Building an edible garden from scratch

One of the most exciting types of gardening is creating your own edible garden. Produce picked straight from your garden will taste sweeter and more flavoursome than its counterpart bought from the supermarket. Not only will your own edible garden produce bountiful fruit, herbs and vegetables throughout the year, but you can also include plants with attractive flowers and decorative foliage such as fennel, nasturtium and Swiss chard – beautiful and delicious.

Start by choosing and marking out the spot for your edible garden. Remember that most herbs and veggies prefer full sun.

Decide whether you want to build raised beds or create beds at ground level and whether you want a formal or cottage style garden.

Mark out the pathways between your beds to allow access for picking. Gravel or bricks are water-wise options, easy to walk on no matter what the weather and great for suppressing weeds.

Next you need to prepare your soil. Time spent enriching the soil now will pay dividends later when it comes to picking your crops. Mix in a good amount of compost to give your soil a light workable texture that your plants (particularly your root vegetables such as carrots, radish and onions) will be able to grow through easily and gain nutrition. Fill your beds to just below the top edge.

Now comes the fun part. Head to your local garden centre to choose from the range of seedlings and seeds that they will have on offer. The staff there will be able to advise you which plants enjoy growing together and what to plant when.

Add some flowering plants to your veggie patch that can repel insects such as Marigolds and Wild Garlic. The leaves and flowers of Wild Garlic are edible too.

Once home, plant out your seedlings and seeds, remembering to follow the spacing guidelines to ensure healthy, strong plants. Staggering the sowing times will prolong your harvest so keep some seeds to sow later.

Make some markers so you can remind yourself of what has been planted where!

Once you have finished planting, it is helpful to make a yearly planting and picking chart so you can remind yourself of what you have planted when, and when to harvest different crops to get them at their very best.

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