Growing your own vegetables is not difficult though it does require some thought, time and effort. If you plan well you could be enjoying a really tasty harvest within a few months.
There are many reasons why growing your own vegetables is so rewarding
- It’s amazing to see a little dried up seed send out new life
- The taste of home grown veg is so much nicer than anything you will buy from the supermarkets
- It provides you with structure, routine and something to nurture during these really difficult times
Things to consider….
How much sowing space do you have?
Many vegetable seeds require being sown "under glass". If you don’t have a heated greenhouse then this means a sunny spot in your home. As seedlings grow, they require repotting into larger pots (potting on), so the number of containers will increase and it can feel like the plants are taking over your home! By May you can start acclimatising your plants to the outside world, but you will need to continue to bring them in at night until around June.
How much growing space do you have?
Unless you have a very large garden or an allotment, you are likely to have limited space. A dedicated vegetable plot makes life easier but if this is not possible in the space you have, then you can grow vegetables in your flower borders. Most vegetables also grow well in pots, though this requires much more effort because of the watering involved. Some vegetables like courgettes grow into large plants, whereas peas and runner beans will require supports or netting to scramble up.
Growing vegetables does require time. We all have plenty of that at the moment, but in normal times, don’t overwhelm yourself with more than you can look after.
It can be quite expensive setting yourself up to grow vegetables, but if you think creatively there is a lot you can make yourself or access for free. Look at websites like Pinterest for tips on making your own equipment, or put out a request on social media; many people have seeds they are happy to share and plastic plant pots they would be pleased to part with.
Bits you will need
Seed trays, small pots, large pots, propagator trays (those with a fitted plastic lid)
Plant labels (easy to make your own)
Canes, garden twine, netting
Watering can with a rose (or a hose pipe with a fine spray). A garden sieve is also very useful.
The best advice is to grow vegetables that you like to eat. It’s easy to get carried away when browsing on-line seed catalogues, but stick with what you like to eat, have space to grow and time to look after.