Step 1 – Finding the right place to grow?

Firstly, before chucking your wellies on and grabbing a spade you need to think about space. Is your back garden an overgrown jungle, with long grass, different weeds growing and bits of rubbish everywhere? Or have you now had enough of having a nicely maintained lawn and now want to convert some of the green grass for a vegetable patch?

For some growers this doesn’t even apply to them, when they want space to grow, they turn to local allotments or to get started they just grow in pots on a terrace, balconies or on the kitchen window ledge. If you can think of any space available like any of these examples, why not start now and join the increasing number of people growing their own fresh food?
If we look a few years back, many local allotment growing sites weren’t being utilised enough by people. But now most of the plots on the sites are being used by novice growers and even have waiting lists.

Once you’ve thought about location, you can step out into the garden and work out the most suitable location for your plot. Generally, your plot should be situated in area where there will be good coverage of sunlight throughout the day. The reason to this, is that the plants you will grow in that patch will most likely be annuals which live for one growing season and then die off. They are growing in a short time scale which means they need the maximum amount of energy from sunlight to grow rapidly and efficiently. Therefore, sunlight is the key for their growth.

It is best to avoid shaded areas, where there are overhanging branches and big shadows of possible buildings.

Along with sunlight, many vegetable plants like cucumbers and tomatoes which are delicate must be protected from wind. Due to their fragile plant structure, they don’t tend to grow well when rocked side to side from the movement of the wind causing damage to the roots. At the same time, plant leaves are prone to wind burn resulting in the leaves turning back.
Common procedures used to tackle wind damage is the use of fencing panels, hurdles or even hedges being put into place on the windy side of the plot. You can even use big objects around the plot or even straw bales for immediate protection, these items can protect up to 10 metres. Using simple wind breaking measures will enable your delicate plants a chance to survive through the spring wind up until May.