Britain Get Growing: Where’s the best position to grow vegetables in your garden?
Choosing the best location and position for your vegetables, fruits, and herbs is important for the health of the plant so you can grow as much food as possible for your family. Here in this blog, we focus on how gardeners can select and prepare their gardens to ensure maximum grow your own success.
What size space?
Firstly, when planning your vegetable garden, You don't need as much space as you might think.
Vegetables can be grown in containers on your patio, in raised beds, or in existing garden borders. Where space is at a premium, a container such as a potato bag or herb planter is a great way of adding the option to grow your own. They are particularly useful for those that have patios or decking that make it hard to dig down or balconies in high-rise flats.
The easiest to grow in the urban gardens are beans, beetroot, herbs, lettuce, onions, potatoes, radishes, squash, and tomatoes and these can be grown in spaces as small as 3ft x 3ft.
It is good to not have any large shrubs or trees near where you plan to plant in the ground as these will provide shade and compete for water and nutrients with your vegetable plants. It is also advised to plant your vegetables on flat ground, so you have little to no erosion of the soil in differing weather conditions.
We also recommend situating tour vegetable plants near the house, making it easier to tend to take care of them.
Choose a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. For most vegetables, locations with 8-10 hours of direct sunlight are ideal. Better results and harvests can be achieved with more sun exposure. A vegetable patch south or west-facing location is ideal.
Your vegetable garden may need some form of a windbreak, such as a fence, wall, or dwarf hedge if it is exposed to wind.
The location of your vegetable patch or containers should be near a clean water source to make watering easy as you don’t want to be traipsing back and forth with your watering can!
Locate your garden where you have access to a clean and consistent water source such as an outdoor tap to fill your can or attach a hose or a water butt.
Know your soil
Growing vegetables effectively in your garden will depend on your soil type. Clay soil will hold nutrients well, but clay is heavy, slow to warm up, and tends to be too wet in winter and dry in summer.
Sandy soils, on the other hand, are very light, easily eroded, dry, lacks substance, and therefore can’t hold water or nutrients as effectively which is vital to vegetable growth.
Digging in a high organic matter soil improver such as compost is key to improving any soil. Adding organic matter each year will improve the soil structure and provide a reservoir for water, beneficial organisms, and nutrients for plants. Compost helps sandy soils hold more moisture and nutrients, and it makes clay soils lighter and better drained.
For more information on growing your own success and what to plant when check out our other Britain Get Growing blogs for gardening tips on how to achieve the best veggies at home or visit your local British Garden Centre.