If you’ve been following my Instagram you might have noticed that (along with the rest of the country) we’ve got a little into gardening. We’ve fumbled our way through growing herbs in the past and last year tried our hand at some veg for the first time. It was so much fun and gave us an excuse to go outside. So this year we’ve decided to take it a little more seriously using the Veg in One Bed book by @huwsgarden
So many of you got in touch with me saying you were planning to do the same or had the book as well. And too my surprise, a tonne of you actually went and bought the book after I shared it on my Instagram! Honestly I’m so excited to go on this journey with you and share our progress. Don’t expect any tips though because we are full on beginners.
But seeing as I’ve been getting loads of questions about our progress so far I thought I’d bring my mini review across to the blog plus a downloadable template for veg patch planning.
A beginner’s guide to growing veg in a raised bed. Its laid out so well and I really like that it’s aimed for beginners like us. It includes a growing plan for the whole year and goes through it month by month. Each month has a summary page followed by more information about that particular veg and what you need to be doing that month. Our space is slightly smaller so I’ve adjusted the growing plan taking out the veg we don’t really eat.
It’s also got little chapters on how to make your own raised bed, composter as well as ways to reuse/recycle everyday items for gardening. There are ‘swaps’ for vegetables you might not like and at the end there’s a few pages on growing veg in plant pots, herbs and even common diseases/issues to look out for. Now, my mum has a degree in Botany and my parents pretty much grow all their veg so for them it’s a bit basic. But for a complete newbie it’s been really easy to navigate with the perfect amount of information. I really enjoyed spending an hour going through it and planning our space.
The only other thing to mention is that I swear everyone has this book because nearly all of the seed varieties he suggests are out of stock everywhere! Get in fast or try and look for similar seeds which are planted/harvested around the same time.
Our raised bed
The raised bed we got is a kit from Link-A-Bord and is made from recycled plastic. It’s pretty simple to put together but not as easy as the videos made it look- there was a lot more jiggling to get the dowels in (but the dab of washing up liquid on the ends worked a treat). Delivery was quick and it was easy for the two of us to manoeuvre into the space (it’s very lightweight). We forgot to order the extra support bar (which you need if your bed is longer than 2m-in any material) but beyond the quick delivery and pretty simple construction, I can’t really comment on it’s longevity or anything else really. It is a bit pricey but there are lots of options out there including using wooden raised beds. I found that most ended up being around this price so went with ease of buying/sizing.
We’ve filled ours half with soil from the patch of garden we dug up (our garden was long neglected by previous owners and is pretty rich and fertile with some TLC) and half with compost.
When I was planning our bed I found it really helpful to draw out a template to figure out how we could use our space (as it’s smaller than the suggested growing plan). Afterwards I neatened it up, printed it off and hung it in the kitchen so we can see a summary of the next few months in a glance.
I’ve attached it as a download in case you wanted to use it too (just click on the heading above). It was such a nice activity to do away from my phone, laptop and TV. Just get some pencils, colour in the sections and label with the veg you plan to grow!
We’re already in love, having spent so many hours out in the garden as a family, taking in the crisp fresh air, counting worms and making mud ‘sandcastles’. I’m so excited to see what the rest of the year holds. Plus I’m excited to see everyone’s progress too! If you are planning to sow some veg this year, feel free to use the hashtag #SewVeginOneBed so we can find each other for support!