If you’ve got a garden enthusiast or a potential one, what are the essentials to get them started? It’s the perfect time to get out in the garden and try something new, it’s bulb planting season so take full advantage. If you’re blessed with plenty space, you can create the ultimate outdoor project – a thriving, self-sustaining vegetable garden. While veggie growing can be an intimidating prospect for first timers, the truth is it’s a lot easier than you think. My husband finds it a relaxing escape and gets immense satisfaction from growing his own produce and of course we get the benefits too.
If you’re willing to put the time in, raising vegetables is a very rewarding activity. Not only do you get the joy of nurturing a plant from seed to flower, but you also get to eat it afterwards. It’s a win, win situation. To start things off though, you need the right tools. Think about how you’ll water the garden, where you’ll store fresh veggies, and what you’ll use to pull up weeds.
The good news is there are thousands of gadgets and tools designed to help amateur growers achieve their goals. Keep reading to learn about some of the best.
The condition of vegetable gardens is determined by, among other things, the quality of their irrigation supplies. If you want strong, healthy plants, water needs to be distributed evenly and in the right amounts. The larger the plot, the harder it can be to water manually.
You could end up drowning some patches and barely touching others, especially once the larger, taller plants have begun to dominate. With a mechanical irrigation controller and solenoid valves, watering is as easy as turning on the garden tap.
One lesson that new gardeners learn very quickly is that there’s no trusting Mother Nature. You might be relying on her for gorgeous, verdant vegetables, but she’s a complex beast. Often, keeping bugs and other pests away is as challenging as growing the plants themselves.
So you may need to cheat to win this war. Get yourself some mesh grow tunnels and protect the vegetables from uninvited guests. These lightweight devices don’t cost much, and they’re ideal for safeguarding low lying varieties like lettuce and winter cabbages.
The last thing you want, when preparing beds for new veggies, is to be constantly bending over with a full-sized spade or hoe. This is delicate work, so don’t be afraid to get close to the earth. Your plants (and your spine) will thank you for it. Get a kneeling pad to save your knees, and get your little garden helpers to get involved. It’s never too early for them to start work in the garden, why not get them their own tool sets?
Don’t forget to pick up some hand tools though, a small hoe and trowel at least. Japanese style hoes are popular, as they have an elegantly curved blade. This makes it easier than ever to dispatch weeds without causing damage to any of the good stuff.
All gardeners deserve a pair of high-quality gloves. You can do your planting without them, but be prepared to walk away with cuts and grazes. Most are made out of synthetic leather because it’s flexible, strong, and easy to clean. It is also a very affordable material.
Synthetic fabrics will get the job done, but if you want to treat yourself, look for pigskin or goatskin leathers. They offer excellent puncture resistance, but they don’t restrict manoeuvrability in the fingers. Opt for a waterproof nitrile coating if you’re worried about rain.
Finally, don’t forget to pick up plenty of twine. You’ll need it once the plants (especially things like tomatoes) start to shoot upwards. It should be rugged and able to withstand wind and rain, so opt for a hardy material like jute. The added benefit is that it’s completely natural.
When you’re done with it, you can throw it on the compost pile, and it will biodegrade. Some gardeners use plastic twine, but it comes with the added work of collecting every piece and disposing of it once you’re through. Jute is a gentle, low maintenance alternative.
Taking the First Steps toward Veggie Perfection
Now, you’re ready to pick your plants and start preparing the beds. First timer growers have a wide variety of easy, trouble-free options. Salad leaves, spring onions, radishes, beetroots, carrots, potatoes, peas, runner beans, onions, and garlic are all surprisingly easy to raise. Here’s some of our produce, and we’re no experts. Once you find a crop that works, stick with it!
Disclosure: collaborative guest post.