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Edibles

You are what you eat…

My garden has been through many stages and I suspect it will go through much more… wanting to cram vegetables into every unsuitable spot, then fruit, and the latest takeover bid by every sort of Echium.

To save beginners time and heartache, avoid thinking you know best – don’t try to grow things where they don’t want to grow. At best, you’ll end up with a poor crop, at worst, the death of the lot.

Top tips to avoid fruit and veg failure

  1. If you’re going to grow edibles in pots, make sure you have the time and inclination to keep them watered and fed. If you doubt yourself, forget it.
  2. Don’t be swayed by all the new products of the season (right, like I’m not…) Buy what you need, not what you think you want.
  3. Research what you grow. Make sure that unusual almond tree will actually fruit where you live (bitter experience there).
  4. Don’t cram too much in. You’ll get fewer crops, and disease and pests will spread more rapidly.

    three-year crop rotation diagram
    A basic three-year crop rotation diagram
  5. ALWAYS obey crop rotation rules. Growing the same crop in the same patch of soil leads to a build-up of pests and diseases and a depletion of minerals.
  6. Grow things that are expensive or impossible to buy in the shops – I focus on fruit rather than vegetables these days. The only exception is things that taste so superior to their supermarket counterparts – new potatoes immediately spring to mind.