must rotate groups of crops on a
three year (or more cycle) to avoid the build up of disease. We have a
few pages on crop rotation for allotments, and the idea is the same for
a smaller vegetable patch.
Click here for
details on designing a crop rotation scheme. Don't get obsessed by crop
rotation, but do your best.
Sow and Plant
You have decided a site for your vegetable patch, you've dug and weeded
it, done your best to feed and improve the soil, and finally planned
which vegetables, fruit and herbs you want to grow on it. Now is the
time to plant and sow. We have three pages to help you on the best dates
for this. Links to these pages are given below.
One of the key rules in sowing seed is to do it little
but frequently. This will avoid a glut of produce at one time. Difficult
to practice but do your best.
Vegetable planner -
Herb planner - click here
Fruit planner - click
Click here to adjust every date in
GardenAction for your home town.
We wish you the best of luck and hope you return to our
site for more information. If you have any questions, why not try
posting a question in our forum, click here
to go there now.
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