Spring is here. It’s time to plan your summer food garden.

Grab a notebook and pen because you are going to be noting plans and sketching pictures of your vegetable patch. You have an idea what you want to plant, so let’s make it a reality. Ready?

Location

First sketch your plot. If you have a conventional garden space add all the features like your fencing, the kids’ swing set and outdoor toys.

You don’t want the garden too close to these things because the kids will most likely trample your plants. If you have a pool of a hot tub chemicals might splash onto the garden and kill your plants.

If you simply have a small veranda, roof top or window boxes then prepare your containers with the same care.

window box lettuce

Dig

Day 1:  Prepare your garden beds by digging to loosen the soil and adding organic material.  Most plants are content with 6 to 8 inches of good ground for their roots to grow in. Water this and come back tomorrow.

Plant

About two inches beneath earth into which you’ve poked your finger, drop your seed. At the head of the row place a paint stirrer with either lettering or the seed packet denoting what the row contains. Plant your rows about one and one half foot apart.

Note: Planting herbs between rows of vegetables keeps pests from munching on your dinner. Some pests are good, because they destroy damaging pests. Planting parsley, dill and coriander attracts the good pests.

The bad ones can be kept at bay by planting sage (repels cabbage moths and carrot flies), borage (repels tomato worms) and catmint (repels aphids, potato beetles and squash bugs).

Mulch and Water

Wood chips work best because they conserve water.

Place your garden hoses beneath the wood chips or other mulch. This ensures the roots get enough water. Most people just sprinkle water atop the plants, but this doesn’t help the roots. The water evaporates in the heat. Water your plants early in the morning or very late at night. It’s cooler then and evaporation won’t happen.

Containers

If you live in an apartment and want to grow vegetables in containers or window boxes, make sure you have the proper acidity in the soil.

The best way to do this is to make a pot of tea and then water it down considerably. Pouring this into the soil brings up the pH of the soil, but it doesn’t harm the fruit.

Pick small veggies frequently; it encourages regrowth. Make sure to pinch the tomato plants or they won’t grow new fruit. Trimming the leaves will also ensure new growth.

Berries

Before you plant blueberries, know that they need soil high in acidity. Prepare the soil for a year or so before planting them in winter or early spring.

If you want strawberries all summer long, plant everbearing. The June variety only produces in the spring and they are larger than everbearing.

Raspberries planted once, along with strawberries, come back year after year, but need to be pruned back so they don’t take over the plot.

Harvest

Dig up root plants when the tops begin to flower for early veggies or when the tops turn brown for full-grown veggies.

Check daily for squashes, cucumbers and courgettes. Catch broccoli and cauliflower as they head or they’ll burst.

We hope you enjoyed this post. It was written by Nisha who represents a site called SimplyLoftLadders.co.uk.

 

What do you think?

Have something to say?  Join in our Social Media conversation. Leave a comment about any of the posts in this blog or go to our Facebook Page and contribute there.

Remember when you comment you get
automatic entry into our £25 Amazon Voucher Prize Draw