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Simple Upkeep Edible Gardens | Gardening Classes

Simple upkeep edible gardens – many individuals take into account that to be a contradiction in phrases, however it doesn’t need to be.

Are you a type of who would like to develop your personal greens, salads and fruit however suppose it’s too time consuming? Rising your personal fruit and greens is commonly considered troublesome in addition to needing plenty of work by novice gardeners particularly.

Sure, some fruit and greens are trickier to develop, or have particular necessities. However there are such a lot of that are straightforward to develop and, extra to the purpose, don’t takes hours daily to take care of.

At Plews we’ve had the pleasure of making straightforward upkeep edible gardens for beautiful purchasers who needed to develop their very own lunch. And I’ve given many gardening classes to indicate that rising your personal fruit and greens doesn’t should be time consuming, or a chore.

There are some fundamentals that you just’ll have to get sorted, so I assumed that sharing a couple of suggestions for the right way to begin your personal straightforward upkeep edible backyard may be useful.


Simple upkeep edible gardens – resolve what and the place to develop

It isn’t important which of those questions you reply first, as they’re all interlinked. For instance: –
You resolve you wish to develop salad greens / lettuce and heirloom types of tomatoes. You might have a courtyard backyard in order that they’ll should be grown in containers.

Contemplate how the crops develop. The salad greens will probably be shallow rooted as you wish to choose them pretty small. Whereas the tomatoes will want extra soil depth and assist, as they’re unlikely to be compact crops.
By rising the lettuce the place they solely get the morning solar they’ll want much less water. For the tomatoes you would use a handmade watering system (see suggestions under) as they’d want extra solar.

pumpkin growing on allotment


Resolve how a lot time will you realistically have or wish to spend tending your veggies, fruit and salads. Some crops want small quantities of standard time, others want extra sporadic consideration at explicit occasions within the rising season.

Even some common duties might be diminished. For instance, there are methods to lesson the time you spend watering; maybe through the use of some type of irrigation or by selecting crops which want much less watering within the first place.
Selecting crops which want day by day irrigation, twice day by day at sure occasions of their progress and when its, scorching then rising them on an allotment which is a 30 minute cycle journey every away is probably not the most effective use of your time…

people gardening on allotments


What do you prefer to eat? To start with, consider the extra attention-grabbing meals, like asparagus or early rhubarb fairly than peculiar potatoes. Make a listing. Be as particular as you want, for instance, Bramley cooking apples fairly than apples; yellow plum cherry tomatoes; rainbow chard.

Now you’ve got your record of meals, which is able to develop on this nation? Will you want lined rising circumstances like a greenhouse? This may nonetheless be straightforward upkeep, however it is advisable ensure you’ve got the mandatory instruments and setting if you would like a straightforward life.


The place

Can you develop your personal in your backyard? Or will it is advisable borrow another person’s backyard? Or lease an allotment? There are numerous schemes for backyard share, each native and nationwide. While its not doable to develop all of the fruit and veg for a household of 4 on a small balcony, there are nonetheless attention-grabbing crops you possibly can efficiently domesticate in a small house.

What’s your finances? A couple of fruit bushes gained’t value a lot but when you really want automated watering programs to cowl a kitchen backyard, then you definitely’re a bigger finances.

And lastly, when you’re new to gardening, or to rising edible crops, begin off small, maintain it easy.

Simple upkeep edible gardens – two “case research”

Reduce and are available once more salad leaves

Rising a pot of salad rocket or oak leaf lettuce seedlings, which you then prick out into an appropriate container and maintain close to the again door is simple upkeep.

They are often grown in fairly shallow trays as they’re frequently picked. Put this right into a gravel tray so that you don’t have to water daily. Saved by the again door they’ll be handy to select and water. Choose the outer leaves so new ones can develop from the centre.

Sow seeds in a contemporary tray on a fortnightly foundation to make sure a steady crop. And when you can present shelter it is best to be capable to develop a 12 months spherical provide.

cut and come again lettuce in wooden seed tray, edible gardens, edible garden, salads


Are you a fan of blueberries? These tasty fruit might be costly to purchase however develop effectively in a delegated fruit backyard, the flower border if in case you have an acid soil or a container.

Make the compost growing media both water retentive and free draining. Use a peat free ericaceous organic compost, or one which uses “sieved” peat where it has been sourced from lakes and rivers, not peat bogs. Blueberries need an acid soil pH5.5 or thereabouts.

