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Adapt your garden in Dorset to grow vegetables 

Posted on April 16, 2023 by Shaun Vallance
Adapt your garden in Dorset to grow vegetables 

Dorset has a great history of farming, with a lot of growing enthusiasm for the future of farming in Dorset.  While people appreciate locally grown food more and more, pubs and restaurants in the area aim to deliver organic and local produce.  Throughout Dorset, there are excellent farm shops to source local produce and many farms which will deliver to your door. However, you can make sure you keep your best produce even closer to home, saving in food costs and developing your garden to be more self-sufficient.  Traditionally, there was often a kitchen garden where people grew their most essential fruits and vegetables, but trends changed with the advent of cheap supermarket fruit and vegetables.  Now times are changing again, and food cultivation is back in vogue. Whatever the size of your garden, here are some ways you can adapt your garden to easily grow vegetables. 

Raised Beds 

Raised beds are an excellent way to bring structure and design into your horticultural template. Popular for a long time in allotments, they have made their way into gardens, as a great way to get vegetables going in easy-to-prepare soil.  Aligned with the No Dig principle of gardening, raised beds allow for a clearly allocated area for cultivation, with pathways in between.  If designed and constructed with weed-resistant fabric, they can reduce the amount of time you spend preparing and tending unyielding soil for your plants.  You Tube is brimming with videos on how to construct raised beds, from using elegant oak railway sleepers to the humble pallet.  Once you have your beds constructed, and lined with weed-resistant fabric, you are ready to mix your compost and topsoil for the perfect home for your seedlings and plants.  

Compost and soil

Chedington Compost in Dorset supplies compost, topsoil, mulch, and woodchips.  Providing a complete package for filling your raised beds and woodchipping your pathways, they also offer tips on the best plants to get started with.  Both collection and delivery are options, better than buying masses of smaller bags at your local garden centre. For healthy plants, you want to have a mixture of topsoil and compost, which you can also add further nutrients too.  The benefit of raised beds is you can nurture the soil in the beds over the years and rotate the crops in the beds, so as not to leech all the nutrients out of the soil.  To learn more about the best soil for growing vegetables, go here. 

Container gardening and vertical walls 

If you have a smaller garden space, then container gardening can work on the same principle as raised beds.  You can fill containers with nutrient-rich soil and sow seeds directly into them, or plant plugs out when they are mature.  As space could be an issue, it is good to grow leafy vegetables that yield quickly, particularly herbs and plants like spinach, chard, and lambs’ lettuce.  Tomatoes and peppers do well in containers, and they grow up rather than out so can be space-saving. Vertical gardening has become popular in cities, where people maximize wall spaces for green growth. Vertical walls are now a common design feature in carbon-neutral homes as they can help to offset carbon emissions within the home’s overall footprint. Consult YouTube for how to make vertical pallet walls in your garden to maximise your outdoor growing space.  

Indoor and outdoor cultivation of vegetables at home 

Microgreens can be cultivated indoors or outdoors on a balcony or greenhouse and can save you a lot of money if you choose to do them at home.  Plus, you can cultivate all year round if you have a greenhouse or suitable indoor space. Popular, because of their health benefits, microgreens are nutrient-rich baby shoots that pack a punch with flavour while upgrading your vitamin intake. To grow your own microgreens all you need is some space, trays, a little soil, and sunlight.  Over the course of a fortnight, you will already be harvesting your first crop. Micro kale, micro basil, micro radish; there is no end to the horticultural challenge and satisfaction involved in this micro gardening venture. 

Dorset suppliers of seeds and plugs for your vegetable garden

Without a greenhouse or dedicated space, it can be difficult to grow everything from seed on windowsills alone. Once we are into May, it is generally considered that there will not be a frost to damage your young plants, but hardier plants can head out there sooner.  Some seeds are ready to go directly into the soil in April, so you will want your raised beds or vegetable beds to be ready by then.  Sourcing your vegetable and herb plugs from a reliable nursery can save you from the vicissitudes that come from growing from seed, and your plants can go straight into the soil in April or May. Groves Nursery near Bridport has a whole range of vegetable plugs in store, plus they deliver within Dorset.  Sea Spring plants in Dorchester specialize in chilli plant plugs, including the infamous Dorset Naga Chilli. Pennard Plants in Somerset specializes in unique and rare seeds for cultivation including a plethora of edible trees and shrubs. 

Making space for growing food in your garden

Strangely enough, growing food is somehow addictive. It is not just the benefits of bringing food to the table from the garden, the whole process is rudely health-giving.  Plus, when you discover all the varieties of rare Asian salads you can grow, it is super exciting too. The problem then arises of having enough space to cultivate in.  The above examples of raised beds, container gardening, and growing microgreens are all great spatial solutions and ways you can design your garden for cultivation.  However, you may just need a few more raised beds, and those shabby ramshackle garden buildings suddenly look like valuable real estate for your verdant empire.  Having a thorough re-think of your entire garden may provide you with more opportunities for your potential cornucopia.  You may want to consider having a storage unit outside of the footprint of your garden to maximize your growing capacity. If so, we know just the people to talk to. 

Dorset’s Heirloom Removals and Storage service 

Heirloom seeds are those that have been passed down from generation to generation within a family.  With 165 years of experience in Dorset removals, you can be assured that Woods removals and storage are a bonafide heirloom removals and storage company.  Always adapting to the changing times, we put our customers first and obviously, we know Dorset like the back of our hands. Originally specializing in quality removals, we have expanded to offer storage solutions across Dorset and the surrounding areas. If you need to expand your garden space to grow food, our storage options may be helpful for you.  Similarly, if you are moving to Dorset to expand your horticultural potential, let us help you with the groundwork right through to the big day. International moves are a breeze for us, as well as office moves, smaller moves and any kind of domestic move.  If you appreciate the value of heirloom vegetables, you will recognize the importance of a quality removals and storage company at the right time. Contact us for a quote and to discuss your removals and storage needs with our friendly team.