Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

VEGGIE MIGHT; with These Tips and a Little Planning You Should Be Able to Enjoy Eating Your Own Fresh Produce Right throughout the Year

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

VEGGIE MIGHT; with These Tips and a Little Planning You Should Be Able to Enjoy Eating Your Own Fresh Produce Right throughout the Year

Article excerpt

GROWING your own delicious fresh fruit and vegetables can be hugely rewarding for the soul as well as your stomach, health and pocket...

Although from time to time we've all been able to feel the tingle of spring in the air, on some days the weather has hardly been encouraging. I've felt more like dreaming about the delicious vegetables I'm going to produce rather than venturing out to get the ground ready to plant them. On other sparkling spring days, it seems incomprehensible that the veg patch isn't looking up to speed.

Whether you're new to growing W veg or it's your umpteenth year, it's good to remember a few of the fundamental ideas.

First, you should grow what you like to eat. A gentleman once showed me picture after picture of his prize-winning carrots - they looked superb.

But when I asked him how he liked to eat them he exclaimed that he didn't eat them, he didn't even like them.

[euro]ere are all sorts of reasons why we choose to grow our own veg. We W know what's in them and on them.

[euro]ey're delicious, fresh and full of nutrients and minerals in contrast to so much on supermarket shelves. If we're canny, we save lots of money too.

Allotments and gardening clubs are famous for their seed-swapping, plant-exchanging and advice-giving (except in the realms of erce competition, when cups and trophies are involved).

Another thing to remember is successional sowing. It means there should be something to eat throughout the year, as nobody wants all their veg to arrive at maturity together.

We can stagger sowings to W lengthen the season and select varieties that oer their leaves, roots or seedpods and fruits over a long period. With a bit of planning, gluts W and thin times need not occur. In the summer we can concentrate on picking fresh.

In the coldest winter days, rely on stored roots and chunky pumpkins and squashes and hardy customers like leeks, sprouts and winter cabbage.

Each time a specic crop occupies a particular piece of ground, it temporarily depletes that ground of certain minerals and nutrients. [euro]at's why it's long been the practice to rotate crops.

Supplements in the form of compost or well-rotted muck are also added on particular plots to replace some of the depleted minerals and nutrients.

If there is room, have three (or four if you grow potatoes) sections that you rotate. Brassicas always follow legumes. Potatoes follow brassicas. Onions and roots always follow potatoes and legumes follow onions and roots.

We can try to produce our own W vegetables when they are expensive in the shops. But it takes experience to get this right and unforeseen circumstances (usually the weather) can intervene.

Your physical health is improved by growing and eating your own.

And it means working outside, too. …

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