My First Vegetable Garden
Brian Knight is on hand to help all those start out gardeners, with useful tips for creating your first vegetable garden. He will guide you on a fortnightly basis with advice, techniques and important tasks.
Brian says, "Here are my first tips to beginning your own vegetable garden."
It is important that you start small.
Ideally, chose a location that is close to your house. This means it is easier to keep a close eye on progress and nip out to harvest your crops. A wheelbarrow is also useful for moving compost to beds, and you should also have ready access to water.
Most vegetables thrive in full sun, so choosing a sunny position for your vegetable garden is important. South-east or south-west facing is best. Do not worry if you do not have an open sunny position available though, because many vegetables will grow quite happily in semi shade.
Having a certain amount of shelter is useful, to aid pollination. Bees and other pollinating insects will find their job much harder if they have to move from plant to plant in strong winds.
Picking an area of the garden where the ground is pretty level is crucial to avoiding problems with drainage and run off.
You can plant your garden in situ with paths and borders or you can use raised beds. For raised beds, an area of four feet by twelve feet is ideal as a start. I recommend using some untreated timber planks or sleepers and then fill the space with soil. If your garden soil is rich and fertile you can use this, otherwise you can buy a rich humus soil or use a combination of both.