Avoid growing plants of the same family in the same soil each year. By using crop rotation, not only will you be maintaining soil structure and nutrient levels by using crop rotation but you can also prevent diseases and pests from becoming established in the soil.
Think about the roots of your plants. It’s a good tip to grow plants with shallow roots with those that have longer roots such as lettuce and tomatoes. Growing plants with different root lengths allows the nutrients of the soil to be used at all depth levels.
Cultivate your fast and slow growing plants together in the same space. This will allow both species to fully develop and be harvested at different times, causing less damage to each other. Also, harvesting the full grown plants will make the space needed for the less developed plants to grow to maturity.
Fix low nitrates in your garden with legumes. Did you know that growing alfalfa, clover, beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, carob, soybeans, peanuts and other legumes can replenish the nitrogen in your soil? Legumes have nodules on their roots that contain bacteria which converts atmospheric nitrogen into the nitrates needed by plants. Be aware that some vegetables and plants may not do well growing near them, so it’s advisable to use crop rotation when growing legumes.
Having a problem with plant pests? Try growing natural pest controlling companion plants mixed in with your fruit and vegetables. Pest repellent plants such as; garlic, leek, onions, lemon balm, lavender, marigold, nasturtiums and oregano to name just a few, are a great natural way to reduce these damaging pests. As an example, Marigolds have thiophenes that repels nematodes. These roundworms are parasites that commonly attack your potatoes and tomatoes, so grow some beautiful marigold flowers in and around your tomatoes to reduce pests and have a more bountiful harvest.
Try to avoid growing plants that consume large amounts of soil nutrition, especially nitrates. If you must grow these “nutritional vampires”; mix them with plants that are less demanding of the soil. Keep in mind that these plants should all have the same water needs. Also make sure to rotate where you grow these plants each year.
Don’t let your large plants cast shadows over the smaller ones. When planning your garden, keep the height and size of each fruit or vegetable in mind. By maintaining a size balance, you can control the amount of shadow your taller and leafier plants cast over your shorter ones. Alternately, you can use these larger plants to your advantage by growing arugula, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, garlic, mustard, parsnips, peas, potatoes and others that grow well in shade.
Grow your own peanuts! England is great for growing peanuts. They are self-pollinating and not very difficult to grow. After about 120 days of growing and 3 or 4 days of drying, you will have a fresh supply of tasty and nutritious peanuts. Peanuts are actually in the bean family. If you do plan on growing your own peanuts; make sure you have 4 to 5 months of warm weather, unless you plan on growing them indoors. Also, peanuts require regular watering in multi-purpose compost or soil that is well-drained. Raw peanuts are a nutrient-rich, low carbohydrate, fibre filled food. They are also a great source of healthy fats, protein, and full of fiber. Peanuts also contain plenty of potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, and B vitamins. Due to peanut allergies, it is important to alert anyone who may be working in or around your garden.
Easy and delicious fruits to grow, even in limited space. Figs, raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries, blackberries, honeyberries, goji berries, currants, strawberries and rhubarb are just a few fruits that flourish in England, and you don’t need to have an orchard. If you do not have space for a garden, you can grow many of these in containers or even hanging baskets. Many people are unaware that you can easily grow grapes in your own home! Make sure your pot is placed at the window that gets the most sun. Grapevines will grow quickly and the tendrils will grab everything they can as they spread out. If you don’t want them taking over your book shelf and picture frames, you may want to build a tall frame around your large, deep pot. Bamboo is a natural and pleasant looking material to use. The best grape varieties for indoor growing are the ones that produce fruit close to the trunk. “Muscat of Alexandria”, “Black Hamburgh”, “Early Muscat,” “Seyval,” “Canadice,” “Interlaken” and “Swenson Red” are just some of the varieties that do well in pots. The warmth of being indoors will help them ripen and become sweet.
From planting to plate. Quick growing healthy UK vegetables.
- From planting to plate, radishes only take about 25 days and are not only easy to grow but packed with vitamins E, A, C, B6, and K. They are also high in antioxidants and rich with fibre, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, calcium, iron and manganese.
- Salad leaves are another quick growing vegetable which can be on your plate or in your sandwich in as little as 20 days. They not only grow fast and taste delicious, but the crunchy leaves are nutrient rich and chock full of vitamin A and vitamin C. They are a great source of beta-carotene, calcium, folate, fiber, and phytonutrients.
- Baby carrots are a crunchy delight and take only about 6 weeks to be harvest ready. They are a particularly good source of beta carotene, fibre, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. Carrots are considered to be a weight-loss-friendly food and studies show they may lower cholesterol levels and improve eye health.
- At only about a month to grow, spinach is a healthy and delicious leafy green vegetable full of vitamin C, A, K, magnesium, manganese and of course, iron. Spinach has been found to benefit eye health and reduce blood pressure.
Think about the future. Collect seeds from plants so you can grow them the following year. Most seeds can be stored in paper envelopes or bags which are placed into air-tight containers. Make sure to label them with name, date and any other pertinent information to someone else who might inherit your seed stash. For long term storage, most seeds can be kept in the fridge or freezer, provided you educate yourself on proper seed care and storage.
We hope you found this information helpful and interesting. If you’re looking for garden design, maintenance and construction service in Kent including Maidstone, Sevenoaks and the surrounding areas, get in touch to arrange a free consultation and start the process of getting you the garden you always dreamed of. Contact us at: 07598 160812.
Images used are licensed through pexels.com.