Great Tips on How to Create a Vegetable Patch for Your Whole Family to Enjoy

Do your children know where their food comes from? If the answer is no, growing herbs and vegetables in your garden may help to rectify this.

Growing fresh produce at home will teach your children about the life cycles of the herbs and vegetables they eat. It will raise their awareness of the seasonal nature of crops, and, with any luck, provide them with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when they get to bring home-grown produce to the table.

Mommy Goggles GardenChoosing a suitable plot for growing herbs and vegetables in your garden

You can grow herbs and vegetables in a garden of any size. The ideal growing space will provide warmth, sunlight, shelter, and soil with an adequate water supply. It will be light and open, but not overly exposed, nor overshadowed.

If your garden is naturally shady, growing crops may seem like a daunting proposition. You may be able to prevent overhanging and overshadowing by ensuring you’re keeping your garden neat and tidy. Reading the latest hedge trimmers buying guide to find the perfect product for your garden isn’t a requirement for starting your own vegetable patch at home but the knowledge should definitely help.

If preventing overshadowing is not an option, take heart. The list of crops that will grow in the shade is a long one, and with careful planning, you will be able to create a garden that provides you with an economical supply of nutritious food for your family.

Whether your garden is sunny or shady, it is not necessary for you to set aside a large, separate plot of land for your crops. You can easily integrate your crops into your flowerbeds or grow them in a few containers on your patio. If space is a problem, simply grow them on your windowsill.

Selecting herbs and vegetables to sow

It is best to choose herbs and vegetables that are simple to grow and quick to crop. Ideally, your crops should fit in with your children’s school term times, so that they will be ready for you to harvest over the summer months. Herbs and vegetables you may wish to consider growing include:

Vegetables

  • Carrots: Sow early carrots, such as Napoli carrots, outside in rows in March, April or June and they will be ready for you to lift from the ground around 12 weeks later.
  • Peas: Dwarf varieties of peas are reliable and do not require much in the way of support. Sow early peas, such as Kelvedon Wonder peas, outside between March and July and they will be ready to eat 12 to 16 weeks later.
  • Salad leaves: Sow small lettuce varieties, such as Kendo or Little Gem, from mid-March and you should be able to pick them around eight weeks later.
  • Radish: Radish are trouble-free to grow. Sow varieties, such as Cherry Bell or Scarlet Globe, from March onwards and they will be ready to eat within a month.

Herbs

  • Mint: Mint will thrive in most soils, but can grow to such an extent that it becomes a nuisance. To avoid this, grow it in a container on your patio. Use the leaves to add flavour to peas and new potatoes.
  • Oregano: When planted in a sunny area, oregano will grow with vigour. Add it to pizza sauce or use it to flavour meat and fish.
  • Chives: Chives grow well in moist soil and full sun. Cut off the flowers before they open to enjoy a regular supply of fresh leaves for your salads.
  • Thyme: Grow thyme in a well-drained, sunny area of your garden. Pick the leaves of this evergreen herb throughout the year and use them in meatballs.

Enjoying the sense of accomplishment that follows the harvesting of your crops

By setting up a vegetable garden, you will provide your children with the chance to grow and taste a huge variety of delicious produce. Involve them in all aspects of growing, from designing the plot and preparing the soil to planting the seeds and caring for the crops. The more ownership you grant them, the more enthusiasm they will show, especially when it comes to reaping the rewards of the seeds they have sown.