Growing Vegetables for the Table: Advice from Westwood Ground Maintenance
Have you ever considered becoming an amateur potager keeper? A potager is the name given to a garden in which food and ingredients are grown, taken from the original French work for a vegetable soup pot. There’s nothing quite like the rewarding feeling of cooking a meal knowing that the ingredients were grown in your own garden – not to mention the myriad health and financial benefits of keeping away from overpriced, preservative-riddled ingredients available in supermarkets!
So, why not combine your passion for gardening with your passion for cooking? Work up an appetite and satiate it all in one go – whilst relaxing doing the gardening you love to do. You don’t need a lot of space – you can create a potager with just one container, or a single square foot of garden space.
The best way to begin is to plan ahead. Write down a list of some of the seasonal foods you enjoy: salads and barbecued meats in summer, warming stews in the winter, and so on. Plant seasoning herbs accordingly, and think about veg that you can’t always find at the supermarket – particular kinds of lettuce, certain favourite fruits, etc.
Think also about presentation – you can grow decorative edible flowers in your potager, and even if they’re not successful, you’re not missing out – and, if they are, your dishes will look as wonderful as they taste!
Reduce the amount of salt in your diet by growing a selection of fresh herbs. Basil, mint, tarragon, and oregano are all kitchen staples and don’t require too much looking after to grow a healthy amount. Don’t harvest too much at once!
Make sure that you use organic soils, rich in nutrients. Create your own compost heap from garden waste to aerate and improve the water retention of your soil. You can also find organic compost at garden centres if you need a lot right away.
Nature has designed my symbiotic relationships between plants, so take advantage of these – for instance, marigolds aren’t just edible, but also help protect tomatoes from pests. Plant these two together for space efficiency and to take advantage of their symbiosis.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your planting schemes! Buy seed online or from nurseries. These shops and sites will have loads of info for you to peruse and advice you can follow, so don’t be afraid to ask!
Let your taste buds take the wheel! Whatever you like eating and whichever seasonings you love the best should guide you on which plants, fruit, veg and herbs to plant. You’ll enjoy growing them as much as you love their beautiful, natural flavours.
Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to growing everything you need to feed your family! Don’t be surprised if following these tips starts an exciting new passion in your life – one that will greatly benefit both your health and your wallet!