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Banishing gaps and gluts in the vegetable garden

Gaps and gluts in the vegetable patch are a nuisance to say the least and usually occur in spring. Although flowers bloom from March to May, garden-fresh vegetables tend to fade a little, at least until June – hence the saying ‘hungry gap’.

As a number of summer vegetables can be harvested as late as July  including potatoes, lettuce, carrots, spring onions and young turnips, the task for any gardener is to plant their planting so that their gardens are in bloom for as long as possible.

Plan in advance

In order to avoid gaps and gluts it is important to plan the crops you grow in advance. This includes buying crops that will harvest in March and May.

Another tip involves recording what you have planted. A detailed strategy will make next year’s crop planning a lot easier.

Take herb cuttings

If your herbs are looking a little on the bare side, June is a good time to begin restoring your herb garden. Buying new plants to supersede older specimens is a great way to fill in the gaps and keep everything looking green.

Ward off pests

Gaps often appear due to common garden pests eating their way through shrubs so sidestep damage to flowers and vegetables by banishing the common culprits.

Chemical slug and snail treatments are readily available from most garden centres but; they can be harmful to your pets. If you have a dog or cat that often roams the garden, try using natural methods instead.

These techniques include watering your garden early in the morning to avoid dampness at night. Slug and snails also tend to hide behind pots and damp wood so removing these, if you can, is recommended. To protect your plants from larger pests or next-doors cat then chicken wire is a great solution.

Sowing little and often

 There are a number of crops available that tend to grow over quicker than others; these include heading lettuce, spinach and French beans. Because of their speedy growth, these crops are better sown little and often. This allows gardeners to use up the first crops before the next lot has grown in; a technique which also saves on waste.

In order to keep the vegetable patch in full bloom, a number of gardeners will plant their next batch of lettuces as soon as soon as the seedlings of the preceding sowings have materialised.

Take advice

Many keen gardeners have their own tips for avoiding gaps and gluts in the vegetable garden. Those that wish to share these tips can do so through the McCarthy & Stone Facebook Application so it may be worth taking a look online to see how they could help.

McCarthy & Stone are the largest builder of private accommodation for retired individuals and their Assisted Living Apartments can provide support and assistance when needed as well as providing residents with access to key communal feature such as a resident garden where they can put their new tricks to good use.



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