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Ten Essential Tips for Gardening Beginners

Vegetable garden plan

1 Planning.
Decide what you want to do with your vegetable garden and spend time working out the best way to achieve it. There are so many choices –fruit or vegetables, greenhouse or polytunnel, work out what suits you and plan it in advance.

2 Location.
Position is very important in planning your vegetable garden. Consider drainage, protection from bad weather and exposure to summer sunshine.
3 Soil.

The quality of your soil will determine the success of any vegetable you grow. Compost and other organic matter should be incorporated to build up and balance nutrient content and maintain a light moisture retentive soil structure

Grow your own salad leaves4 Start Small.
Build your gardening project slowly and take time to develop it. One or two beds and some containers can be enough to start growing a modest range of vegetables. More beds can then be added as your skills improve and enthusiasm grows.

5 Get Help.
There may be some hard work and a few problems to be solved when setting up your plot. Don’t be afraid to ask other gardeners for help. Cups of tea can always be exchanged for good advice.

6 Grow What You Like.
There is little point in working away to produce a crop of vegetables that nobody is going to eat. There may be opportunity later on to expand your range and produce prize winning show exhibits.

Vegetable garden group7 Join a Group.
Your local allotment association or gardening club is an unbeatable source of information and encouragement. Gardeners love to share advice, seeds and cuttings.

8 Don’t be Disheartened.
It’s a cruel world for young vegetable plants with a range of pests and viruses always ready to destroy your crop. Don’t give in if caterpillars have eaten your broccoli, learn from the experience and try again next year.

9 Overwatering is as Harmful as Underwatering.
Watering requirements will be different in every garden depending on the weather and siting of the vegetable patch. Compost should be kept moist but not saturated and generally watered in the morning or late afternoon.

10 Enjoy Yourself!
Vegetable gardening is not a chore; it is a social activity that encourages gentle exercise and healthy eating. Harvesting beautiful crops should easily bring a smile to your face.


  1. Mags Devereux

    Hi, I live in the West of Ireland so my garden is farly exposed to the elements. Unfortunately the only thing that seems to multiply is Gorse. Its beginning to take over my flower beds. Have you any suggestions as to how I can get rid of this nasty bush. Its nice to ook at as hedging and I appreciate its value to wild life but I really need to control it spreading around my garden. I’m surrounded by farming land so this plant grows everywhere.

    1. Andrew

      Hi Mags. It is unusual for gorse to be a major problem in a vegetable garden as you should be able to keep on top of it fairly easily. Gorse seeds are quite heavy so are not blown far by wind nor are they dispersed by birds. You will need to dig out any plants in the flower beds but also keep removing and new plants as they come up. Unfortunately gorse seeds have a waterproof coating so can survive in the soil for up to 30 years so any seeds in the soil will still be viable. I wouls also recommend you mulch your flower beds rather than dig them over to avoid bringing seeds to the surface where they will germinate. Also, cut back any hedging which may be overhanging your beds and dropping seeds. I hope this helps, unfortunately there is no easy answer to this invasive shrub. You could spray with a weed killer but this is not something I like doing.

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