Growing your own vegetables is an enjoyable hobby with lots of benefits;
- It is incredibly rewarding to see vegetables grow thanks to your care.
- It will encourage you to eat a healthier diet.
- Home grown veg is fresher so it tastes better and has more nutrients.
- Gardening is a great low impact form of exercise. It will burn calories and hep you stay supple.
- It can also be a great way to save money on your shopping bill each week.
- You are less likely to waste food because you can pick only what you need.
- Home grown food is usually much more environmentally friendly than shop bought. Less fuel is used in transportation and packaging is not needed!
What to Grow
There are many different vegetables that you could grow in your garden, but for beginners you may want to begin with produce that is slightly easier to grow.. Easy to grow vegetables include courgette, runner beans, tomatoes and potatoes. However make sure the majority of the vegetables you select are ones that you regularly eat.
It is important to have some plants that will grow quickly to keep your motivation up. This is particularly true if you are growing with kids, as they will want to quickly see results (growing with kids is a fantastic way to encourage them to eat well and also develops other important life skills). Lettuce, herbs and radishes all germinate very quickly so you can see almost daily progress. Carrots are also pretty fast. They can be grown in containers and there are some wonderful colored varieties. You can also pull a few when they are ting as a bit of fun to keep your little gardeners interest while the plants mature.
So, what do you need to get started? You will need to pick a plot of land in your backyard that gets plenty of sunlight. If you have thin soil or stones, you should grow your veg in raised beds or in a container. The key to success if ensuring that the plot is entirely weed-free before starting, as other wise you will be fighting a constant battle. You could pull weeds (and the roots) as you dig or take the chemical approach.
Another threat that you face is slugs, snails and other pests. You can protect your produce from these pests and also from the wind with a polytunnel – you will want a quality tunnel, so be sure to shop at reputable suppliers like Premier Polytunnels. The use of polytunnels allows you to grow more exotic varieties and get edibles from your garden much earlier in the year. If you want to grow organically it can be difficult for a novice. Identifying bugs and eliminating them takes practice and it can be devastating to put in lots of work only to have your crop wiped out by insects or disease. Tunnels greatly reduce the risk of that happening. They will also stop birds eating your fresh new shoots. You can use them in the early stages of growth and then, once your plants have shooted and started to mature, you can move the tunnel to cover newly planted seeds.
Buy seed packets for the veg that you want to grow and follow the instructions closely. Make sure you check the expiration date of the seed packets. Old seeds will be on offer but they might be too old and they won’t grow. It is also worth creating your own compost to feed the vegetables, which will then feed you!
More and more people are now turning to growing their own vegetables in a bid to save money, plus it can also be extremely rewarding. It encourages you to get outside each day and be physically active, plus it will encourage you to eat a much healthier diet and get your 5 a day.