There has never been a better time to start cultivating your own fruit and vegetables. Not only could we now have a greater appreciation of our own resources, but with many of us spending more time at home this spring, you no longer have an excuse to put off that garden project! There are plenty of online gardening retailers still providing all sorts of plants, trees and gardening tools for delivery, so why not start planning? YouGarden currently have a huge selection of fruit and vegetable options (including some you might never have even considered) so here are a few pointers to get you started…
Ideas for Small Garden Spaces
Firstly, let’s begin by not leaving out those who have limited space and might think this subject doesn’t concern them in the slightest. Even if you’ve only got a small balcony or outdoor space, you can still enjoy a bit of fruit and veg cultivation. You just need to pick the right plants! The first rule is that you should use your limited space to grow something you actually enjoy eating, because otherwise, what is the point? It’s also a good idea to pick out fast-growing crops so they won’t be using up your valuable space for too long and you can get new seeds or plants in the ground once they are harvested.
Climbers such as tomatoes, peas and beans are a great use of space and you can surround the main plants with salad leaves so no area is wasted. And our YouGarden voucher codes can get you a great deal on one of their new varieties – Cherry Tomato Sungold SuperSweet. As you might have guessed from the name, it is incredibly sweet to taste, but it also has the benefit of being very easy to grow in pots or even baskets, making it ideal for a small patio area. They also have a fine selection of potted fruit trees that are perfect for patios including the Patio Nectarine Garden Beauty Tree and the Patio Pear ‘Garden Pearl’ Tree.
Starting a Vegetable Patch
If you have a larger garden and enough space to devote to a vegetable patch, then where do you begin? Planning is key here and it’s vital you choose the right area of your garden. Basically, it needs to be sunny and it needs to be flat. If you’re unsure about the type of soil your garden has, it might be best to do a test first. Excessive clay or chalky soil isn’t great for cultivation, so if this is the case for you, you should consider raised beds instead. These can be filled with a combination of bought compost and your own kitchen waste compost, if that’s something you already have. If you are a complete beginner, it’s also best not to be overly ambitious – start with a small patch and you can then expand it later once you find out what works best.
Once you have prepped the ground by taking out all the weeds, turning it over and giving it a good rake, you can then start working out what you are going to plant. Beetroot and courgettes are considered great varieties for beginners because they grow easily and quickly. But the same advice applies here as it does with small spaces – grow something you actually enjoy eating. So if you’re not a fan or beetroots or courgettes, then look elsewhere. Potatoes are a reliable staple of our diet so it makes sense to give them a whirl if you have the space. YouGarden has a number of different varieties to choose from at the moment and their Charlotte potatoes are great for beginners – easy to grow, even with limited space, and they are resistant to the common problems of scab and blight. Plus, if you get planting in April or May, you should be able to harvest them in September or October. Something to look forward to, either boiled and serviced with herbs and melted butter, or in a late summer salad.
For those wanting to put fruit bushes in their veggie patch, our YouGarden voucher codes can save you money on lots of different varieties of raspberries, blackberries, tayberries and blueberries that are reliable and easy to maintain.
Don’t Forget Those Garden Accessories
It’s all very well talking about buying the right seeds and plants, but you can’t do very much without the rights tools and supplies too. When it comes to starting your fruit and veg cultivation, at the very least you are going to need some basic tools, pots or planters (if you don’t have the room for a patch), and some compost. And then once everything starts to grow, you’re going to have to think about fertilizer and pest control too.
So if you are putting together a list of things to order from YouGarden, they can help you out with some basic essentials as well as those plants. You can’t do without a Wooden Handle Fork (£4.99), a Garden Kneeler (£4.99) and a pair of By-Pass Soft Handle Secateurs (£4.99) for starters. And if you need some good value planters for your patio but want them to be stylish too, you can get a Set of 3 Metallic Effect Planters for just £7.99. Many of their compost varieties are far superior to those found in garden centres and DIY stores and are made from the highest quality ingredients. So take advantage of this compost expertise and order their Premium Professional Compost Blend from £16.99 for an 80 litre bag.
One silver lining of the current situation is that by the time it is over, we’re all going to have thriving and well-tended to gardens! So if you are in a position to have the time to devote to a bit of planning, digging and planting, then why not give it a go? Not only could you achieve so much in a matter of weeks, but you’ll be reaping the benefits for many years to come too.
By Anna Scott, 17th April 2020