This is just a quick blog to show what stage our alliums are at.
Not read Alliums Part 1 yet find it here, and if not, shame on you lol ! Alliums Part 1
Well the wait is very almost over and its time to start putting some of the hardier plants into the ground.
I started my garlic and onions in sets to give them a bit of a head start and then hardened them off in the cold frame for roughly 10 days each. Starting them off in sets allows them to establish strong roots before they are planted out.
It is important to harden off the plants to get them used to the outdoor conditions, because the difference of temperature between my windowsill indoors and outdoors will differ greatly and they shock of the elements could kill the sets. For the purposes of crop rotation im planting my alliums in the bed that I mostly grew cabbages, kale and chard in last year.
Garlic Planting Spacing – roughly 5” between sets and 8 – 10” between rows, sets are placed just below the soil level and pressed firmly into the ground.
Onion & Shallots Planting Spacing – roughly 5” apart between the sets and 10” – 12” between rows, the sets are also planted until the top of the bulb and firmly pressed in.
While the strong taste of onions and garlic may not be the favorite treat for the garden scavengers, it has been a long winter and there is no doubt, many’s a hungry tummy running around the allotment site looking for a feed.
Where ever your inspiration came from TV, a magazine article or where ever, you’ve decided to take the brave step and grow your own food. Congratulations, you wont get instant overnight results but if you follow and stick to some simple guidelines there’s no reason why you wont be pulling your own fresh produce at bbq’s (in front of friends of course to really show off) and whipping up tasty dishes, with the freshest fruit and vegetables straight from the ground. That is if you follow our amazing 5 Vegetable Growing Tips for Beginners.
Here are 5 helpful Vegetable Growing Tips for Beginners.
1#. Only grow what you like to eat. There’s no point growing food that wont be eaten, yes Globe Artichokes and giant pumpkins look fantastic when growing and are certainly a sign of an accomplished gardener but if you don’t like the taste then they will most likely go to waste.
2# Only grow what you have space for. Weather you are growing in a garden an allotment or even just a pot on a balcony, there is a limit to the number of plants that will grow healthy within a certain space. Why not look at our previous blog posts on growing in containers and building raised beds to give you some insight into some of these growing methods. Growing in ContainersBuilding Raised Beds If growing from seed the packaging should contain the correct depth and distance apart that the plants will need to grow well. If you are limited to space it is possible to grow dwarf variety’s of vegetables that take up much less space, or climbing variety’s for those who have limited ground space but could grow vertically.
3# Only sow what you are able to maintain. Your might work 6 days a week or you might be retired its important to only sow what vegetables you will be able to manage. This includes watering,feeding, weeding, protecting from pests and identifying and treating any diseases. If you will only be able to devote say 1 hour to your produce a week, then there is no point digging up your garden and and digging drills of spuds and planting a variety of differing veg that will take hours of care a week, you will soon see your garden turn into more weed than feed.
4# Start simple. When people ask me what should I start growing to get my kids interested in growing I always advise to start with quick growing salad crops. Keeping children interested in any subject for more than a few days can often be tricky and the thought of keeping them interested in the growing process all summer seems daunting, hence why its important to grow something that will germinate fast and give you a result within weeks. Lettuce and radish are some of the fastest growing vegetables and a great start. It can also be a good idea to maybe buy a few plug plants so that they have something to look at, after a days getting their hands mucky. Strawberries are also great and can be bought in plants/plugs that may already bear or will bear fruit within a number of weeks, also who doesn’t like a fresh Strawberry. Potatoes, peas and beans are also good vegetables to grow for beginners, when treated correctly and are always well received when gifted to friends.
5# Do your research and don’t be afraid to ask for help. If your reading this then your on the right step to growing your own food. Its not always as simply as sticking a seed in some soil adding water and hey presto fine dining ! Like everything living, different variety’s/species of plants like different growing conditions weather you are growing lime loving brassicas like cabbages or shade appreciating beets, optimal growing conditions will create the biggest tastiest veg. Its been proven that growing vegetables is good for your mental health and happiness and we growers are generally a friendly bunch. There are plenty of people who will happily give you advice on anything that you would like to know, and we are more than happy to answer and questions that you would like to ask us about our Vegetable Growing Tips for Beginners. Please feel free to drop us an email, and happy growing.