Create Your Own Edible Garden For A Plant Based Diet | Veganuary

Create Your Own Edible Garden For A Plant Based Diet

Growing your own food can be really easy in any size garden, from containers of salads on balconies to fruit in pots on patios, there are so many varieties available now perfect for small space growing. If you have a larger garden the options are endless! Creating your own edible garden is a great way to support a plant-based diet and not only will you be getting lots of healthy nutrition, you will also enjoy the benefits of being outside in nature and getting your hands dirty gardening.
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Grow For the Size Space You Have

It’s really important to maximise the space you have to grow an abundance of edibles. So if you have a balcony or patio, think about hanging baskets, containers for railings, pots on the surface and then decide on what you can both grow in that size and what foods you love to eat. Herbs and salads are perfect for balcony growing but also there are fruit varieties for containers. Cut and come again varieties are great for a quick salad and try microgreens which are an easy way to add an abundance of nutrients to your food.

You can grow microgreens in trays of any compost and scatter plenty of seeds such as rocket, mustard, brussels sprouts, beetroot and then harvest them when the seedlings are no bigger than 10cm tall. These can be sprinkled on any food and are packed full of goodness. Also try raspberries in pots, strawberries in hanging baskets, courgettes and potatoes in grow bags plus even cucumbers, tomatoes and aubergines in a warm, sunny spot.

For a larger space, you can grow some vegetables in amongst your flowering beds and borders. The mix can be really beneficial to the garden and both can thrive together planted this way. Or you can make a space specifically for fruit and vegetables in raised beds or borders dug out to create a kitchen garden. The most important thing to consider when creating your own vegetable bed is the soil.

Without good, nourished, well drained soil, some vegetables will struggle to get to harvest stage. So incorporate a good amount of well rotted compost (there are some great vegan plant based mulches and composts available now), and choose the vegetables you love to eat, any you cant find in the local shops or try something a bit different! The options really are endless. To ensure you are cropping your own food all year, think about what can be harvested in each season so things like squash for autumn, leeks and kale for winter, salads for spring and plenty of fruit for summer.

Try your Hand at Some Edible Flowers

Companion plants help to deter certain garden pests and also encourage beneficial insects, so if you plant some edible flowers in your garden around your crops you can help biodiversity and also eat the flowers. Great plants for this purpose are Nasturtiums, Marigolds and Calendula. Not only do they look great but they also have wellbeing benefits. Nasturtiums are fully edible and even the seeds can be crushed as an alternative to pepper, Marigolds have a distinct taste and are perfect in salads or to decorate cakes plus Calendula which will flower for a long time throughout the year and is an amazing addition to your natural medicine cupboard with its anti bacterial and anti fungal properties. Edible flowers can be used in soups, stews, salads and even to decorate cocktails!

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