Looking around my garden I can see signs of spring everywhere. The trees are budding and starting to sprout baby leaves, flowers are blooming and the veggie patch is giving us more produce than we can keep up with.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love my veggie patch. It’s my happy place. I go there to get my hands in the soil, to hang out with my chickens, clear my head and to soak up some vitamin D while I watch things grow.
We are currently awash with broccoli, fennel, greens of all types, peas, spinach, herbs, celery, beetroot to name a few. I’m looking forward to some great meals from all of this and getting into my spring prep and planting for the warmer months ahead.
This is a great time of year to have a go at growing some of your own food. It tastes better, is more nutritionally dense and has hardly any fuel miles. I think the best part though is being able to wander into the garden and pick something for lunch or dinner knowing that you grew it yourself. I love that there are no sprays, fertilisers, pesticides or any other nasties on our little patch of land. We have no problems with weeds, pests or poor harvests and it all comes down to great soil. Healthy soils means healthy plants means no need for all the other awful things that all too often get into our food supply.
So how do you get started ? Try some of the most hardy and productive plants first to get your confidence up. You can grow any of these in the ground or in pots. I have had the most success with raised beds because they keep the weeds out and the moisture in meaning plants can tolerate a bit of neglect more easily.
Create a soil mix of 1/3 each mushroom compost, garden soil and compost or composted cow manure and away you go. Plant your seeds or seedlings, give them a good water, pop them into the sun surrounded by some sugar cane mulch to keep them warm and happy and watch them grow, grow, grow.
The Easy Ten
Leafy greens – Asian greens or lettuce
Hardy herbs – rosemary, thyme, oregano
Its easy to get bamboozled by all the loads of information and complicated theories about how to best grow food but my advice is to keep it simple and enjoy the process. Good soil, enough water and sun and you are on your way.