Growing your own vegetables is a great way to provide healthy and hearty meals for the family. It’s good for the environment, makes the most of your garden and means that you always have fresh vegetables to hand to add to your dishes. Many people are put off growing their own veg because they think it’s hard work or that they don’t have the right equipment, but it’s actually easy to get started. Here are five handy tips for growing your own vegetables.
1. Get the whole family involved
By getting the whole family involved in planting garden vegetables, it will seem like much less of a chore and more of a fun family activity. Teaching your children about the importance of healthy eating as well as basic skills will be rewarding and enjoyable and might instil some good habits that will follow them in later life. They say that many hands make light work, and this is one way to make it less labour-intensive for just one individual.
I am a huge advocate for getting kids out in the garden and learning how things grow. Many children don’t know where some fruit and vegetables come from, which is a sad fact to know. Children love to plant seeds and watch their own food grow, plus once picked, you know they are eating the very best fruit and veg possible (and they might even be more inclined to try new ‘green’ foods too!
2. Pick vegetables you know you’ll eat
There’s no point growing vegetables that are on-trend (hello kale) or that you aren’t particularly fond of. Think of the produce that you use most often and look into growing these things instead. Carrots, onions, potatoes and salad leaves are popular choices as they can be easily added into dishes and stored well to stop them going to waste. Choosing vegetables that are easy to grow could help ease you in, letting you add more to your patch as you become more confident.
Start small before becoming adventurous! Especially if space is tight on your plot.
3. Create the right area
Growing vegetables requires an area set aside in your garden that won’t be disturbed by your children and pets. Using railway sleepers is a great way to create a raised or sectioned-off vegetable patch that will make the area look neater, as well as protect it from unwanted visitors. You’ll want to think about how much sunlight your different vegetables will need to help them grow and may want to create a couple of areas that are suitable for different types.
One of the first jobs we had to do when we created our vegetable garden was create clear sections. The bottom of the garden is for the chickens, then there is veg bed space (featuring compost heaps and a greenhouse) then the top of the garden is left for leisure. The kids can play and we can BBQ without tripping over beans, spuds and garden forks!
4. Document your efforts
One of the best ways to keep at something is to document it. Why not start a blog or an Instagram account dedicated to your home-grown vegetables? From pretty, colourful pictures of your produce to recipes made using your own stocks, there are some wonderful ways you can keep up the enthusiasm and inspire others too.
If you’re on Instagram, follow my account below to see what we’ve been up to in the garden.
Just some of our Garden Goodies from this morning. Weve also had a tonne of blackberries, dwarf beans and tomatoes. Nothing tastes as good as summer! #growyourown #food #vegetablepatch #vegetablegardening #allotment #backyardfarming #sweetcorn #potatoes #courgettes #dinner #muddy #backgarden #digging #gardening #blogger #frugal #frugalliving #greenliving
5. Don’t give up
When you first start growing your own vegetables, you might find that you encounter some problems that will make it frustrating or stop you from wanting to carry on. These common vegetable-growing problems are easily solved, and sometimes you’ll need to go through a bit of trial and error to make sure you get it right. There’s plenty of great advice online (and some amazing allotment-fan Facebook pages!) about growing different types of vegetables so don’t be discouraged if you don’t always get the best results.
By growing your own vegetables, you’ll be doing your family and the environment a big favour. Have fun with different varieties and be proud of your results as you cook up some excellent meals knowing you really have made them from scratch with a few bits from the bottom of the garden.
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