The magic of growing your own produce never fades. The process from sowing your seeds, nurturing them, watching them grow to finally harvesting the fruit and vegetables instils an amazing sense of achievement. Every space is suitable to grow, no matter how big or small your garden is. Find out how to make the most of your garden and it will be sure to repay you with delicious food.
Space to grow
With larger gardens, there may be more floor space available to incorporate bigger vegetable plots. Raised beds are popular for planting fruit and vegetables as they are great for drainage due to them being above ground level, which also means the soil will heat up faster in spring due to the improved drainage. Not to mention, they decrease the need to keep bending down quite so far.
In addition, having raised beds built in is the perfect opportunity to incorporate the right soil into your garden if your soil isn’t naturally the right fit for what you would like to grow.
Soft fruits such as strawberries grow well in raised beds because the improved drainage means the risk of waterlogging is lower, whilst they’ll also have more space for their roots to strengthen compared to growing in shallower soil. As raised beds warm up quicker, they can produce early
crops leading to higher yields.
Even if your space is mainly patio, you don’t need to compromise because grow bags are a marvellous option to grow your own in. Positioned on a patio, or in a greenhouse there’s sure to be space for Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics Fruit & Veg Planter which will result in glorious produce whilst being kind to nature as they are bee, pet and child friendly.
Use the handy dotted lines to cut where you’ll be planting, with it comfortably fitting either two tomato, pepper or chilli crops or one courgette or cucumber crop as these prefer a bit more space.
Once the crops are planted and watered in, the grow bag will continue to feed the plants for 3 months by slowly releasing organic nutrients, giving them a head-start to grow twice as big compared to ordinary garden soil.
Feed the fruit
Just like we need food and sustenance to keep our energy levels up, our plants need that too in the form of key nutrients such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) alongside other trace minerals. High feeders such as tomatoes, courgettes and cabbage will thrive with feeding once a week, whereas carrots and onions, which are low feeders will happily grow with one feed every 2 to 3 weeks.
A quality plant food such as Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics Fruit & Veg Liquid Concentrate Food will show results in just 7 days and can be used all around the house and garden in containers, beds and borders on herbs as well as fruit and veg.
Simply dilute the liquid food into a watering can with the correct measurement suitable and apply to the base of each plant. For the best results, begin feeding when the flowers and fruit start forming and continue to feed them through the season when the plants are growing. Not only will your plants appreciate it, but so will bees as the plant-based product is bee friendly.
If you haven’t got much floor space to spare, there are plenty of options to utilise your walls or fences to grow vertically. Espalier trees are both decorative and functional, saving a lot of room in your garden whilst producing delicious fruit.
Apple and pears can be grown this way, where the central stem is trained vertically, whilst the branches are fixed along wires horizontally which are then encouraged to bear fruit. To boost trees to produce their delicious fruit, most of them need high amounts of potassium which will aid development of buds and fruit. So, feeding in late winter or early spring is good preparation for growing season, alongside mulching in late-spring with organic matter to help to retain nutrients and moisture.
Creating your own organic matter by composting in your garden is a fantastic way of reducing your household waste, improving the biodiversity in your garden and producing quality compost that’s ready to use in your garden to help your new fruit and veg flourish.
Buy or build a compost bin, where you can dispose of much of your leftover food including fruit and veg peelings, tea bags and eggshells, as well as cardboard and straw. These materials are joined by bacteria, fungi, worms, and insects that consume the material and break it down. To speed up the composting process, sprinkle Miracle-Gro® Compost Maker onto the composting material and mix in to stimulate bacteria growth.
Once you have started to grow your own and tasted the delightful flavours of freshly picked strawberries, tomatoes or peas, you will never go back. By spending time with nature and appreciating the food that we eat by growing our own is great for the mind as well as the body.
This article is a special feature by David Domoney, professional horticulturalist and television presenter, and our Ambassador for Miracle-Gro.