Don’t Make These Veg Growing Mistakes!
Many of us dream about eating our own vegetables on balmy autumn evenings, but it can be a little intimidating when you are just starting to turn over the soil in your first veg plot. That’s why we’ve pulled together these five easy veg growing mistakes that we’ve all made – so you don’t have to!
Be realistic and start small
When you start to get itchy green fingers, it’s tempting to dig up your entire lawn and create rows with brown string, but slow down: growing your own vegetables is quite an undertaking if you clear out the seed aisle at your local garden centre! Choose a smaller number of veg types that you can manage in your first year, and you’ll find the weeding and caring easier to manage.
Love your soil and it will love you
A veg plot is generally more successful if its soil is well looked after. This doesn't mean extreme digging but instead adding delicious nutrients. Depending on the soil you’ve got, you may want to add moisture, nutrients, better drainage, or mulch. Taking the time to understand what your soil needs will pay you back infinitely when it comes to picking season.
No two plants are ever the same
If you decide to skip sowing seeds and buy seedlings, remember that no two plants will behave in the same way, even in the same conditions. Vegetables are like people: they have their own preferences, and you can only change them so much! Don’t despair if half of your tomatoes get the blight, or your courgettes only give you one measly flower – there’ll always be something that flourishes under your gardening efforts.
Not all bugs are pests
Our Candide app contains insight into all the different scuttling, flying, and burrowing things you can find in your garden – and we believe that encouraging the right insects will help your vegetables to flourish. From bumblebees which pollinate your plants to the parasite which attacks whitefly (that is more effective than any poison), making your veg plot a happy home for them will end up doing half your gardening for you!
Remember there’s always next year
There are always small disappointments, but one of the wonderful things about vegetable growing – and gardening in general – is that with every year comes a new opportunity to try again. Maybe potatoes don’t like your soil. Perhaps peppers can’t get enough sun. It could be that your soil has too much heavy clay in it for runner beans. These experiments give you an understanding of your garden that nothing else can, and so with each year, you can grow better – and tastier – veg for your table.
Want some insight into your veg challenges? Not sure why something isn’t working? Snap a photo and share it in our app, where our community of amateur gardeners and expert horticulturists will answer all your questions!
Remember to use the 'Grow Your Own tag' #GYO