Hints and Tips for Gardeners
This page is intended for sharing ideas and helping fellow gardeners. The content will build up over time.
If you would like to post your favourite idea that you think would help others, Simply Click here to send it to us and we will add it to the site. Just put the details in the message box.
To get us started, try the following web site: RHS Grow your own veg Advice
Plus advice from The Eden Project Gardening Team: Eden Project Advice
What to do in the garden this month: Tips from Thompson and Morgan
Start Growing Your Own!
Where shall I grow my vegetables?
It’s much better to have a small vegetable bed that can be well tended rather than a larger one that is a hassle to keep watered or ends up covered in weeds.
Vegetables need as much sunshine as possible so shade from neighbouring buildings or overhanging trees should be avoided. Shelter from strong winds is also important. If this is a problem, you can buy simple windbreaks to provide the necessary protection.
The flatter the surface of the bed the better; sloping surfaces can be harder to work and are subject to soil erosion.
If your garden doesn’t have a suitable area, look at the possibility of growing vegetables in pots that can be moved around.
If none of these work for you, consider hiring a Souldern allotment. There are sites currently available in Souldern at a very reasonable rate (contact Sue Medhurst on 01869 345033 )
What type of bed?
Vegetable beds are usually rectangular, although some growers opt for curved borders to make best use of available space.
Narrow beds, usually between 3ft and 5ft in width, are widely favoured nowadays as they provide easier access to the plants and you don’t have to tread on the soil. It also makes for cost effective use of compost as you can treat the specific area where your plants will grow. Installation of low tunnels and insect proof-netting is also easier, while weeding is less demanding.
Raised beds constructed from old railway sleepers are becoming increasingly popular, especially with more ‘senior’ gardeners, as working them calls for less stretching and bending. Typically raised beds can be between 4” and 2 ft in height. Soil can be bought readily in bulk sacks, a handy technique if your own soil is of poor quality or your current surface consists of concrete or paving stones.
What shall I grow?
A wide range of vegetables is grown successfully in Souldern. They include broad beans, cabbages, carrots, courgettes, cucumbers, French beans, garlic, leeks, lettuces, onions, parsnips, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, runner beans, shallots, spinach, squash and sweet potatoes.
There are many types of fruit that can be grown too, including blackberries, blackcurrants, loganberries, plums, raspberries, redcurrants, strawberries, tomatoes and whiteberries.
There are a few factors to consider before you start: what types of veg or fruit are your favourites? How much space do you have? How much time can you devote? - some types require more attention than others.
But it’s fun to make plans and remember that as a member of Souldern Horticultural Society you can save 40% on Sutton’s seeds.
There’s lots of really useful information and advice in Grow Your Own Vegetables by Joy Larkcom. Published by Frances Lincoln Limited, it’s available from Amazon UK.