Let's Sprout a Spring Veggie Patch
The blessed season is upon us again! As the Beatles' "Here comes the sun" and Armstrong's "What a wonderful world" echo in our minds, let us welcome spring by planting our very own vegetable garden.
The extensive benefits include increasing our general wellbeing, spending time with our family and ensuring healthy produce whilst saving on grocery bills. These practical tips will help make the most of your veggie patch in no time at all.
1. Which Vegetables to Plant and When?
As September can still be chilly, hardy vegetables that can be safely planted now include asparagus, celery, beetroot, carrots, potatoes, peas, parsnips, rhubarb and turnips whereas cabbage, broccoli, cucumbers, leeks, lettuce, spinach, tomato, radishes and zucchini could wait until October.
2. Establishing Rules for Success
In order that your vegetables thrive throughout spring, the right conditions are required. These include:
- Sun - pick a patch where the full sun can nourish the greens for as long as 6-8 hours a day.
- Soil - A foundation of rich soil base of organic nutrients will encourage strong root growth.
- Water - Regular and sufficient water without drowning the plants.
3. Eliminate the Enemy
- Before snails or The Very Hungry Caterpillar turns into a butterfly, pick them off by hand.
- Plant companion vegetables close by to confuse the pesky pests (e.g. tomatoes and basils, climbing plants with garlic underneath, potatoes with parsley).
- Attract pretty ladybirds to gobble up aphids that ruin your hard work by planting mint, fennel and sunflowers. Alternatively, spray on some white oil insecticide.
4. Phase It
For those with little experience in growing your own veggie patch, start small and ensure that there is enough room and breathing space for your veggies to flourish naturally. Plants can easily be added on stage by stage, ensuring that your efforts will not be suffocated by the new beginner's zeal.