• G.E Young

Eco-friendly Gardening: Planning a spring garden

Updated: Mar 22

March has finally arrived and the beginnings of spring are starting to show. For many keen gardeners, this is the time to start getting their thumbs green again.

This year I have decided to give it a go and grow as many vegetables as I have space for. Creating your own vegetable garden is a great way to reduce your plastic waste as you are no longer buying plastic-wrapped produce. It also encourages seasonal eating habits as well as adding greenery to support your friendly bugs and critters like bees and butterflies.

So where to begin? Planning your backyard vegetable garden is the first step to successful produce throughout the year. It gives you a good indication of when your harvests will be, and will insure that you are taking proper care of your new plants.

Planning your Garden: Making use of your space

The first things to consider are where are your plants going to live. This is especially important if you are a first time gardner because you want to make sure that you plants will get enough sun, have enough space or wont be exposed to the elements too much. If you can get inventive you can maximise even the smallest gardens or balconies to grow some kitchine essentials.

Here are some ideas:

  • Pots and planters: Pots and planters are your best friend! There are many types of plants that you can grow in pots around the garden and in small hanging planters. Even a windowsill will do for more than you think! So you don't need to have a greenhouse and a back garden the size of an allotment.

  • Plant shelves: You can even build your own plant shelves. This is a great way to maximise your space indoors or outdoors. If you start your plants off on a windowsill you can easily move them outdoors after they start getting too large.

  • Raised bed vegetable garden : You can even build your own raised beds to fit the space you need. This is what I did as I have only a small area in my garden for this project. I have some very rustic raised beds made from pallet wood ready to go (thanks dad for building them).

  • Mini greenhouse: A mini or plastic greenhouse which is essentially a few shelves

It goes without saying that you do need a fair amount of space and access to a lot of soil to be able to grow what you need. This doesn't mean that you need a large garden with lots of spare open space. I don't so have gotten inventive instead.

If you are just starting out make sure to take a look at various second-hand shopping sites to see what garden supplies people are trying to get rid of. I have found that there is an abundance of small planters and hanging baskets around on Facebook marketplace in my local area.

Planning your Garden: What to plant

What do you want to eat? This should help you figure out what you would like to plant. Here is what I have decided to plant over the spring period.

Things to grow in the garden: March- April

(Start Indoors in a propagator or in a green house)

Planning your garden: Basic things you will need

I would suggest starting with the basics and seeing if you can acquire any bits you need from neighbours or friends, or second hand shopping. Make sure you have somewhere to store your compost/ soil that you can easily accesses and a hand trowel to get you started. Some gardening gloves and a small wateringcan are also going to be a helpful addition to your set.

Make sure you have a selection of nursery pots to get you started! You may like the idea of plastic as this is manable for you or even you feel a bit fancy and want to go for terracotta pots. What ever helps you on your way. Lastly, I would recommend you have plant labels on hand because you don't want to get these little baby shoots confused.

These have been some basic tips to help inspire you into creating a sustainable vegetable garden this spring which will hopefully carry you throughout the year. I hope you have a plentifully harvest and good luck on your gardening journey. Please tell me in the comments what you have planted this year and how you have been inventive with your space.

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