A vegetable garden under cover is a good set up to benefit from ecological crops without spending a huge amount of money. By combining cultivation in a greenhouse and outside, it is possible to reduce expenses related to the purchase of fruit and vegetables. You do not need a huge site for it. Even in small gardens, one can find a way to harvest vegetables several times a year. However, having a greenhouse and garden is still not enough. Soil preparation, sowing, and regular care will be required. We’ll talk about how to set up and run a vegetable garden in this Krosagro blog.
Vegetable garden under cover in a polytunnel
A plot with an area between 80 and 150 m2 is big enough to provide for a family of 4. This space enables cultivation of the right range of products, which guarantees harvests throughout the year. Several different types of vegetables and herbs can be grown on the same patch. Properly combined, they will have a positive impact on each other and repel pests. You can read about coordinated cultivation and how to create such a process.
A place for a vegetable garden
Any site for a polytunnel and cultivation should meet several conditions. It should be largely sunny, rather located on a levelled ground, so that water gets evenly absorbed. Tall trees would be inconvenient and create shade. Make sure the site is located far from the road. If not possible, it is advised to fence the area with a 2m high hedge, which will absorb most of the pollution.
Soil in the vegetable garden
As with any crop, it is worth ensuring that plants develop well from the very beginning. First, determine their soil needs and appropriate structure, then fertilize, enrich with organic matter, then sow or plant. These guidelines can be overlooked, but expect crop to grow slowly and harvest to be less abundant. That’s not the aim. The effort put in at the start will literally bear fruit. To avoid using chemical products, opt for plant manure and organic fertilizers. This is a more ecological solution, as good as artificial means. Maintain a distance between flower beds and adapt plant species and care methods. Planting some of them too close to each other will lead to competition for food and sun.
Garden and greenhouse paths
In order for care duties to be implemented comfortably, it is good to plan convenient paths. This may seem trivial for most readers, but it will turn out to be crucial for gardeners. Any path should be of sufficient width to maneuver wheelbarrows, without worrying about plant damage. Wet ground and puddles also make it difficult to move around the plot. Therefore, it is wise to cover with stones, gravel, planks, pebbles so that soggy grounds do not restrict work. Regardless of the choice, select a frost-resistant and non-slip surface.
Seedling or seeds?
Most frost-resistant plants, as well as those resistant to low temperatures, are sown from seeds. Thermophilic plants that require suitable soil and air temperature for proper growth, develop from seedlings. Their growth process takes usually longer than that of native species. For better harvests, they are first grown in a mini foil tunnel and then transferred to a permanent site. Fortified and hardened, fed with macro and micro elements, they mature in a foil tunnel until they become self-sufficient. This guarantees them a better start, which later translates into a rich and plentiful harvest.