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Planting a vegetable garden

There are a great many good reasons for having one’s own vegetable garden, not least the immense pleasure of biting into a sun-ripened tomato just plucked from the vine.  People plant gardens because they are concerned about harmful additives in mass-produced vegetables and fruits, or the cost of store-bought herbs and other produce, or just because they get great satisfaction from the whole gardening experience – or all of the above.

You don’t need a great deal of space to plant a garden, but you will have to take it into account when deciding what and how much to plant.  Some plants need more room than others; get some basic information about the specific vegetable or herb you’re fond of and make sure you have enough space for it to thrive.  Be aware of insect and other pests, and fend them off with organic sprays or physical barriers as appropriate.

Food plants also need at least six hours of direct sunlight every day.  Check your layout to insure that walls, trees or hedges don’t block the sun for those crucial hours.  Your plants need plenty of fresh air circulating through them, but not a strong wind.  If you live in a windy region you can find a variety of windbreak fencing and it’s a good investment.  Good drainage is also important; soil that stays soggy most of the time will rot your vegetables in the ground.

Your garden requires maintenance, which includes watering if nature doesn’t provide at least an inch per week.  Any soil will benefit from enrichment with organic fertilisers, so if you are composting you’re ahead of the game already.  If the soil in your particular area is nutrient-poor you can improve it dramatically with help from your own compost or a large variety of ready-made products on the market.



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