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17 September 2014
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how to be a gardener - The complete online guide

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7 - Setting up your plot
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Setting up your plot
When you’re thinking about where to grow fruit and vegetables in your garden, bear the following considerations in mind for the best results:
Vegetable garden
Choosing your site
  • Try to find a sunny spot with good drainage. A south-facing aspect is ideal.
  • Avoid overhanging tree branches and shade cast by buildings or hedges.
  • Make sure there is plenty of water. Avoid the area next to hedges as this tends to be dry.
  • Provide shelter from wind. You may need to put up a windbreak.
  • Make sure there is protection from marauding wildlife. You may need a rabbit and/or deer-proof fence.
    The layout
    Fruit and vegetable plots require quite a lot of work – planting, weeding, watering, tying, harvesting, manuring and so on. So make your life as easy as possible by designing the plot ergonomically - making it low maintenance.
    Vegetable plotA good idea is to divide the plot into four areas – this enables you to rotate the crops, minimising disease problems.

    Ensure the paths between the beds are wide enough to take a wheelbarrow, and have a hard surface – paving slabs will stop your feet getting too muddy.
    PlotBeds about 1.2m (4ft) wide with paths all around are perfect, because you can water and weed without getting on to the bed.

    Make sure there is a source of water nearby. It’s worth forking out a few quid and getting an outdoor tap. You’ll thank me on those hot, sunny days when you don’t have to carry heavy watering cans hundreds of yards
    7. The productive garden

    Setting up your plot
     Making your own compost
     General care
    Growing vegetables
    Growing fruit
    The kitchen diary
    Greenhouse growing
    The herb garden
    Test your knowledge
    Go further

    Plant lists Plant lists
    Find plant lists on:

    Find thousands more plants in the BBC Gardening database.
    Video Video
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    Learn how to build a compost heap with our fun game, Hurl-a-heap.
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