Growing your own vegetables is a fun and rewarding hobby that is coming back into fashion due to the focus on healthy organic eating. Gardening has been proven to be good for both our physical and mental health, and it’s accessible to anyone who has their own outdoor space. Not only that but it could save you money in the long run, too. Organic fruit and vegetables can cost a fair bit more than non-organic alternatives, so growing your own gives you access to a steady supply of high-quality produce.
Not sure where to start? Read on…
Decide Where You’re Going to Grow
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, you’ll need to start by marking out your vegetable plot. If you’re new to growing your own, don’t start too big – you’ll likely become overwhelmed and the quality of your produce will suffer if you can’t keep on top of the unique conditions needed for various crops. Mark out the area of your bed(s) and get to work preparing the soil. Depending on the condition of the soil, you will probably need to add manure and/or compost to ramp up the nutrients.
If you don’t have a garden but do have access to a yard or balcony or other outdoor space, you can create a container vegetable garden. Obviously, you’ll be limited in the size and types of vegetables you grow, but lettuce and salad leaves are great for containers, as you can simply pull off a few leaves when you need them. A herb garden is another good option for a container vegetable garden.
Choose Your Veg
Some vegetables are far easier for novice gardeners to grow than others. If you venture down to any allotment, you’ll see a huge variety of fruit and veg grown, but remember that some of the plot-holders have probably spent years experimenting to create the perfect conditions for more tricky crops. Some of the easier vegetables for beginners include onions and garlic, radishes, spring onions, runner beans and broad beans, potatoes and peas. If you would like to branch out and include fruit in your garden, that does tend to be a little easier to grow than vegetables.
Create a Plan
If you’re growing more than one type of vegetable, you’ll need to draw up a plan. This doesn’t have to be complicated, but it will help you ensure you stay on top of all the tasks that need doing throughout the year. You can create a simple table in Excel or simply draw one out by hand, but your plan should include information for each of your crops. You’ll need to add things like when to sow your seeds, when to plant your veg outside, when they need any specialist tending, and when they should be ready to harvest. You can also add feeding information if relevant. A little clever planning can ensure your crops are all ready for harvesting at different times, meaning you’ll have an ongoing supply of home-grown produce.