Garden Action

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Soil Fertility
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 there now.

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 peak condition.

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.

Compost Heaps
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 there now.

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 - click here
Herb planner - click here
Fruit planner - click here
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.



Name: Hank
Date posted: August 07, 2011 - 08:06 pm
Message: Thuoght it wouldn't to give it a shot. I was right.

Name: Emma Roberts
Date posted: August 06, 2011 - 03:36 pm
Message: please help just moved to a house with a big garden got a big flower bed all freshly dug and weeded - is it too late to plant anything?