Growing your own fruit and veg isn’t a new concept. You’ll probably remember learning about Digging for Victory during the Second World War at school or perhaps your grandparents told you about it. Growing your own veg is a sustainable way of living but it also relieves some of the pressure on your pocket.
It’s a really great way to get healthier, too. If you begin growing some of your own food, you’ll take more pride in it and be more inclined to eat and not waste the product. And you don’t need a huge garden or allotment either. If you’re a city dweller, you can get involved, too, a windowsill, balcony or small patio will suffice and will provide enough room even if it’s only to grow some herbs and edible flowers.
What you can grow will be dictated by the space you have. It’s ok if you don’t have much room because some vegetables are happy to grow in grow bags, pots, or window boxes. If you want to grow salads, you’ll need a depth of at least 15cm and there needs to be enough room so that the plant roots don’t dry out as soon as they see the sun. Veggies love a sheltered sunny spot.
If you’re growing from seed, you’ll need some seed compost which is available in garden centres and start them off in 10cm pots. If you don’t have flowerpots, you can get a little creative here. Rather than throwing out old yoghurt pots or tin cans, use them to sow your seeds. Once your plants have around 4-5 leaves, they’ll be ready to plant outside if you have the room.
Need an extra hand?
If you don’t have time to grow from seed or are a little apprehensive at first, most garden centres and supermarkets start selling seedlings in Spring. So, you’ll just need to nurture them from then on.
Handy tips for growing your own
- You can buy seeds in just about all supermarkets now from as little as 39p in some of the cheaper outlets.
- Harvest some of the seeds from the fruit and veg you eat. You can dry the seeds from tomatoes before you eat the fruit and plant them out and even plant potatoes from the packs you buy from the supermarket.
- Invest in a water butt to store rainwater which you can use to keep your plants hydrated.
- Start your own compost heap – use veg peelings, cardboard, egg cartons etc
- You don’t need to spend lots of money. Use empty fromage frais pots as a propagator just cover the top with clingfilm.
Growing your own food is a sustainable way of life. If you’re a beginner, start off with a few plants and gradually build up next season if you’re feeling more confident. The product can be deeply satisfying, and you may even notice that you’ve saved money, too.