It’s decided! With the arrival of spring you start growing your own vegetable garden. Goal: taste your first tomatoes, peppers, courgettes and other radishes. To guide you in this learning, we interviewed the Youtuber Antoine Le Potagiste, who just published with Albin Michel A (super) productive vegetable garden, a compilation of his tips for harvesting 2,000 euros of organic vegetables per year. A whole program!
What cultures do you recommend beginners starting out?
The radishes! It’s a cheering culture. Within a month you can already see the effects of your work. Germs appear in four days! We are currently approaching the ideal season to start. Otherwise you can try the peas. And you can see the difference between the taste of peas from the supermarket and those from your vegetable garden. You can also plant small clumps of lettuce. Make your own potatoes! Plant those with sprouts two to three inches. They are placed between four and six inches deep, with the bud pointing upwards. We can hope to harvest a kilo for a seeded potato! In general, it is better to start with about ten vegetables and add one every year.
Do you recommend planting a vegetable garden from seedlings or sowing your own seeds?
Planting is easier because some of the work has already been done. It all depends on the size of the vegetable garden. For a small area, it is not worth preparing your own plants. This requires you to equip yourself with equipment. At this time of year we don’t get enough light to feed the plants. So we have to supplement to optimize cultivation. It can be expensive… The plants are also interesting for summer crops such as peppers, tomatoes or even cucumbers. On the other hand, there is something very fascinating about making your own plants, starting with a tomato seed and watching the plant grow…
What budget do you need to plant your first vegetable garden?
Assuming you already have the basic equipment, which is a garden hose and flat rake, you don’t need much. It is necessary to use a digging fork, as well as the famous set of three tools, including the small shovel, the claw and the pruning hook, useful for planting. Also bring a pair of pruning shears… and don’t forget your hat for work under the sun this summer! If you’re growing tomatoes, you’ll need spiral canes. Count one to two euros per tutor. I’ll let you do the math when you plant a dozen tomato plants…
A successful vegetable garden also takes time. What schedule must be planned to achieve results?
You don’t have much to do in the winter. Between March and May, all crops should be planted in the garden. In general, the Easter holidays are all about these amenities. When summer comes, your job is to water, care for the crops and harvest.
What is the ideal substrate to consider a vegetable garden as a way to replace our fruit and vegetable purchases?
Professional gardeners produce ten kilos per square meter. If you’re an individual, you can hope to make five if you do it right and the weather isn’t catastrophic. Moreover, it takes an hour of work for a square meter of vegetable garden over a whole year.
Does planting a vegetable garden on a balcony change the situation?
In this case it will be more of a hobby. In this configuration, it is interesting to bet on vegetables that are expensive in the store, such as organic cherry tomatoes or peppers that can be grown in planters. On the other hand, the balcony must be sufficiently exposed to the sun. However, pay attention to the weight of the crops, so that there is no overload. In addition, the pot culture can have a restrictive effect because it requires a lot of supervision. The soil tends to dry out quickly. Regular and sufficient watering is therefore necessary. If you water too much, the water will tend to flow under the pot and take away all the nutrients from the soil. And if there is not enough water, the plant is thirsty… Better to put in an IV to avoid this kind of situation.
As for watering, you never really know how much to pour. How do you know if enough water has been added?
Remember that it is always easier to add water than to remove. When you pour too much water on a soil, there is no more oxygen and the roots can hardly breathe. They are suffocated. Your soil should have a moist texture without being soggy. When you squeeze it, the water should not drip. Conversely, you have to be generous enough so that the earth does not look like sand.
It is also necessary to warn beginners about the appearance of snails at one time or another. What should they do not to get discouraged?
The method that works best is the vegetable garden on bare ground. You clear your terrain well and in a relatively broad way. Work must be done every year to expose the snail eggs and prevent them from getting a place to hide. Snails look for hiding places during the day to come out at night. There are natural solutions that consist of creating false shelters, for example with egg cartons. And if you feel like it, you can go out in the evening to pick them up… If you repeat the outings two or three nights in a row, you shouldn’t have any more problems. Otherwise, the last method is the anti-snail, based on iron phosphate. It is also effective against slugs.
What other potential pitfalls can we encounter?
Each vegetable has its own list of minor pests. Growing leeks and carrots often presents a problem with flies. The insect net is the best method. It is relatively expensive equipment. In my vegetable garden I have therefore accepted that my carrots are attacked by flies and therefore that they are ugly. Lettuce can be attacked by bugs, such as beetle larvae, that nibble at the roots. To avoid this kind of situation, it is best to scrape off the first ten centimeters of soil before planting.
good idiotseyes to start!
(ETX Daily Up)