Inspiration for my new kitchen garden …

…is the beautifully illustrated book by Dorling Kindersley, Grow all you can eat in 3 square feetYes, I know it is a tall claim to make … but it allows you to start small and grow your confidence in little bite size pieces which is exactly what you need when you are first starting out.

This book gave me the motivation to create a raised bed and although I started out with one that was one that was 2 feet high, I soon realised that a 1 foot high bed would be sufficient. So two 3 square feet beds that were installed side by side were born, and this also gave me more surface area for planting …

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Spinach and chard …

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cucumbers…

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dwarf beans …

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and even a courgette plant, although it did take over my raised bed – next year I must plant courgette in a separate pot as I did spend a lot of time trying to keep its rather large leaves at bay by cutting the more mature ones off!

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If raised beds are not suitable for you then the book gives you lots of ideas for alternative planting in small spaces, for example a variety of recycled containers. I have used old plastic food tubs with a some holes drilled into the bottom to allow excess water to drain out, to plant flowers (zinnias and godetias), tomato plants and sunflowers.

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I must say I am very pleased with these especially as we are now harvesting a lovely bunches of tomatoes and appreciating the beautiful flowers including the uplifting sunflowers! Just one thing to remember …to water the containers very regularly as they can dry out very quickly on warm days.

It covers all the seasons and tastes and I have another raised bed (a longer one this time) to add to the collection this autumn to accomodate green and purple kale, sprouting brocolli and leeks to harvest over the colder months.

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This book also has a particular focus on planting linked to how your garden or outdoor area receives sunlight. It has guided the location of my pots with tomato plants in the sunnier area of my garden where as the spinach and chard have been very happy in the partly shady part – otherwise these plants would have bolted (gone to flower) very quickly  in the hot sunshine.

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Grow all you can eat in 3 square feet  is encouraging, knowledgable and an easy reference item. Lots of pictures on every page giving the information presented a well-rounded context. A reliable mentor for a great start to growing your own greens!!

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