Before you plant...
To decide which vegetable to plant you should start with a few basic questions.
- What vegetables do you actually eat? A harvest that won't get eaten is no good to anyone!
- When are they ready for harvest ? A crop that ripens all at once might mean you have too much come harvest time. Consider staggering your planting times.
- How much work is it going to take ? Some vegetables need more maintenance than others, so ensure your commitment matches your ambition!
What you need to start..
We'll try to keep things simple here as there are lots of potential variations:
1. Vegetable Seeds. Buy single packs or multiples. Check their suitability for indoors/outdoors/green houses. Consider the Grow Your Own Vegetable Selection or the Grow Your Own Vegetables Starter Pack from Handyhardware.ie as good starter options.
2. Compost & vegetable food. If we are what we eat. then our veggies are what we grow them in! Ensure you buy some good quality compost and supplement it with vegetable food. You can also make your own compost with the handyhardware.ie range of composters.
3. Some basic gardening tools. What you need will depend on whether you are growing indoors or out. Regardless, every gardener will need a hand trowel, potting trowel and hand fork. Try the box set of hand tools from Handyhardware.ie
4. A greenhouse! If you are getting fancy and want to plant more exotic vegetables outside, consider a plastic greenhouse or polytunnel. See the 3-tier pop up greenhouse for just €21.95
How to grow Tomatoes:
Where: Balconies, patios, greenhouses
Planting Months: Late spring - summer (3 weeks after the last frost)
Harvest: Spring & Summer
Method: Planting tomatoes used to be complicated as they cannot tolerate frost, need direct sunlight and lots of moisture. With the upsidedown tomato planter you can now grow them hanging off your balcony, deck or just about anywhere! This system makes sure that your plants gets all the nutrients its needs, while eliminating weeds. Sow seeds evenly in April, in direct sunlight, watering often. Alternatively the Patio planter set can assist in planting on level surfaces.
How to grow Lettuce:
Where: Garden or greenhouse/polytunnel
Planting Months: March - July
Harvest: Summer & Autumn
Method: Sow your lettuce seeds in well spaced out rows with about 3 seeds every 6 inches.Cover seeds with about a 1/2inch of soil. Seedlings should appear in about 14 days time. Move them to ensure about 10 inches apart. Water well and ensure they remain covered. Sow seeds about 3 weeks apart to ensure they don't all ripen at once!
How to grow potatoes:
Where: Patio, Balconies or Decks
Planting Months: March - June
Harvest: Summer & Autumn
Method: Traditionally growing potatoes was limited to those with big gardens. With Potato growing bags however, you can grow in small spaces such as patios and decks. Source your seed potato and get them to the sprouting stage if possible. Place about 6 inches of compost in the bottom of the bag and add some potato fertiliser. Add about 6 inches of compost and keep moist. When you see the shoots coming through, add another layer. Repeat until the bag is nearly full of compost.When the first flowers appear, you are ready to harvest!
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