With pressures on family finances and the need to find greener ways of sourcing food, 2009 is set to be the year of the vegetable garden. More and more people are including fruit and vegetables in their gardens as they experience the superior taste and health benefits of home grown food. But growing vegetables has traditionally needed more experience than picking out plants from a garden centre. Many crops need to be grown from seed, spaced correctly and ‘rotated’ in groups to prevent the build-up of pests or loss of soil nutrients.
GrowVeg.com simplifies the planning of a vegetable garden or allotment by making it easy to work out what to plant, where to plant it and when to do so. The website enables the gardener to build a personalised interactive plan of their garden using the unique Garden Planning Tool. Gardeners simply sketch out their growing space then add vegetables to it by clicking and dropping them onto the area. An intuitive colour-coded circle around each plant shows how much space it requires and which crops to keep together. Plants can easily be rearranged by dragging them into another location until the perfect layout is achieved for their own plot.
Once the vegetable patch is planned GrowVeg.com will send email reminders twice a month listing which vegetables need sowing or planting out. A complete list of plants and their spacing can quickly be printed giving a useful summary of what to buy, when to plant and when to harvest. Plenty of information on the likes and dislikes of each vegetable is built in including which plants to sow together and how much water, feeding and maintenance they require.
In addition to the interactive Garden Planning Tool, the site has a number of well written ‘GrowGuide’ articles on everything from keeping your plants pest-free to gardening with children. The ‘GrowBlog’ section contains topical news and comments for budding kitchen gardeners, with new content added regularly.
GrowVeg.com offers a free 30-day trial of the Garden Planning Tool together with all the features of the site so it’s worth logging on and checking it out for yourself