Growing your own vegetables offers numerous advantages. Vegetables and fruits from your own garden are not only tastier, they are also cheaper in the long run than what you buy at the store. In addition, your homegrown vegetables are much higher quality because they are unsprayed, picked at the ripest time and brought fresh from your garden to your plate. If that wasn’t enough benefit, growing your own vegetables is also more sustainable….
After all, the shortest food chain is from your garden to your kitchen, and that doesn’t involve any polluting transportation at all.
Step 1: create a sowing and harvesting calendar
Before you start growing your own vegetables, it is useful to check a general sowing and harvesting calendar. Such a calendar indicates when it is best to sow or plant which vegetables and when it is time to harvest them. If you don’t sow or plant at the right time, your vegetables can’t grow to their full potential, which is a shame.
Planning your very first vegetable garden? Then start with a few vegetables and don’t be overconfident: the more greens the more work! After you’ve made your choice, create your own sowing and harvesting calendar for a clear overview.
Did you know that you can sow, plant and harvest all year round? In winter, for example, vegetables like lettuce protect your soil from cold. Because bare soil on cold days is very vulnerable, so rain and wind could have free rein. Too much water, for example, can cause soil erosion. Then the top fertile layer of soil is washed away.
Step 2: Choose which vegetables you want to grow
Would you like to grow many different fruits and vegetables in your vegetable garden? You absolutely can! The larger your vegetable garden, the greater the possibilities. Some easy vegetables to grow for beginners are:
- Radishes: you can have this crunchy delicacy in as little as three weeks! Because they grow so quickly, they require little attention and you’ll eat them before small insects even have a chance.
- Garden cress and other sprouts are ideal for beginning vegetable gardeners. The seeds germinate after just one day and after barely a week the seedlings are harvestable. So you have easy and quick results. For those without a garden, it is also possible to grow these vegetables indoors.
- Zucchinis are super easy to grow! They only expect sufficient soil and water. Extra fun: zucchinis grow flowers that you can also eat! Don’t sow too much though, because it can give you kilos of zucchini.
- Green beans are also very easy to grow. You can pre-sow them between May and July, to harvest in the summer. Note that these beans are very susceptible to slugs and snails. To avoid them, you can scatter eggshells around your plant; they won’t dare crawl on those.
- Tomatoes are also easy vegetables to grow yourself. It’s best to put them in full sun, that way your tomato plant will grow within three months. And if you can, plant the tomatoes in a bag because they are very susceptible to pests and fungi.
Want to grow some unusual vegetables in addition to traditional ones? These five vegetables give an original touch to your vegetable garden and are easy to grow:
- The Paris carrot is a popular French carrot variety. This variety has a sweet touch and grows two to four cm tall. Carrots are generally easy vegetables to grow in the vegetable garden. It is best to sow Parisian carrots in spring directly into the open ground because transplanting carrots is not easy.
- Kiwiberry is a berry-shaped fruit that looks like a kiwi inside. Like the common kiwi, the kiwi berry has a strong sweet taste. You can plant this fruit all year round, although they prefer fall and spring. They do not like lime in the soil, but they do like a lot of sun.
- The lemon cucumber has the shape of an apple, the color of a lemon and the taste of a cucumber. You may put this fruit in full sunlight. It is also a climbing plant, so make sure you have a rack or sticks. You can sow them between April and May.
- Tomatillo is the Mexican ground cherry and is also known as the green tomato. The tomatillo has a sweet and sour taste, but it does not compare to the taste of a regular tomato. It is best to plant this fruit in April so you can transplant them to your vegetable garden in May. Let them ripen until the casing dries out, then they are at their tastiest.
- The mouse melon are small fruits that represent a miniature form of a watermelon. On the inside it looks like a cucumber and tastes like one. It is also grown like cucumber. Be sure to use a rack or sticks because it is a climbing plant.
Step 3: create a vegetable garden plan
Once you have chosen which vegetables you want to grow, you can decide which plants are good and bad neighbors to each other. In other words, which plants have a favorable or unfavorable effect on each other. Tomatoes and cucumbers, for example, are best not put next to each other. . Do plenty of research on this and then make a vegetable garden plan, sketching out which plant goes where for the best effect. Keep sketching until you have created the right puzzle!
Step 4: Grow vegetables in a greenhouse, open ground or containers
For a successful harvest, it is important that your vegetable garden enjoys enough sunlight: six hours of sunlight a day is ideal! So don’t choose a shady spot.
Want to get the most out of your vegetable garden? Then a greenhouse is a good idea. Because of the glass, a greenhouse creates a microclimate brimming with extra sunlight and warmth. Your vegetables can also grow quietly and are sheltered from wind and heavy rain. There are different types of greenhouses. Do you have a small garden? Then you too can buy a greenhouse. There really is something for everyone! In ACD®’s Experience Center, we will be happy to help you choose based on how much time you want to spend on vegetable gardening and the size of your garden.
You can always choose to grow your vegetables outdoors in open ground. No matter what your reason, it can be done. You’re just going to suffer more severe effects of wind and rainfalls. And that can quickly play into your disadvantage. It’s also very common for vegetables to be grown indoors before planting outside, but you can’t do that with everything.
Did you know that you can also grow fruits and vegetables in pots and containers? Handy if you have a smaller garden! Besides practicality, some people choose this because they just think it’s very beautiful. Especially fast-growing plants and climbing plants are interesting to grow in pots. Fruiting vegetables such as tomatoes grow in height and thus do not take up much space. Just make sure that you have a sturdy planter for this species, as wind and the weight of the plant can cause them to fall over quickly. Cut vegetables are ideal for growing in flat containers because their roots do not go very deep. These are vegetables such as arugula, chard and spinach.
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