What with the rising cost of food and recent concerns about the origin of some of the food we eat, many people are turning to the ‘grow your own’ food movement for fresh food. The question for most people is: Where do I start?
The first thing to do is to start enriching the soil to make it more productive, so you can grow your own food. Planting vegetables may be interesting and may provide good food for the family, but it is often hard work too, and being able to harvest a reasonable crop of vegetables makes it feel like itâs been worth the effort. You can start fertilising the soil right now with farmyard manure. You can dig it into the soil or just spread it on the surface, where earthworms, beetles and grubs will help you combine it with the uppermost layer of soil in the coming weeks.
Some suburban gardens, especially in housing estates, were never properly finished after the house was built so the soil can be a mix of building site mud, rubble and original topsoil, which means they are at first not suitable to grow your own food.
A test hole will tell you how much topsoil you have to work with. In any case, its quality can be improved, so you can start to fertilise it nowâwe stock farmyard manure in sacks that is perfect for the job.
The most important thing to do during this cold part of the year is to make a plan. Think about the location of the vegetable patch: it should be a part of the garden with good sunlight, protected from the prevailing wind by a hedge or fence, and not prone to water logging.
One good way of growing vegetables is in so-called raised beds. You can find lots of information on the Internet about how to dig them in just takes some extra elbow-grease.
January and February are great months for planningâspring is coming, and while you can look out at your garden you canât do much, so itâs a good idea to start planning. If you wanted to do a nice job on it with some landscaping, or put in new borders and edging, or if you just have grass at the moment and you want flowers, you can put in a special border that will let you mow the grass and edge the side of the border at the same time.
There are loads of little tips, and if you want to contact us we can give you hints or call out to you and help you plan, or we can do it for you. If you just want advice, we can call out to you for a small call-out fee of 50 euro, which is reimbursed if we then carry out the work.