Moss and Green Landscape Garden Design and Maintenance
GROW YOUR OWN GARDEN: Starting from Seed with tips from Moss & Green's Conal Gallagher.
Perhaps it’s the flavour of Carrots that came out of the ground only an hour before dinner or the beauty of ripe tomatoes clinging to plants, or dark green Spring Brocolli in a neat row. Whatever the reason, vegetable gardens offer much more than fresh food: they’re fun. It's the little things that you do in January that matter. If the ground is dry enough, rent a rotavator to turn over the soil or get that fork out and do an hour here and an hour there very quickly you will have it clean spick and span. Begin by digging over the soil and incorporating any grass cuttings or old mulch even old used compost helps! A well rotted manure or compost will nourish your soil.
Soil quality is everything in a vegetable garden, 95 percent of the job (if not more) is in preparation of the soil prior to planting. You can get vegetable plants thriving with a little organisation and some TLC with water and and composts but they will not produce the expected crops unless your soil is well-prepared, vegetable plants under the correct conditions will demonstrate explosive growth. Any products that bio degrade are acceptable from old newpaper to grass cutting to garden leaves.
For those of you who already have a veg garden spring broccoli is beginning to sprout now, so keep cropping it for a bountiful harvest. If you are lucky enough to have a polyunnel or glasshouse, you can also sow early lettuce, which will give you a crop in late April / May. Now is the ideal time to plant radishes, fennel, broccoli, sprouting potatoes, early peas and and some hardier salad crops.. Always remember all of this can be done in planters and window boxes and its is often an advantage as you can locate the planters away from frost and in direct sun for you apartment dwellers there is no excuse not to produce early lettuce or potatoes.
No plot? Try pots. You don't have to have a massive garden to grow vegetables. All you need is some sun, some pots and planters and some patience. If you live in an apartment and ,perhaps, don't have access to a garden, fresh, healthful vegetables can be as close as your porch or patio. If you have lots of sun, you can grow your own salad of vegetables with just a few containers.
The plants best suited to grow in containers include lettuce, spinach, parsley, basil, thyme, rosemary, green onions and Coriander not forgetting fabulous chives and mint. Plants that fruit such as (tomatoes, peppers) can be a little harder to grow because they need lots of heat. But if you have a large enough container and you apply composts and mulch and water liberally, you can grow tomatoes and other veggies right on your deck, just steps from your dinner table. Never forget a flowerpot full of mulch and compost will produce early Spring Potatoes by late May or early June.
Vegetables are easy to grow, especially if you follow these 10 steps for first-timers:
1. Choose a location in full sun, which means six or more hours per day of direct sun in summer. Producing succulent vegetables takes the sun's energy - especially for fruiting vegetables such as cucumbers and tomatoes.
2. After you choose your location and or pots and planters prepare the ground with as much compost and mulch as you can dig in, you can never have too much!! Rake over the ground to ensure its weed free and leave the frost to breakdown the soil..
3. For all growers whether apartment or garden most if not all seed are better planted into containers with the exception of Carrots, Parsnips and rooted seeds. Generally Lettuce is sown every two to three weeks to produce a succession of crops.
4. Once the seeds have sprouted anything from 3 days in a warm sheltered spot to three weeks you should expose them to sunlight under shelter and always avoid frost.
5. As the plants grow and develop true leaves you can consider planting them out in a your chosen spot. Provided the weather is good.
We will guide you through the next stages over the coming weeks and months.
6. remember all vegetable gardens benefit from flowers as biological pest control so given the chance start some Nasturtium seeds in pots. Not only do they bring pollinating insects but the flowers and leaves are edible and delicious.
7. As cut flowers on the edge opf the garden nothing beats Sweet pea. These stunning plants are easily grown in pots and now is the perect moment to set some seed. If you do anything in the garden this Spring sow some seet pea.
8. Care for and water your seedlings as the work you do now is for the coming Spring and Summer and generally cannot be redone.
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