Greetings, and welcome to the very first New Acre blog post!
With Spring now fully settled in, what better way to prepare for the coming months than to start our very own vegetable patch? As some of you may know, we pride ourselves on our ethics of sustainability and green-living, so it seemed like a no brainer to add self-sufficiency to the list too.
So settle in, grab yourself a cup of tea and follow our foray into both indoor and outdoor growing! Lessons will be learnt, soil will be toiled and some tasty dinners will most definitely be had. We'll be updating this blog regularly with our journey from sow to harvest so if you like what you read, feel free to check back and see how we're doing. There'll be tips, tricks and a plethora of pics along the way, and hey, if you have any advice; please do leave us a comment and let us know how you think we're getting on. After all, we are not claiming to be professional growers, in fact, this will be our very first collaborative vegetable patch adventure.
And so, without further ado, let the growing commence!
We’re very lucky to have already had a pre-existing area at the New Acre HQ that we think will be perfect for a beginners veggie patch (and we secretly love how rustic the stump in the middle makes it look). The area was perfect in size and shape, however the ground was definitely not.
Though it had some shingle laid atop the dirt (which helps with irrigation), there was not much else in there to accommodate the range of veggies we plan to grow. After a quick rake to settle and level the existing ground, we pushed ahead with laying a thin layer of compost before anything else. This layer is essentially an extra dose of nutrients for the plants to ensure a healthy grow.
Next came the fun part - a very large mound of top soil, manure and compost to wheelbarrow from the driveway to the patch!
Once we’d heaved, raked, levelled and re-raked almost a ton and a half of soil into the patch, it was time to plan exactly where we wanted our seeds to go.
List of vegetables:
Something we knew we needed to be cautious about was where we planted each of the vegetables we have to grow. It’s important to give the root vegetables ample room beneath the soil to grow comfortably, and ensure that the climbing vegetables such as tomatoes and chilli peppers have room to flourish upwards.
Aside from vegetables, we’re also planning to grow an array of herbs.
List of herbs:
Though some of the above herbs can grow beautifully with the direct sow method (i.e planted outside immediately), we didn’t want to take the risk of something going wrong, or a sudden frost to destroy all of our hard work. Herbs tend to be a little more delicate than vegetables during the sprouting phase. With this in mind, we decided to begin the germination process indoors (along with the tomatoes and chilli peppers which also prefer to start indoors and then transition to outdoors after a week or two).
This means they’ll be a little stronger when they sprout, and it also means it’ll be easier to thin the plants. Doing this allows us to pick the healthiest plants from the saplings, and then re-pot them outside when ready.
Once all of the veggies and herbs were sown it was just a matter of watering generously and leaving them be!
Though it was just the first step, we immediately fell in love with our New Acre patch and can’t wait to see what’s in store for us over the coming weeks and months.
Thanks for reading and be sure to check back regularly to see how the plants are coming along.
Are you growing your own vegetables? Do you have any tips, questions or queries to share? Either way we’d love to hear from you! Just leave us a comment below and one of the team will get back to you ASAP.