Planning a Vegetable Garden – Home Vegetable Gardening

Home Vegetable Gardening

Home vegetable gardening can be immensely satisfying and although there many kinds of vegetables which can be grown in the British Isles, some more readily in the south than the north, but not more than a third of them are grown regularly.

home vegetable gardening

A vegetable which unfortunately will have only a limited use in our gardens because of unpredictable weather is the Chinese cabbage, also called pe-tsai or Chinese leaves.  Unfortunately it tends to run to seed as soon as it is ready.

It has to be sown directly into the ground and needs continuous moisture, so is probably cheaper to fly from America, as happens with celery, than it is to grow it here.

Planning a Vegetable Garden – Which Vegetables to Grow

When planning a vegetable garden, always consider the vegetables we can and do grow very successfully.  These particularly successful vegetables can be roughly divided into three groups.

  • brassicas, of which we eat the leaves or the stalks and flower buds as in sprouts and cauliflowers;
  • root crops, under which I shall include potatoes, the vegetables which  produce their edible roots and tubers under ground;
  • and legumes or pod crops which embrace the pea and bean family.

There are so many varieties of vegetables available today so, be a little bit adventurous and try out in a limited way new varieties which take your fancy. As I have said before, if your soil will grow a good crop of weeds then it will grow anything else, and this is particularly true of the vegetable garden, because quite a number of the vegetables normally grown belong to the same families as the weeds.

When planning a vegetable garden, the likes and dislikes of the family should be considered, even if it upsets those neat cropping plans, often laboriously drawn up. However, there is something to this business of crop rotation, it is not just a fad of a few cranks with nothing better to do but is a proved method of getting the best out of the land and controlling the pests and diseases which specialise in one particular crop.

Without sticking to a rigid garden plan, divide the vegetables roughly into the three groups already mentioned, root crops, leaf crops and pod crops. These can be rotated or changed about for the very practical reason that some crops, with their roots at different depths, take more food elements out of the soil than others, but pod crops provide a practical bonus by virtue of the nitrogen fixing nodules on their roots.

These pod crops actually enrich the soil with nitrogen; this helps to make bigger leaves so if legumes are followed by members of the brassica family, these will benefit and grow bigger leaves. From this it is fairly obvious that you follow crops that require trenches with pod crops. For example, when trenches are made for leeks and celery you can either change over the trenches from celery to leeks or vice versa, or follow in the same trenches with peas and beans. The reason for using trenches is to provide a concentration of manure and to give plants a deep moist root run.

When planning a vegetable garden and deciding which vegetables to grow, always consider how much time you have available to devote to your home vegetable gardening

11. August 2010 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Fruit & Veg | Tags: , | Comments Off on Planning a Vegetable Garden – Home Vegetable Gardening


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