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Growing Your Own Vegetables

It is doubtful that the real sparing through developing your own particular vegetables in a little garden is peripheral. Unreasonably, the sparing might be more noteworthy in the field, since the distributive framework supports vast territories of populace and regularly brings about less expensive and more abundant vegetables in towns. Normally, the more vegetables you develop, the more conservative the suggestion gets to be. To give some sign of the measure of space which vegetables take up: a range of 84 sq m would give a group of four with adequate lettuces, runner beans, peas, carrots and turnips in the mid year, and with leeks, cabbages and sprouts in the winter. Obviously extraordinary joy can be acquired from developing your own particular create, regardless of the possibility that you don’t have enough space to make the venture truly efficient, and the new taste of home developed vegetables is a reward in itself.

The type of vegetables you grow will dictate the size of the plot, and this will determine how near the house it can be. Potatoes, most root crops and fruit and vegetables which need forcing, such as rhubarb and chicory, all take a lot of space. Green vegetables, such as broccoli and spinach are often well worth growing. For a busy family with little time to spare, it is perhaps better to concentrate on salad crops. There are many varieties of lettuce worth growing and a few out door tomato plants in a sheltered place can be rewarding. Fruit bushes can be trained along the fence or grown against a wall, where they will benefit from the heat retained and gently released by the wall.

Many vegetables can be incorporated decoratively in the garden plan. Red cabbages look striking, runner beans can be grown up a fence, and artichoke plants are visually interesting and can be used to screen a compost heap, while marrows and courgettes are most attractive hanging over a wall from the edge of a raised bed. Raised beds look effective and can be worked into the terrace if space is limited; they are excellent for old people since they are far easier to work.

Most vegetables need a good depth of topsoil which is rich in humus and all need a certain amount of space. They should be grown in some rotation. A vegetable plot need not be screened, as is often suggested, for rows of neat vegetables can be attractive. Admittedly there are times in winter when they look straggly but a run of box edging should solve the problem.

Herb growing is becoming more popular all the time, since not only are herbs used in most forms of cooking, but their medicinal properties are also being discovered. They grow in interesting shapes and the form, texture and color of their leaves make them attractive plants. Many herbs, such as rosemary, purple sage, satolina, rue and golden balm, can be include in the mixed border as decorative additions or a herb garden can be sited on its own. But clearly it is sensible that herbs should be as close to the kitchen as possible. As many of them originate in scrub or down land, they can exist in fairly shallow poor soil.

Lawn, Ground Cover and Planted Areas

Many small gardens include a fairly central lawn groundwork which sets off colorful flower beds. But where space is really limited a small area of grass will not be worthwhile, either visually or practically; a reasonable area of lawn in a simple shape looks uncluttered and is easier to maintain. Lawn running right up to the flower beds is attractive, though maintenance is easier when a line of paving runs along the edge, so that mowing stops about 400 mm (1 ft 3 in) short of the border. Convenience of mowing should be taken into account when planning areas of grass. Allow room to turn the mowing machine and if you plan a grass slope, bear in mind the maximum gradient of 1:1 or 45 degrees for cutting with a hand mower and 1:1 or 33 degrees for a smaller power driven machine.

Ground cover such as heather or ivy is an alternative soft ground surfacing, especially over areas which are too small or steep for lawn but where you want to keep maintenance to a minimum. The use of ground cover need not be restricted to filling in spaces between beds or within beds. It can be employed to create bold areas of pattern, possibly combined with paving stones.

At this stage in your planning there is no need to decide on the exact varieties of trees, shrubs and plants. However, since all planting is important in drawing and directing the eye, you should be thinking in terms of the approximate height and density of plant varieties; these should be selected for their overall impact in the design as much as for their purely horticultural interest.

The width of beds and borders will obviously depend on the space you have, but bear in mind two general points. If beds or borders greatly exceed about two meters in width, it may prove difficult to hoe between the plants without trampling all over the bed. On the other hand, beds must be sufficiently wide to allow for an effective arrangement of plants. For example, if you want a herbaceous border which maintains a colour display for most of the year, you need enough space to arrange plants so that when one group stops flowering another takes its place.