Gardening

Planning A Vegetable Plot – Challenge Accepted!

My Dream Vegetable Patch

Note: The above vegetable plot is not mine, but I sure would like it to be! Although to be honest, I think it’s a little too big for a novice like myself (I did take the picture though!).

So you want to grow your own vegetables? Me too! If you read on, I’ll share what I’ve learnt so far on how to grow your own veg. I’m no expert though, I’m just sharing what I’ve read.

Planning my vegetable plot

I’ve read a lot of online articles and a few books too on starting a vegetable plot and if I’ve learnt one thing, it is to plan ahead and know exactly what you want from your plot. For this reason alone, I’ve created a list on how I will plan my vegetable plot and I recommend other newbies do too.

Step-by-step vegetable plot planning -

  • Measure your space
  • Plan what to grow and when
  • Ensure you have the space to grow what you want
  • Ask yourself: will you actually eat what you grow? (I know… It sounds obvious)
  • Ensure you’ve got the necessary tools
  • Get going!

It really is this simple. There are, of course, much more details to each point. But I believe it is key to keep it simple.

If you would like more detail, the below should please you. If you want to skip this, click here to go to the next section which includes picture of my special area (keep it clean, please. I’m talking about my vegetable patch).

  • Measure your space

    This is a necessity rather than a recommendation. You’ll need to know the space you have to work with to ensure you factor in the recommended distance between each vegetable.

    Simply go outside and measure the length and width of your proposed or actual vegetable plot.

  • Plan what to grow and when

    As you can imagine, this is an extremely important point. After all, you do not want to be planting something in winter if it simply will not grow!

    To help you understand when to plant and harvest, I recommend viewing a ‘vegetable planner’. If you search on Google for ‘vegetable planner’, you’ll be sure a large variety of them, but I am using one from the RHS as it is quite in-depth.

    vegetable planner from the RHS

    The above vegetable planner is probably the most in-depth one I found from a quick search on Google Images.

  • Ensure you have the space to grow what you want

    Because you’ve now got the measurements, you can easily plan what you realistically can grow in the space you have available to you. What I mean by this is that you’re able to give each plant enough space to grow into flavoursome vegetables to eat!

    Just like the vegetable planner above, there are many different guides available on the Internet. The best one I came across is by Aeronvale Allotments as it goes from telling you the spacing through to how exactly to plant each individual vegetable.

    Click the below image to view their in-depth guide on spacing vegetables and much more.

    Aeronvale Allotments Vegetable Spacing Guide

  • Ask yourself: will you actually eat what you grow? (I know… It sounds obvious)

    I won’t bore you with this section for long, but it is a very valid point. Don’t grow things for the sake of it, grow the vegetables you love! However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try new vegetables if you’re open to experimenting!

  • Ensure you’ve got the necessary tools
    From my research through viewing online articles, reading a gardening book and asking local gurus, I believe the following is enough to get started. It isn’t about buying every tool available because they will simply sit gather dust.

    The only exception for the above rule is the amount of space you have to cover. The tools I list below are ideally for a smaller vegetable patch.

    Essential gardening tools for your veg patch:

    1. Garden spade and/or a shovel
      This will help you turn and aerate soil. This is extremely beneficial for the soil and will help move the nutrients around.
    2. Trowel
      One of these will certainly come in handy when you are planting.
    3. Dutch hoe
      This is by far my favourite tool. Their are different types and I favour the push type. They’re perfect for cutting through weeds just under the surface.

      You will definitely find yourself playing catch-up with the weeds in Spring and Summer. One of these hoes makes short work of the task.
    4. Hose or a watering can
      You will, after all, want to help your vegetables grow big.
  • Get going!
    Congratulations, you’ve read all of my tips and advice. It must’ve been hard work, eh?

My vegetable patch so far…

…Is completely bare. But watch this space! Below is a picture of my sad plot.

My Vegetable Patch

Closing Notes:
As part of this project I will also be using a small greenhouse or growhouse (you can choose which name you prefer). I will be writing a separate post on this within the very near future as it requires refurbishing due to a hard winter last year.

One subject I did not cover is soil types. This is a completely separate minefield but I strongly suggest you at least spend 10 minutes understanding the basics. I may write about this in the future.

If you have any tips, please feel free to share them!

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