Sunday, 19 March 2017

How to #Grow Your Own #Vegetables


Veg Growing Workshop 15th April 2017 available to everyone call or book on line.

The nutritional value of the crops we grows far exceeds which we buy from the supermarkets for this reason alone it is well worth producing a few thing yourself.
I can argue what you grow yourself tastes so much better than what you buy from large stores.
You can save some money growing expensive things like fennel bulbs, asparagus, artichokes and even cut and come again leaves.



Here's A Little 'Grow Your Own' Made Easy!


Perennial crops
These grow year after year not annually, like the herbaceous plants in the garden.
Globe Artichokes, Asparagus, Cardoons and Rhubarb will slip in your borders between the flowers and shrubs to provide you with a free harvest for very minimal effort. Herbs such as Good King Henry, sorrel,Lovage and Celery leaf and chard (will often over winter) are amongst some of the excellent perennial green leaves you can cook and eat through the winter months. Lovage is also good to wrap cheese in. Many over winter. You may be unlucky and need to replace some of them after extreme cold! They are very easy to grow, but notably costly at the supermarket. 

Great Winter Vegetables.
I must also direct you to the value of Winter Kale. As varieties such as Dwarf Green Curled Kale are very winter hardy. Another valuable but often over looked vegetable is Celeriac. Monarch the leading variety doesn't require careful sowing under glass. Don’t over look Leaks and Sprouts they are the perfect winter vegetable crops. Fry your thinly sliced Leaks, then pop them under the grill with some grated parmesan cheese on top and you will never look back! It’s a taste sensation.






Preparing to grow vegetables!
What do we need to do now it’s Spring?


Prepare the soil.
Digging is an art form. It is worth looking up the main digging techniques, if you are beginning a new bed.

In this area most of us suffer the local heavy clay. I recommend giving this a good dig over, and leave it exposed to crumble in the frosts. This will help the texture. Regular liming will also help to create a more crumbly texture and balance the PH, which will unlock many nutrients essential to plants, such as Magnesium.
If your soil is sticky, compacted and water logged, or sandy and dries out in an instant, it will benefit from organic matter. In these instances Soil Conditioner can be very beneficial. It comprises of high levels of organic matter, and as a bonus is rich in slowly released nutrients. Soil conditioner can be bought by the bag and dug in before planting. Other forms of good organic matter are bags of Farm Yard Manure and Border Booster.

Feed the soil with a general fertiliser such as Fish Blood and
Bone , Chicken Manure  Pellets or Gowmore Granuals.

What to plant now
Plant Onion Sets and Shallots in February/March. Buy your Seed Potatoes early, in February and March and let then warm a little to produce little shots. This is referred to as chitting. They want to be planted from late March onwards as the ground warms.  Begin planting first early varieties, then second earlies, then main crop. As a general rule first earlies are your salad spuds and main crop are the big jackets that should store well. Broad Beans, Spinach, Chard, Leeks, Lettuce, Carrot, Parsnips, Peas, Sprouts and Radish can all be seeded in March. Don’t plant every thing at once unless you want to harvest the whole crop in one go. Plant a few rows, and then a few weeks later plant a few more rows.
You can seed your tomatoes, pepper, courgettes cucumbers pumpkins etc under cover but they must not go out until the warm, frost free weather at the very end of May.

My top tip is to include some companion plants with your vegetables 
Companion plants deter pest and encourage pollination. Lavender, Sage, Borage and Lovage are exceptionally good pest replants, so plant them close to your Veg patch. Onions garlic ,Leeks and Chives discourage slugs and are great at confusing the Carrot Fly. Seed Basil with Tomatoes. Most vegetable have good companion plants that will really help the crop.





Small Vegetable Plants can be planted a little later.
At the Nursery we produce many ready grown vegetables plants available to pop straight into the garden. So don’t worry if you didn’t get round to sowing your own veg, it’s fine to plant strips of most things in May, such as Brassicas, Lettuce, Spinach ,Runner Beans, French Beans,fennel Sweet Corn, Leaks, Beetroot and so forth.



Growing Your Own is very rewarding!
You don’t have to have an allotment or a formal vegetable plot to grow home produce. It’s becoming increasingly popular to find spaces in your borders for Runner Beans (plant in May), Tomatoes (outside at the end of May), some Beetroot and colourful Salad Leaves. There are some great easy to use patio containers for Potatoes, general Vegetables and Herbs. You no longer require a large space.

  

Everyone benefits from home grown, whether we are self sufficient, or just supplement a few things we enjoy the most. The nutritional value of what we grow in our garden is significantly higher that the Veg we buy at the supermarket. We can all grow something to eat and save a little money in the processes. And our Children can really enjoy producing food straight to their dinner plates direct from the bare earth.









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