Are you looking to grow-your-own food? It is a smart move given the uncertainty today around food prices and disrupted food chains. But did you know they are called Victory Gardens? During war time the nation used every spare patch of ground to grow food and veg to supplement the food shortages. The community gardening also helped to boost morale in the difficult times – which gave rise to their affection label of a ‘Victory Garden’.
Now seems the perfect time to make your own! A Patio or balcony is plenty enough space; so here is what you need to know:
Pick Your Plants
Traditional Victory Gardens are full of nutritional foods like carrots, peas, beans and lettuces – but think about what you will like. If you pick the fruit or vegetable you will enjoy the most it will motivate your during the growing phase.
When you have decided on your crop selection – map out where everything will go. Do some of you choices require more shade? Or prefer sunnier spots? It is important to plan the best place for everything – preparation is definitely the key to success.
You’ll need lots of pots for your new Victory Patio Garden. Go for decorative pots to add some style to your patio, plus opt for larger ones where possible. The more soil you add will give your fruit and veg plenty of space to take root and grow.
As a rough guide you will want your pots to be at least 23-25cm wide, but if you are growing potatoes or root vegetables – go for something deeper. Salads and herbs are fine in shallower pots.
Also make sure your pots have drainage holes in the bottom so they don’t stand in water which can rot the roots.
So what soil should you use? Visit your local garden centre to get a multi-purpose compost that is suitable for growing fruit and veg. It will provide all the minerals and nutrients they’ll need to grow and flourish.
Work out how many pots you are going to use first so you buy enough compost – you don’t want to run out!
Make sure you select a good day for planting – avoiding any days with potential frost which will freeze your seedlings before they have had a chance to flourish.
Always check your packet instructions to determine how far apart each seed must be sown and how far down it needs to go. It may seem unusual to place them so far apart – but they need that space to grow into a decent crop.
Remember to Water
There are a lot of pros with pots, but one of the biggest drawbacks is that they do not hold water well. You must make sure you water your crops regularly so they have the best chance to grow. This is particularly important during the hot summer months which will fry your soil quickly.
To water use a hose or a watering can and hold the spray over each pot for a few minutes to make sure they soil is fully saturated. It is also a good idea to add a liquid fertilizer every 3-4 weeks to help your fruit and veg to flourish.
You will also need to look out for weeds, and pull out any shoots that start to appear. Weeds will zap the water from the soil, taking it away from your growing plant.
Enjoy the Harvest
When your fruit and vegetables are ripe or have reached their harvest period – pick your crops. Now you can prepare some amazing seasonal feasts!
Enjoy the nutritional benefits of home-grown foods as well as the positive impact it has on both the planet and your bank balance.
What will you grow in your victory garden?