Gardening is one of the most rewarding and satisfying hobbies out there. Whether utilising handy gardening hacks, designing your own summer sun trap or planning your flowers for planting season, it encourages you to spend quality time in the great outdoors.

In this blog, we thought we’d explore the benefits of growing your own fruit and veg at home.  Here at Qwickhose®, we can’t get enough of watching as our hard work pays off in delicious fruits and vegetables. Plus, growing your own food can be much cheaper than buying them. So, let’s go over some essential tips to make sure that you have the best possible experience when growing fruit and veg in your garden. With our help, you’ll soon have fresh produce for months on end!

Decide what you want to grow

The most important tip for growing fruit and veg is making sure you produce things you and your family will actually eat. This might sound obvious, but making this decision requires more consideration than you might think.

Many fruits, vegetables and herbs can take extended periods to grow, so planning ahead and envisaging what the produce will look like on your table is a key step. The list you’ve come up with might still be excessively long, so cross-referencing it against some of the other criteria we discuss below might help.

Consider your soil type

Soil type is crucial for all gardeners, and growing fruit and veg is no different. Most edible plants thrive in sandy loam soil, which has the best acidity levels for anything from carrots to berries to herbs.

If you’ve got clay-based soil, you can still find success growing leafy greens like lettuce and chard, while sweetcorn and cabbage can tolerate chalkier soils. Alternatively, most good garden suppliers sell pre-balanced topsoil, allowing you to customise your garden to suit your growing preferences. Finding out which soil type you currently have in your garden is vital, and the best way to do that is to get stuck in with your hands.

Choose your location

While some plants fare better in adverse conditions, regular access to sunlight and rain will significantly benefit any plant. Therefore, making sure you opt for an open, sunny spot is one of our top tips for growing fruit and veg important to give your fruits and vegetables the best chance at success.

You don’t need an extensive garden to achieve this, either. We’d recommend noting which parts of your garden get the most sunlight and marking out part of this as your fruit or vegetable patch.

Get the right equipment

Once you’ve assessed your soil type and planned your location, it’s time to think about hardware. For example, if your soil isn’t the right type for the plants you hope to grow, you might want to invest in a raised bed, allowing your topsoil to sit over the less fertile earth below.

You’ll also need the usual suspects: a robust gardening fork, a trowel or two and a hoe for tidying away intrusive weeds. Our list of 10 Tools You Need In Your Garden Shed has more details on the gardening equipment you can’t live without.

Prepare your soil

This step is skipped all too often by aspiring gardeners, and it’s key to ensuring a successful harvest. Digging compost or leaf mould into your soil is one of our best tips for growing fruit and veg, as it maximises your soil’s growing ability. For tips on how to prepare your own compost, take a look at our handy guide on turning your kitchen waste into fertiliser.

Be patient

According to retired Horticulturist Yvonne McCormick, patience is the most essential virtue of any gardener. We think this tip for growing fruit and veg is especially true when it comes to growing your own fruit and vegetables, and it applies to several phases.

Firstly, it’s important to resist the urge to plant too early. Instead, wait for the soil to warm up and for longer days to avoid your plants being weak or flowering too early. For most edible plants, the ideal sowing season is between early spring and late summer. Robust root veggies like garlic, potatoes and onions often withstand earlier planting, while you might want to wait for the summer before sowing more delicate specimens like broccoli or sweetcorn. Consider staggering your planting, too, as this will give you a more gradual, consistent harvest.

Once planted, wait patiently for the plant to reach its peak before harvesting. This can take careful timing, as you’ll want to maximise your effort by harvesting the largest possible yield, but plants left too long in the ground can overshadow other crops, stunting their growth.

Keep your fruit and veg hydrated with Qwickhose®

Edible plants like fruits and vegetables need regular and careful watering. Not keeping them watered consistently is a surefire way to see them fail. Shallow-rooted fruit and veg like cucumbers, spinach and strawberries need the most careful watering, as the top section of the soil dries out much faster. Conversely, deep-rooted veggies like carrots, parsnips and beetroot tend to be a little more resistant as the deeper soil better retains moisture.

The best way to ensure your garden is adequately hydrated is by using Qwickhose® connectors. Our innovative wing-lock system eliminates the need for plastic teeth, which are prone to breakage and leaking. This is included in our Qwickhose® starter set, along with a nozzle spray end, wall mount and more.

Take a look at our range of products here, or get in touch for more information.

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