Vegetable garden: 6 key tips to get started

Vegetable garden

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A generous vegetable garden, fruits and vegetables in season, throughout the year … With a little good will, the vegetable garden is a dream at your fingertips. Discover the advice of pros of the garden to realize your vegetable garden.

“A vegetable garden is methodology, common sense and a lot of time,” says Olivier Lefebvre, natural gardening trainer at Botanic. Many apprentice gardeners want to embark on the adventure of the vegetable garden without always daring to take the plunge. For fear of doing wrong or without knowing where to start. For a vegetable garden, it is also some notions of gardening . Analysis of the terrain and climate of the region or calendar of fruits and vegetables throughout the seasons … A basic tool is also needed to complete the panoply of the perfect gardener. With Olivier Lefebvre, Claire Delahaye, creator of Slowgarden and outdoor architect,

1. Carefully select the location of the vegetable garden

Before you begin, study your land carefully. The ideal location is bathed in sunshine, little shade and well exposed to make the most of the light, from morning to evening. Even if each region has its specificity. “In southern regions, for example, very sunny exposure is compensated by a sustained watering and a choice of adapted vegetables, resistant to heat,” underlines Olivier Lefebvre.

The location of the kitchen garden must also be well protected from high winds. “Beware of this factor, especially for terraced gardens!” Warns Claire Delahaye. It can, for example, be located against a stone wall or a shelter. Also consider having a water point at hand to facilitate daily watering.

2. Determine a reasonable area for your kitchen garden

Apprentice gardeners, better not to see too big … “Be careful, for the first year, be reasonable in terms of the surface of your kitchen garden, advises Olivier Lefebvre. 5 meters by 4 meters, or 20 square meters seem enough For a trial for a family of four. Better a successful vegetable garden than a large vegetable garden missed! “

Before starting, a little preparation of the ground is necessary. “If you have to make a vegetable garden for the first time, and to do this sacrifice a piece of your lawn, delimit a surface at your convenience and install a black tarp, recommend Olivier Lefebvre.In a month or two, the grass will have disappeared , And your land will be ready to be worked. “

Vegetable garden: 6 key tips to get started

Arnaud Childeric, Botanic

3. Know the soil for an optimized vegetable garden

Before planting, analyze the soil of your land. To have a miracle crop with good fruits and vegetables, your land must be fertile, rich in organic matter and well drained. Depending on the plantations, the soil of your kitchen garden will be more or less solicited. “The soil must contain a number of fertilizing elements: nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, minerals …”, recalls Claire Delahaye. If you wish, an analysis of your soil can be carried out in order to know its components.

Other tricks, more traditional, will allow you to evaluate the qualities of your ground. “To know the soil of your garden, it is sometimes interesting to look at what grows … at the neighbor’s,” Claire Delahaye assures, “do not hesitate to seek advice from other farmers in the region. And vegetables that are plentiful on local farmers’ markets. There is a good chance that this will be an example of what will please you. “

Add compost, manure and / or fertilizer, preferably organic, to your vegetable garden to improve the soil and provide all the necessary elements for a good harvest.

4. Develop an intelligent plan of the vegetable garden

Once your land is defined, it is time to sketch a plan of the vegetable garden. “You usually draw rectangular or square vegetable gardens, but nothing prevents you from being more creative, according to Claire Delahaye. In triangle, curve or storey, the important thing is to think that you will often have to Circulate between plants, and therefore to organize walkways for easy access. “

Then, each plantation must find its place according to its size. “Plants that need to be hung on tents (for example, tomatoes, beans or raspberries) are placed at the bottom, in front of a wall if possible, advocates Claire Delahaye. Medium plantations (such as aubergines or peppers ) In the middle and the lowest plantings (salads, carrots or strawberries) in front, so that each one takes advantage of the rays of the sun.Do not forget to plan a line of aromatic plants (basil, parsley, dill, tarragon , Etc.) close at hand, and add some flowers such as sunflowers, nasturtiums or marigolds to make beautiful bouquets! “.

5. Equip yourself with basic tools

A vegetable garden and a good harvest require some tools. No need to invest in a large collection but privilege the essential of quality to keep them in time. For example, the fork is a must. “In the first year of the vegetable garden, the fork will allow you to mix the compost with the soil of the garden, either with a pitchfork if the soil is heavy, or with the ecological fork if the soil is light,” analyzes Olivier Lefebvre. The eco-friendly fork is a two-handled tool with several teeth. It allows the gardener to aerate the soil while preserving the different layers of the soil.

“Choosing tools that are reliable and light,” says Claire Delahaye, “the cultivation of a vegetable garden in the garden or on the terrace will not require quite the same tools, but here are the indispensable: a spade, a rake, a hoe, a watering can, Rope, pruning shears, a bucket, a sprayer, tutors, and a nice basket to pick up the crops! “

Vegetable garden: 6 key tips to get started

Arnaud Childeric, Botanic

6. Organize its first plantations in the kitchen garden

After analyzes and reflections, it is time to pass the course and make its first plantations. “Do not throw yourself too fast,” warns Claire Delahaye, “a nice sunny day can be followed by a return of cold!”

Once the beautiful days are installed, Olivier Lefebvre offers a turnkey agenda to take his first steps in a garden of about 20 square meters, over the first months. “As early as April, plant 12 tomatoes, 3 eggplants, 3 peppers, 2 zucchini, a radish line, and 12 salads, depending on the region, then plant 50 leeks, 12 winter cabbages in late June and early July. Instead of radish, put 12 salads, and sow a new line of radish.Inplace of the first salads, sow radish.When arrives in August, instead of radishes and salads, Tomatoes, zucchini, eggplants, peppers, sow green manures like mustard or rapeseed, which will make the soil work in winter in your place.

On the fruit side, plant raspberries, currants and blueberries between November and March but never when the ground is frozen. At the dawn of spring, in March, sow the first strawberries and strawberries of the woods, and the blackberries. The melons will wait until April for a warm and sunny soil.

By organizing well, you must be able to have a vegetable harvest almost all year round. Even if regions do not all have the same strengths. Summer and winter, take care to maintain your vegetable garden, respecting the periods of seed, plantation and size.

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