More and more people are turning their hands to growing their own vegetables and produce at home. We have been sent many photos throughout the events of 2020 of people showcasing their amazing fruit and vegetable patches. As a result, we‘ve put together this blog on 5 ways to stay on top of your vegetable patch so you can get your own vegetable patch up and running.
Lighting is everything
Most of the vegetables people typically grow such as peas, runner beans and especially those that bear fruit (Peppers, tomatoes, etc.) require sunlight. The more sunlight the better, ideally they want at least 8 hours of sun a day. So bear this in mind when you choose a site for your vegetable patch. Create it in a sunny spot in your garden that you know your vegetables will bask in the sunlight all day long.
If the area of your garden doesn’t get that much sunlight but you still want to grow your own vegetables and edibles, herbs and leafy crops don’t mind a shadier area. For edibles that don’t mind the shade click here.
Make your vegetable patch the appropriate size
Having a large vegetable patch is the dream and vegetable gardens can be low maintenance but it doesn’t mean they’re no maintenance. Making your vegetable patch the appropriate size for the amount of effort you wish to put in is key. If you’re new to growing your own vegetables, start small, start with a nice raised bed or if you’re garden is slightly smaller, use planters and trellises to grow upwards. Take a look at our Tomato Success Kit for some inspiration.
There is no reason you can’t split your crops out into different containers. Try planting a few vegetables in your raised bed or vegetable patch and have some herbs growing in decorative plant pots dotted around your garden.
The right soil
Having the right soil for your vegetable patch is key to growing crops effectively. Vegetables tend to prefer rich, healthy soil so try to add fertilizers to your soil that balance its pH. Soil tests should be carried out if you are not sure. Alternatively, as a rough guide, scoop some soil into a pot, add ½ a cup of vinegar to it, if it bubbles, your soil is Alkali. Our range of fertilizers and compost are available to buy on our Suttons site.
Lastly, if you want to know more about what type of soil you have, we’ve created this helpful guide here.
Tending to your garden
Tending to your garden is where people find the most pleasure in their garden. Knowing when to and how often to water your is half the battle. Here’s a rough guide on tending to your crops. Newly seeded beds require watering frequently whereas established crops can get by without too much watering.
Feeding your plants regularly will ensure your crops turn out bigger, better and tastier. Chase SM3 Formula is a natural plant growth stimulant made from seaweed responsibly harvested from the shores of the British Isle. Chase SM3 enables plants to make efficient use of nutrients, leading to improved yield, taste and colour. They also provide increased resistance to pests and diseases, droughts and marginal frosts. Using Chase SM3 regularly has a cumulative effect on your garden. There’s a lot of science and research behind how it works and Chase SM3 seaweed extract is natural, certified organic and soil association approved! Simply apply with a watering can or sprayer at regular intervals, diluting 10ml SM3 in 4.5 litres of water.
Insects, friend or foe?
When it comes to your vegetable patch believe it or not most insects are your friend. Bees, butterflies and other insects help to pollinate your garden further. Many insects also get rid of insects that can damage your crops. Try companion planting in your vegetable patch to try and attract more of the ‘friendly’ insects. It may be helpful to also use a protective spray on your plants for certain insects. Because you’re eventually going to eat your crops, make sure you use a friendly insect protection spray, we recommend Grazers G2 and Grazer G3 formulas. Both are easy to use and effective against white butterflies, caterpillars, aphids, slugs and snails.
Grazers G3 Formula – Effective against damage from cabbage white butterflies, caterpillars, aphids & other sapsuckers. Using a very safe but effective formula, sprayed directly on to the foliage, not only is the plant being treated against potential damage from cabbage white butterflies, caterpillars and aphids, and its growth stimulated and strengthened, but there is no detrimental impact on the environment.
Grazers G2 Formula – A unique formula proven to be effective against slug and snail damage. Harmless to people, pets and the planet. Safe to use on edible and ornamental plants. Using a very safe but effective formula, sprayed directly on to the foliage, not only is the plant being treated against potential damage and its growth stimulated and strengthened, but there is no detrimental impact on the soil, or to the slugs and snails which are a valuable food source for wildlife e.g. hedgehogs, song thrush.