grow your own veg

5 Tips For Growing Your Own Food

grow your own veg

Disclosure: this is a sponsored guest post

If you’re looking for a wonderfully fulfilling way to pass the time this year, why not grow your own food?  Not only will it save you money at the supermarket but with companies like Ashridge Nurseries offering a wide range of bulbs, plants and trees you’ll be able to choose exactly what you want to produce.  Planting seeds and watching them grow is also a fantastic way to teach children about the fragility of nature, so if you’re in the mood, here are five tips to get you started.

1. Choose the right spot

When it comes to growing your own food, it’s important to think carefully about the layout of your garden, as most consumable products grow best in a sheltered yet sunny area.  Vegetables, for instance, thrive under these conditions, so make sure they are planted in a spot which gets maximum sunlight (or a minimum of between four to six hours).

If you live in a flat without much outdoor space or have limited garden beds, fear not as you can grow many types of plants in garden boxes, pots or grow bags – you just need to place these in sunny areas too.

2. Use plenty of compost

In order to grow mouth-watering delights, you must make sure the soil you use is in tip-top condition.  Mixing potting soil with native soil and adding a decent amount of compost will ensure your produce has all the necessary nutrients to grow properly and as vegetables like soil to have a neutral pH.  It might also be worth investing in a pH testing kit to ensure your growing conditions are as good as possible.

Fancy making your own compost?  Then check-out the how-to guides online and discover what household products can be thrown onto a household compost heap including eggshells, leaves, grass cuttings and garden weeds.

3. Choose the right time to plant

Growing your own food can be an undeniably exciting process, but always wait until the last frost has passed (usually around April) before sowing any seeds.  If the soil is too cold, germination will slow down and many young, vulnerable plants might even die.

Of course, if your green fingers are twitching and you just can’t wait to get out in the fresh air to start work out in your garden, you could always prepare the soil as mentioned above and do a general post-winter clean-up to ensure everything is looking good for the warmer months.

4. Think about spacing

If plants, fruit trees, vegetables, herbs, and flowers are planted too close together they will compete with each other for nutrients and have limited space to root and grow.  This means they might not be as healthy as they should be, so be sure to read proper plant spacing instructions on the back of seed packs to avoid overcrowding.  Similarly, don’t plant tall produce like apple trees next to smaller vegetables like cabbages as the branches will shade the cabbage patch, preventing them from receiving the sunlight they really need.

5. Water your produce regularly

It might sound obvious, but don’t forget to keep your produce well hydrated.  Most vegetables require at least one inch of water per week, so it’s important not to let the soil dry out especially if you’re growing things like cucumbers, cauliflower, celery, lettuce and spinach as these easily need around two gallons of water per week.  Keep an eye on rain levels and there’s a dry spell use a watering can or hosepipe to water your plants.

Growing your own food is great for the environment and your bank balance, so follow the above tips and do something productive this year!

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    A Quick Update

    Hello, I just wanted to drop in quickly with an update to my post from the other day.  Our little girl arrived, at home, in the wee small hours of Sunday morning, weighing 8lbs 3oz of pure love.

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    We are all over the moon, and my oldest daughter (which seems strange to write!) is so excited to finally be a big sister after months and months of waiting!  This little baby has been showered with so many cuddles and kisses from her big sister, and our hearts are all very full.  Let the adventures begin!

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      Life Lately

      I’ve been meaning to check in here on the blog for a little while, but what can I say, life has gotten completely away with me, what with Christmas, birthdays, New Year, oh, and a little baby that due pretty much any time now.  Not that I’ve been busy, but mainly because I’ve hit the really really sleepy stage of pregnancy (39 weeks!), where any task other than lying on the sofa with a mince pie in hand, or having a sofa nap, is a massive chore.  I’m on the sofa right now, and I’m just sharing my Instagram photos in this post because it’s the easiest option right now!  Promise I’ll pick up my proper camera soon!

      I’ve had a bit of a marathon with this pregnancy, between constant nausea that lasted for 4.5 months, tummy bugs, anaemia and it’s associated exhaustion, working two jobs, looking after my daughter and writing the blog.  It goes without saying that the blog has taken a bit of a back seat for a large part of this year while I rested and put my feet up where I could.  It will of course take a bit of back seat when the little one arrives, but I hope once we settle down to some kind of new normal that I can get back to a bit more regular blogging.  I love blogging, I really do – I do it as a hobby, and is often how I unwind of an evening, so I’m looking forward to get back into it with hopefully a bit more vigour!

      So as it’s been a while I thought I’d run through some of the things I’ve been up to.  First and foremost, needless to say we got our Christmas on.  There’s a bit of a trend on Instagram to decorate using only natural materials, and I saw one user saying they were shunning gaudy baubles in favour of dried foliage.  I have to say I love my gaudy baubles.  Some of mine are favourites from my childhood.  Others I’ve found in charity shops, others remind me of Christmases past that my partner and I have shared, and others my daughter has chosen since she was just one year old (it’s a bit of a tradition of ours that every year we travel into Edinburgh where she gets to pick a new bauble for the tree), and others my daughter has made.  So it’s safe to say we fully embraced the gaudiness of the season!

      Keeping with the festive theme, we made our annual visit to see Santa in Edinburgh’s Prices St Gardens.  I did it fairly early in the month because I knew I’d be exhausted come Christmas, and I’m glad we took the time out to go out (even in the rain!) – my daughter found it so magical.

      Our actual Christmas and New Year was a rather quiet affair, just the three of us at home.  Lots of roast dinners, nice food, hot chocolate, long lies, movies by the fire, walks when the weather cooperated, reading Christmas books and playing with new toys.  The only hectic point was Christmas Eve, when my then 3 year old (now 4 year old) got a little bit too excited.  There was some very excited dancing whilst watching The Muppet’s Christmas Carol! 

      Finding some balance with some winter walks:

      I finished up my two works at the start of December, which was a relief as commuting for any length of time when 35 weeks pregnant isn’t much fun.  I received this beautiful bunch of flowers, chocolates and a voucher for a massage, and felt incredibly spoiled indeed.

      We also celebrated our daughter’s birthday a little early, with some of her very best friends, to make sure she definitely got a birthday.  Good planning on our part means that our daughter’s birthday and the due date of the new little one are a week apart…  Hosting a house full of four year olds at 36 weeks pregnant wasn’t my finest idea (I needed all the sleep afterwards) but it was so much fun, and the smile on my daughter’s face as she played party games with her friends, and blew the candles out on her cake, made it all so worthwhile.  As it happened my daughter did indeed get her actual birthday which I was incredibly relieved about!

      And that’s pretty much been life lately!   I will drop in again soon, but before I go I just want to wish you all the best for 2016!  Thanks so much for reading Moral Fibres in 2015 – I really appreciate all of you! xx

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