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Getting started - how to start a vegetable garden


Getting Started - How to Start a Vegetable Garden

Getting a vegetable garden started is much easier and a lot quicker than it might seem to the uninitiated. Our aim has always been to make it as easy as possible for you to grow your own successful vegetable garden. The balancing act between what you want to grow, what you can grow, and what you have time to maintain comes with a little time and experience; I frequently bite off more than I can chew in my vegetable garden and have to re-think things as I go but you will find things quickly fall into place.

Getting started with timber raised vegetable bedsA question we get asked a lot is "Will I be able to grow enough to feed my family?", the answer is yes - depending on how much time you have, how much space there is, and how well you plan it all out. One of my co-workers here started growing their own food only a year ago using containers and found it quite easy to grow enough vegetables for one person.

Don't be disheartened by failures, we all experience them - just start small and your new vegetable garden will gradually expand along with your knowledge. Also, remember we are here to help.

Quickcrop is much more than just a shop; we are happy to offer any help an advice you may need whether directly or through our weekly newsletter, YouTube channel or social media pages.


Vegetable Gardening For Beginners

Here are a few tips for getting started (more info further down):

  • Start small, whether it’s a container or a raised bed; give your garden time to grow.
  • Only plant what you want to eat or plants that are easily maintained.
  • Make sure you have a water source as near as possible to your vegetable plants as carrying water can become cumbersome.
  • Start a compost heap and make sure your compost bin or heap is easily accessible to both your garden and kitchen.

How to start Growing Your Own Vegetables

Start Small
Small beginnings are best when starting your own vegetable garden. You will be surprised what your can produce in a relatively small space while dealing with a large vegetable garden can become overwhelming if you have limited time to look after it. We also recommend starting with simple crops that don't suffer from many pests and diseases like salad crops, spring onions and beetroot so you can get a win under your belt first time around.

Our vegetable growing kits range from simple single herb and salad planters to more substantial raised beds kits for growing a broader range of crops. Remember you don't need a large space to start a vegetable garden.

Most crops are happy growing in containers just like houseplants and if the correct compost and feed are used will yield just as well as plants grown in a large traditional vegetable garden. Herbs and salad can be grown in standard house plant pots while larger planters can be used to grow potatoes, carrots, pumpkins or courgettes.

The Secret is in the Soil
The secret to vegetable growing is in the soil; a healthy, well fed soil produces strong plants which are able to withstand attack from pests or disease and produce the tastiest harvests. Let us advise you on the best mix to fill your containers to make sure you get off to a flying start.

Vegetables grown in containers are better grown in a compost mix as soil will dry out too quickly but remember ordinary multi-purpose will only feed you plants for 3-4 weeks. We recommend using a rich mix of wormcast and composted green and fish waste (don't worry, no smell!) for the most luscious plants that will continue to thrive all season. For larger raised beds we recommend our soil and compost mix topped off with our 'Sea-Feed' soil improver. We also stock a range of natural plant feeds and soil improver products should your plants need a boost at any stage in the growing season.

Beginners raised beds salad growingRaised Bed Beginners Kits
We are the raised vegetable bed experts. We grow all year round in raised beds ourselves and have perfected a range of beds to suit any growing conditions. We always recommend raised beds if you want to start growing your own vegetables as they are so much easier to look after than traditional vegetable beds.

Raised beds offer the beginner vegetable gardener an easy height to work on, a tidy space, less weeding and a higher yield per square foot plus the versatility to position on a grass or hard surface area. All our raised bed kits are pressure treated with a vegetable safe wood preservative so will give many years of growing pleasure while still looking great.


Our Square Foot Gardening System - Vegetable Garden Block Plans
Starting a raised bed vegetable garden can be daunting especially when working out how many plants of each variety you can fit in your planters. Some crops take up a lot more room than others with confusing information on space needed between plants and between rows. If you are a beginner gardener, chances are you are starting with one or two raised beds and want to try a number of crops to see what works best for you.

We have taken care of the tricky stuff by introducing our version of the Square Foot Gardening System with plans that fit the most popular raised beds sizes.

Square foot gardening planting plansOur Square Foot System uses slightly wider spacing than the original to give you better fed and larger crops. Your beds are divided up into square foot sections (30cm) with a fixed number of each plant planted in each square. Very large or heavy feeding plants may take up multiple squares to allow them room to grow and give you the harvest you are expecting.

We provide a database of Square Foot Garden plans which are free to use and give you a great starting point for your new beginners kitchen garden. We are also working on a new SFG garden web tool to allow you to make up your own vegetable garden plans with plant selections tailor made to your taste.

You can view our current range of square foot block plans and read more about planning your vegetable garden by clicking the blue button below. 

Square foot vegetable garden plans

Seedling Plug Plants
Starting a vegetable garden can seem overwhelming, especially if you are learning to sow your own seeds where temperature, compost and sowing depths are important. We cut out the complicated part by supplying 4 week old baby vegetable plants in a broad range of varieties.

Our vegetable plug plants arrive hardened off (used to outside temperatures) and are ready to pop straight into the ground. Our plants can be picked by the row using our unique 'Choose Your Own' plant picker tool; browse our full seedling range while reading information on each plant, it's the ultimate beginners plant shop!


Start Growing
There is no time like the present and there is an entry point for everyone, whether it's a pot full of growing herbs, or rows of raised beds planted full of fruit and vegetables. Have a browse through our site, and a read of our blog if you have time, and decide what is right for you. And as always, let us know how we can help.