Getting Started with a Vegetable Patch
26 January 2017
Whether you are an avid gardener, or a total newbie, a vegetable patch can be a wonderful addition to the garden. It might be the only thing you decide to introduce, or one of many gardening projects, but there is something immensely satisfying about growing your own vegetables (it’s probably the eating of them). But a lot of people get put off starting a veg patch because they think it will be too hard or time-consuming, but in reality it’s actually a very straightforward project, and once you’ve done the groundwork (literally) you can usually leave it to itself. But if you don’t believe us, take a look at our beginners guide to veg patches, and see for yourself.
Pick a space
Choosing a vegetable patch location is actually one of the most important aspects; you need to consider the location of the sun, whether there are any other plants around that might interfere with it, and also if it might be at risk from predators. Ideally you want a space that is in receipt of a good amount of sun and is also sheltered from the wind. However, your main focus should be on finding the sunniest spot as you can always buy a windbreak to offer shelter from the wind. Choose the best location to avoid having to invest effort in garden maintenance.
Clear your space
Next up it is vital that you take time (sometimes a lot) to clear your veg patch properly. Your vegetables are vulnerable, and if they are not in a well cleared space, they are at risk from week attacks. It is hard of course to remove every possible weed, but it is important to clear it as best you can to protect the fruits (and veg) of your labour. Weed control should be an essential part of your gardening schedule. Ideally in a vegetable patch you should aim to use organic means to clear weeds and maintain your space - you’re hopefully going to be eating these vegetables remember, so avoid any pesticides.
Bugs and slugs
Aside from the potential weed attack, your precious veg is also at high risk from a variety of bugs, and in particular slugs, which will ever so cleverly eat all your produce whenever you’re not looking. Obviously there are shop-bought manufactured remedies you can use, but again, because you hope to be eating the veg, try and go au natural. One of the best natural defences are birds, so try and build a ‘slug moat’ around your veg patch which makes it hard for the slugs to get into it, but easy for birds to snatch them up. Also invest in organic slug repellents that you can add to these ‘moats’.
Raise ‘em up
If you can then a raised veg patch is the ideal addition; it will help protect your precious produce from lugs and other attacks and will also help maintain their specific plot, hopefully prevent weeds getting to them. However this is by no means a must, and a well ordered vegetable garden can still be obtained without this addition. If you are not sure how to do a raised veg patch, turn to professional gardeners and they will give you advice.
Pick your vegetables
Now comes the fun part, you’ve readied your ground, prepared the earth and are desperate to plant and grow. So all you need to do now is do some research into which vegetables will be most suited to you. This will partly depend on your garden i.e. how much space you have, the type of soil you have, and any other risks it might hold to your success. But it will also depend on you, how much time you have to tend to your veg, your aptitude for and interest in gardening and of course the type of veg you actually want to grow – little point growing carrots if you hate them after all.
Create a vegetable patch that doesn’t require garden care. Reap the fruits of your labour and enjoy your healthy produce.