How to start growing vegetables in your garden

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Homegrown fruit and vegetables are a great way to be healthier and more sustainable in the long run. It’s a fun family activity to share with your kids and a relaxing outdoor hobby for you. 

If you want to explore your inner green-thumb, check out these tips and tricks.

Benefits of growing vegetables

You are more likely to eat fruit and vegetables if you are growing them in your garden. You can decide what fertilisers and pesticides come into contact with your food. Easy salad vegetables, like tomatoes, lettuce and peppers, are very forgiving and easy to grow. You can control when you harvest your food and let the vegetables ripen in the garden. Homegrown veggies are often more nutritious than those in the store because they have extra time to ripen.

What do you need?

You can opt for as many tools as you want. However, make sure to invest in a few basics to get yourself going before buying the whole gardening catalogue. A trowel, with a solid metal blade and wooden handle, is brilliant for everyday tasks. It can break up clumps of soil, dig small holes, transplant seedlings and dig up weeds. 

A kneeling pad and gardening gloves will add a little comfort to your new hobby. They are cheap, cheerful and your knees will thank you later. 

A few other necessary tools include pruning sheers, a hose, rake and wheelbarrow. However, there are a whole host of fancy gadgets to aid your gardening dreams. 

If you are an avid gardener, it may be time to invest in a polytunnel. They help crops flourish and maintain a microclimate with the perfect humidity for out of season vegetables. Polytunnels are cheaper than greenhouses and a fantastic addition to any garden. 

A few tips

Instead of growing every vegetable out there, start small with a few plants you will eat. Pick a spot in your garden with at least six hours of daylight time and easy access to water. Use a raised garden bed so you can control the soil and nutrient blend. If you don’t have a polytunnel, make sure to research what vegetables are in season.

The right soil can significantly improve the outcome of your plants, and contaminant-free soil is usually best. Talk to a few farmers or avid gardeners in your area to see what they grow successfully and how the earth impacts their gardening. Or, if your veggie garden is in an allotment, make a few gardening friends and exchange tips and tricks. 

Remember – gardening is supposed to be fun, not a chore! 

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