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Planting a home vegetable garden has never been more fashionable and you've probably noticed that vegetable plots are springing up everywhere, from the house next door, to '10 Downing Street' and 'The White House'.
There are good reasons for this. Having your own vegetable garden provides you and your family with tasty produce to enjoy - and it's good for the planet into the bargain.
Vegetables picked and used straight from the garden taste better than their pre-packaged cousins on the supermarket shelves and leave a tiny carbon footprint.
Many new home vegetable gardeners also report an improvement in their quality of life as the whole family joins together on summer evenings or at the weekend to tend their plot.
There has never been a better time to 'grow your own' so, if you're keen to start, read on to find out my own favourite tips for successful home vegetable gardening and then try growing these easy vegetables.
Do you have any favourite vegetable gardening tips that you would like to share? I'd love it if you would contribute at Your Favourite Vegetable Gardening Tips and have your tips published on this site.
My definition of a successful vegetable garden is one that delivers the best results for the least amount of effort, so if you're time pressed, or just lazy (like me!), you definitely need to follow a few simple guidelines.
Vegetable gardening requires more input from you, the gardener, than your average ornamental garden. You can't just plant your veg and then leave them to fend for themselves. The biggest mistake you can make is to be too ambitious in your plans.
If you only have a couple of hours a week to spend in the vegetable plot, don't try to grow enough food to feed your family for an entire year.
Similarly don't grow so much of any one crop that you end up with a glut. It is far better to grow a small quantity of a range of vegetables and enjoy them at their very best.
Another good strategy is to concentrate on growing luxury vegetables that are expensive to buy - for the ultimate 'easy-to-grow' gourmet vegetables do try growing sprouting broccoli and artichokes as perennials. (If you don't have the right climate for perennial artichokes I've included information on growing artichokes as annuals).
On a similar note, and this might sound obvious, don't grow vegetables that you and your family don't like!
If you think you're not that stupid, think again! It's amazing how easy it is to fall into this trap - I've done it, so I know!
Don't skimp on the time spent planning your new veg plot. We all know that time spent in preparation and planning is time well spent and a little planning in the early stages will make things easier in the long run.
Choose the right location. Most vegetables need a reasonably sunny spot, sheltered from strong winds and with good drainage.
Think about the design of your vegetable garden. Nowadays gardens tend to be smaller than in the past and a good design will allow you to integrate vegetables and ornamental plants in a way that maintains the aesthetic appeal of your garden as a whole.
Vegetables need good, healthy garden soil enriched with well-rotted organic matter and full of earthworms and other beneficial soil organisms.
If your soil doesn't come up to scratch, either improve it or think about growing your vegetables in raised beds or containers.
For a more 'earth friendly' less labour intensive method of cultivation, consider creating a no dig vegetable garden.
Most of all enjoy your home vegetable garden!
There are few pleasures greater than stepping out into the garden and harvesting your own delicious and nutritious vegetables and experiencing the deep satisfaction that comes from 'growing your own'.
If this is your first home vegetable garden, five easy vegetables to grow is a good place to begin.
Ever wondered how to grow potatoes? It's not nearly as difficult as you might think, so do give it a go! If you don't like the idea of all that digging and earthing up, you can try out these two methods of growing potatoes without digging.
Thinking of growing your vegetables in raised beds? You will find tips and information at planning a raised bed vegetable garden.
Home › Home vegetable garden