A large container or raised bed in which you can grow five blueberry bushes that fruit early – ‘Duke’ (good in short growing season areas); mid-season – ‘Patriot’ (good on heavy wet soils); and late season – ‘sunshine blue’. These or similar will give you a long season of fruit and be easy to water manually. And you generally only need to prune them once a year. If you plant some annual flowers around them you’ll improve pollination (although some blueberries are self-fertile) and reduce pests and diseases. Calendula is a good choice as an annual companion plant as it self-seeds easily; and the petals make a colourful addition to salads!

blueberries on cloth, bush fruit, Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash


Perennial fruit and vegetables generally make for easy maintenance edible gardens.

A case of plant once and then you’re sorted…or nearly.

Perennial Fruit

There is a wealth of perennial fruit to choose from! indeed it always surprises me that short-of-time gardeners don’t grow more. They include fruit bushes, soft fruit, top fruit and vining fruits.

Fruit bushes and soft fruit

  • Blackberries
  • Blackcurrants
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Gooseberries
  • Loganberries
  • Raspberries
  • Redcurrants
  • Strawberries

red gooseberries, soft fruit, perennial fruit, edible gardens, grow your own fruit, kitchen garden, allotment

Top fruits

  • Apples, cookers and eaters
  • Cherries
  • Greengage
  • Medlar
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Quince

There are other fruits, such as citrus, apricots, goji berries, kiwi, which can still be classed as easy maintenance but may need extra attention.
Rhubarb is strictly speaking a vegetable, although we treat it as a fruit when we come to eat it.


Perennial Vegetables

These could include –

  • Asparagus
  • Cardoon
  • Globe artichoke
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Perpetual spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Welsh onions

Even if they’re not all exactly perennial, they do crop for more than just one season, which means you’re not sowing seeds every year.
Perennial salads for easy maintenance edible gardens would include Salad burnet (Sanguisorbia minor), Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) and Good King Henry (Chenopodium bonus henricus)

artichoke, herb garden, acorn bank, cumbria, national trust



Annual Vegetables and Salads

But for those of us who love our mange tout there have to be some annual vegetables. There are still ways of making annual fruit and vegetables easy maintenance.

If you have little time and little space, buying trays of seedlings rather than sowing for seed is one way. You’ll need to prick them out into larger pots, grow them on for a while and probably harden them off unless you buy late in the season. But it is still less time consuming.

Tomatoes and courgettes can be bought as small individual plants and grown on at home. As they produce many fruit to one plant this is still cost effective.

However, the main bug bear for making your edible garden easy maintenance is probably the watering issue.

Easy maintenance edible gardens – watering

When you water, water well at the root level. Rather than using a watering can with a rose attachment on the spout, why not make your own reservoir?
This is easily done by re-purposing a plastic drinks bottle. You can have individual reservoirs for larger plants, such as tomatoes or courgettes. Or, group your vegetable plants – peas for example – in a circle around a bottle when you plant them in the ground or raised bed.
Adding the reservoir is best done at planting time so as not to disturb the plant’s roots.

  • Take the cap off the bottle and spike a few holes in it so that the water filters through. Replace.
  • Slice off the bottom of the bottle.
  • Dig a hole for the bottle and put it cap end down into the ground.
  • The top edge of the bottle needs to be higher than the soil level but how much sticks out is your choice. Just be sure that foxes/ cats/ helpful children are not able to knock the bottle over or pull it out.

Then all you need to do is fill with water and your plant will enjoy a drink at root level. Top up when nearly empty. For young fruit trees, you could use multiple bottles. Yes, you’ll still need to fill them up, but when it rains, your reservoir will fill itself!

plastic bottles for recycling in the garden, water reservoir, cloche, slug protection, easy maintenance gardening, easy maintenance garden

And finally…

Hopefully the above tips and ideas have given you a ‘taste’ of how easy maintenance edible gardens could work for you. There are other tips and tricks, some of which can be found in other Plews Potting Shed blogs, including the selection below, our monthly Tipsheet and regularly on  Instagram and Facebook

Making your life easier and enabling you to enjoy your garden is part of what we discuss when we come to design your garden and give gardening lessons in your garden.


Related Gardening articles you may enjoy from our Award Winning Blog

Grow your own vegetables in rows
What is Square Foot Gardening?
Lasagna Gardening – Growing Methods for Gardeners
How to use the Three Sisters Cultivation Method
Crop Rotation – Growing Methods for Gardeners

Tomato Tasting – 5 Varieties to Grow in Pots
How to Choose Apple Varieties to Grow in Your Garden or Orchard
How to have a Mini Orchard in Your Garden
Growing acid loving Fruits
Bare Root Fruit Bushes
Growing Gooseberries in Your Garden

So What Might a Plews Gardening Lesson Be Like?
Allotments and Allotment Gardens
Raised Garden Beds in the Vegetable Garden
Choosing Your Greenhouse



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