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LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Whether you’re growing fruit and veg for the first time or looking to expand a kitchen garden there are a few things to bear in mind before you so much as lift a spade. Plan the position and elements of your plot and you’ll enjoy bumper harvests for years to come, says Benedict Vanheems
Plan the location of your new plot with due care and attention and you can expect truly luscious, thriving plants
A bright, sunny spot will guarantee strong, healthy growth

Starting a completely new kitchen garden is incredibly exciting. And if you’re looking to branch out (quite literally!) by expanding an existing plot, well, more power to your elbow! Breaking ground on any new growing area stirs a cocktail of heady expectation and the delicious prospect of even more home-grown goodness. More people should grow more food; the world would be a happier, healthier place, plus you rarely meet a grumpy gardener!

Planning your next land grab in the depths of winter is a wise move. Leave it till spring and you’ll be rushed and prone to costly mistakes. Time spent in careful consideration, weighing up the pros and cons of the options open to you, will bear fruit in bigger yields of better quality produce. So what, exactly, should you be weighing up at this early stage? In a nutshell, the three s’s of garden planning: sun, soil and shelter.

SITE IN SUN

You’ve heard it many times before I’m sure: locate your kitchen garden in as sunny a position as you can. A site in full sun – generally considered as an area receiving at least six hours of direct sunshine a day – will give you faster growth and, as a result, more harvests. This is all very well in theory, but in practice most of us simply won’t have the luxury of choice. So if your options are limited, a little lateral thinking is required. Track the sun’s progress over a sunny day to get an idea of how long different areas of the garden get to bask in the sun. Remember that shadows will be much longer at this time of year, so areas currently on the edge of the shadows are likely to enjoy at least a few hours of sunshine during the growing season.

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About Kitchen Garden Magazine

In this month's issue of Kitchen garden... - Win Garden Essentials Tools,Seeds & Sundries worth over £1947 - Going nuts home-grown & Healthy - Free cherry tomatoes + 10 Packets of seeds - Season's eatings + The tastiest sprouts about! + A feast of festive flavours - Christmas gift ideas - Results from our Massive Marrow & Passionate plotter competition - Feed winter birds top tips! - Fruit trees for small spaces