A garden of any size can help you get in shape, eat right, save money, and do just a little bit more to help the planet. The pluses are huge, and the only negative right off the bat might be thinking you don’t have the proper space to get a one started.
But this is not true, since you can be very flexible with the very definition of a garden. A window box might not be impressive as the gardens at Windsor Castle, but taking care of it on a day-to-day basis can still get you some well-deserved fresh seasoning and vegetable choices for your supper plate.
You will be amazed at how nice it can actually be, and you can be ready to get plenty of compliments from all your guests, whether they are old friends or some new flings you found while perusing some London Dating & Escorts reviews. The choice is clear: A healthy garden for a healthy life.
Here Comes the Sun
One of the first things to consider – and can be a make or break for your gardening dreams – is how much sun your proposed area is going to get. Some crops require at least eight hours of direct sunlight every day.
This means making sure you have a spot far enough away from the inevitable shadows of your home or fences. It is another reason why window boxes are a popular option for small spaces, as you can move them around to other locations on your property as the sun passes over. Since the stationary garden is the more likely one, having a spot that gets more sun in the mid-afternoon is preferable, because that’s when its rays are the strongest.
Because this is an important issue for your garden, it makes sense that it gets plenty of attention online. The good news is that different types of fruits and vegetables require different amounts of sunlight, so you can choose accordingly. Fruits (including tomatoes, mind you) can require up to eight hours, but leafy greens will only require half of that.
Plant Smarter, Not Harder
The unfortunate trade to small garden spaces is the options of veggies and fruits you can actually grow there. Certain choices require plenty of soil space for roots, so unless you can dig deep, potatoes will have to stay off the menu. On the other hand, crops that grow on vines can be perfect for you if you have the right wall to add fencing or trellises. If space going upwards is not possible, you can have melons and cucumbers and other vining vegetables grow horizontally instead of vertically with some gentle arranging.
Taking the always fun English weather into consideration is another challenge. Not only will the clouds have something to say about all that sun your garden requires, but the temperature itself might not always co-operate. That’s why some of the best choices are crops that can withstand (and sometimes thrive) in cooler weather. Lettuce, spinach and cabbage are on this list, and they happened to be some of the healthiest vegetables out there (always think ‘leafy-green’ if you want that), so it’s a win-win.
This doesn’t mean you have to abandon more fragile crops once the weather turns. Tomatoes and similar types that have been growing well outside can be brought inside (once again, much easier if you have a box instead of a grounded garden). As long as you have it near a window, it will continue to grow, and maybe even ripen to the point of harvesting without having to be taken back outside.
Every Garden Is An Investment
No matter the size, you are going to certainly spend some time with it, and – early on – some money as well. Smaller gardens obviously take less of everything – from fresh soil to manure to sunlight – but they still need some of it, and you will have to pay up early on to build up a little collection of supplies in your closet.
Re-using other household items are a good way to tighten the budget belt, though, and plastic containers that you might just plan on throwing out can be used to lessen the effects of frost, and clear ones will still let some sun in.
Creating your own compost can at first take up as much time and effort as starting a garden itself, but once you have that going, transferring the organic material into the soil will make it that much more fertile and effective.
The only time the English weather will be in your favour is not having to remember to water the plants, as the clouds will take care of that. But if there is a freak five day stretch of lovely, sunny summer weather, be sure to add roughly an inch of water to the garden to make up the difference.
You Versus Nature
Checking for weeds in smaller gardens is much easier to do, but the other pest that will need just as much attention is the wonderful world of nature that would love to get ahold of that unripened tomato. Buying some mesh or wire to protect your work might lower the aesthetic value, but could be your only option.
Even if you are going the window box route, birds and daring squirrels will force your hand to put up some sort of defence. Crops that have begun to ripen are especially fragrant to animals, so getting them inside a bit earlier than you like will save them from being stolen from under your nose.
A good defence against insect predators is to plant certain crops that they avoid around the crops they would want. While garlic and onions are joked to have bad smells among us humans, they are also unpopular with bugs, so planting one of those close to your carrots or peppers might keep them safe.