MARCH – Growing your own

GROWING YOUR OWN – 1 PAGE PLANNER

Have you been wondering which vegetables to plant and when? Problem solved.

RHS Veg Planner

RHS Veg Planner

Those helpful people at the RHS have put together this incredibly straightforward one-page planner. It tells you when to plant and harvest a whole range of popular vegetables, all nicely colour-coded. Just print it out and keep somewhere handy. http://www.rhs.org.uk/Media/PDFs/Grow-Your-Own/VegPlanner

– If you are impatient to get your veg garden going over the next few weeks (and March is the perfect time to start) you can sow Broad Beans, Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Leeks, Lettuce, Onions, Parsnips, Peas, Radishes, Spinach and Turnip in March. Quite a choice!
– Just nip down to your local garden centre or DIY superstore, grab some packs of seeds and a couple of grow-bags for a few pounds and get sowing. You will save yourself a small fortune compared to buying your veg in shops and there is nothing quite as tasty as something you have grown yourself. I have been known to stand in the garden eating peas straight off the plant…
– If you are new to growing your own, start with some easy ones like Broad Beans, Carrots, Lettuce, Peas or Radishes, all of which you can grow in pots, trays or grow-bags if space is limited (just remember to put some sticks in to hold up the Beans or Peas otherwise they flop around uselessly).
– Regarding preparation, well I just stick the seeds in, following the directions on the packet about how deep and how far apart. Keep the packets for reference though. And don’t feel like you need to plant them all in one go, they will keep and you can always sow some more in a few months to get a double harvest later in the year.
– Pull out some of the young plants once they get going if they are overcrowded as they need a bit of space to grow (refer to the seed packet again on this). Most vegetables prefer a relatively sunny spot however they tend to grow well enough even in semi-shaded places as long as it isn’t in deep shade all day long, they just don’t grow as big or as fast. So don’t let that put you off.
– Keep the soil moist. Don’t let it dry out but don’t have it swimming in water either. A good rule of thumb is to water them a little, until the soil is moist, every 3 or 4 days if it doesn’t rain.

That’s it really. It’s not anything like as complicated as many people think.

Good luck !

Michael

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