Do you have a vegetable garden at home? Growing vegetables can be one of the most rewarding things to do in your garden. Not only will you know exactly where your food has come from, but you’ll have the enjoyment of picking your home-grown delights and tasting them too.
The taste of home-grown fruit and veg really has no comparison – the lettuce has that extra crunch, tomatoes that extra zing and strawberries have a delicious flavour which is so hard to replicate when shopping in supermarkets. If you have the time to grow your own then it really is worth the effort that is put in.
To make sure you get off on the right foot we asked Rachel de Thame, who you may recognise from BBC Gardeners’ World, to share her top tips and advice when growing vegetables at home. Read them below…
8 top tips you need to know when growing vegetables
– When building raised beds make them no wider than 1.5m (5ft) — this is wide enough to stretch comfortably across, without ever needing to step in, in turn minimising the need to dig.
– Plan to plant crops such as lettuce, rocket, radish and peas in succession to avoid a glut of any single crop.
– It might sound simple, but always (always, always!) label the spot where seeds are sown.
– Cover the tops of your canes to avoid poking yourself in the eye – terracotta flowerpot cane toppers are a stylish solution!
– Prevention is better than cure, so net vulnerable soft fruit from birds or cats, and to protect your cabbages from butterflies.
– Don’t thin carrots: if they’re really packed in, pull out handfuls of baby carrots to enjoy as a treat early in the season.
– Grow root crops such as carrots and parsnips in deeply cultivated soil, removing as many stones as possible. Alternatively grow them in raised beds so that they grow long and straight.
– Wear gloves for serious gardening if there is any risk of contact with cat faeces, a cause of toxoplasmosis which can harm pregnant women.
Rachel de Thame: Fact File
You may recognise Rachel de Thame as a familiar face from BBC Gardeners’ World. Although a dab-hand with flowers, she is relatively new to cultivating vegetables, creating her first vegetable garden around six years ago. The decision to start home-growing was mainly for her husband and children – now Rachel grows exactly what she needs for her family. She said: ‘We all continue to get lots of pleasure from sowing, growing and, of course eating our produce. The rewards are fantastic!’
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