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Designing a Sustainable Vegetable Garden: Top Tips

Food waste is a big issue in Ireland and around the world. It’s believed that over one million tonnes of food gets wasted here each year, which needless to say, is not sustainable. To mitigate this problem, the first place to start would be in your own garden; i.e. growing your own vegetables. By doing this, you can reduce your food waste, cut down on plastic packaging and get out of harmful supermarket supply chains – all without even leaving your garden.

Many people wrongly assume that growing your own vegetables has to mean lots of days spent getting mucky and drenched out in the rain. It’s understandable, of course: some parts of Ireland get over 50 inches of rainfall each year, and nobody wants to spend their weekends getting soaked. One way around this is to opt for vegetables which don’t require much maintenance.

As The Irish Independent notes, vegetables like carrots, shallots and spinach are great starter ideas. By sticking with these choices, you’re more likely to persist with the idea of the vegetable garden overall – which is ideal. If you want to go for vegetables which are a little more unique, though, why not consider unusual plant choices like tomatillos? These distinct, lime-flavoured vegetables require only a basic fence or pole to grow around, so they’re very simple.

One thing you will have on your side is the climate here. The high rains in Ireland can make it even easier to sustain your new veg patch, as it means you won’t have to water them quite as often. If you have a high end water feature in your garden, though, remember to position the vegetable area away from this to prevent over-watering.

Vegetable gardens may, on the face of it, sound boring. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and there are plenty of unique design tips you can employ to make your patch stand out. You could experiment with shape, for example: why not consider planting your tomatoes in a heart shape for a cute effect? Or if you want to really go to town, you could build something with bricks and mortar around your veg plants. Constructing a bridge over your vegetables is an unusual but striking choice, and it also offers a way for any climbing plants to get the height they need – so it’s practical, too.

If you’ve decided to grow your own vegetables, congratulations! It’s a great way to do your bit towards keeping the environment sustainable, and it’s also a wise move from a cash-saving, waste-avoiding point of view too. By following these tips for simplicity and garden defence, your vegetable growing journey doesn’t have to be a tough one.

By Cassie Steele

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