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It’s been a few months since I started my small kitchen garden and vegetable patch. With very little experience in the garden sector and fingers – well not very green. I’ve set a task this year to venture and progress in the homegrown scene. I have read tales of happy blogs and watched youtube videos about every vegetable patch going, expressing how homegrown is not just great for our hungry bellies. But for our soul and mental wellbeing too. I don’t know much, but I know this to be true. In my short time preparing our vegetable patch there is nothing like homegrown.
A few months back I talked about starting my very own kitchen garden. I got the bug for growing fruit and vegetable last year during the UK lockdown. Growing tomatoes, herbs and small fruits like strawberries. This year iv been taking my home grown to another level. On a small budget iv expanded my kitchen garden and knowledge and widening my home grown options. Adding earthy root veg, salads, more herbs, peas and beans, and a selection of broccoli and cabbages.
small budget and a small space.
With a small budget and limited space, I’ve been able to grow a handful of veggies as a family we enjoy. I defiantly think this is key. Home grown can be time consuming especially during the sowing stage. So all that effort on sowing, planting and money on seeds and compose, would be a complete waste of time if you don’t eat them.
Which ever your budget big or small raised beds don’t have to break the bank. If your DIY minded you could use large new or reclaimed sleepers in to beds. Or if your not to friendly with a drill and hammer. You can pick up these easy to build raised beds. (Here is the planters [ad] i’m using currently.) Easy to clip together and configure to suit your growing needs. You don’t need a hammer or drill to put these planters together and the also don’t break the bank. You can pick up a similar product at amazon. I’ve linked it here – raised bed
You don’t even need to have raised beds to grow your dream veg patch. Growing your kitchen garden in pots is just as good and exciting. I have a mixture of small raised beds and pots, and to be fair the ones in my pots are doing splendid. So if you have a small terrace or courtyard or even a large garden. Pot veg growing can be fabulous.
One thing that has cost the earth quite literally – is the earth. Compose I think has been my biggest expense. Even though I have a small kitchen garden, iv had to fill new raised beds and pots with compose to get started. However, I think the initial expense is a one off – with only a little compose to top up the neutriatnts in the next years growing cycle. I’m going to start learning to compose, as with a garden full of fruit and veg it will be handy to use the scraps and fallen leaves to start my compose heap. This I hope will help keep compose cost down and if my heap is big enough I hope to not buy any at all. Again trial and error on my part so we will see.
All the gear no idea
This year to help my kitchen garden of dreams come along iv purchased a few veggie growing tools. I brought a small wooden green house and a couple cold frames to help my seedling and fruits and veg along in the cooler British weather. Although my exact ones are from Aldi are no longer available. I have managed to find replicas of the same ones so I will link them here. [ad]- ( cold frame, green house )This will help them through their growing season as well as their start up in life. It’s certainly made space on my kitchen window counter top, and window sills.
So, do you need a cold frame or greenhouse? I asked google and it said – If you are on a low budget and lack space in the garden, use a cold frame to harden off seedlings, shield crops from rain and to overwinter plants. However, if you want to grow certain fruits and vegetables, you need a greenhouse.
Whats been challenging?
For me the challenging part of growing home grown is knowing what grows where and when. It can be a mind field to know what seeds need full sun or light shade or complete shade. Where to sow the seeds indoors, in a green house or straight outside in the beds or pots. Once they are sown was do they need? do they need water every day or fertilise or plant food?
My biggest struggle to date is knowing when to transfer my seedlings from seed trays to pots and when to harden them off outside. Iv lost my tomato plants and chillies as they ended up going leggy due to not enough sun. I hadn’t transported them to the bigger pot quick enough. Lessons learnt knowledge gained. Another lesson iv learnt so far is that it does matter where things are planted.
I found that a few of my herbs like coriander would of seen better days with a little light shade. And I need to be patent, I harvested my onions too early and ended up having spring onions. Who knew that spring onions are actually large onions just harvested early. So there was no lost there, just extra crunch in my salad and omelettes.
With another 3 to four months of British growing season left. Im sure I have so much more to learn along the way. This is a trial and error year for me and i’m are I will continue to learn in the coming years ahead. A lot of enjoyment has come from the little venture so far even if i am making hiccups along the way. Being out side come rain or shine has been a luxury to get fresh air in your lungs and what feel like your mind.
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