Growing my own vegetables and fruits is a dream I want to make come true one day. For real. And I believe I am not alone. Don’t you think it would be amazing to pick fresh vegetables from your own garden when you need some ingredients for a soup? What about having an apple tree in the back of your house producing loads of sweet, juicy apples every year?
Growing your own fruit and vegetables has many benefits and Dobies of Devon have provided some advice on how you can start doing it for yourself, but first of all let’s find out about all those benefits..
Benefits of eating home-grown fruit and vegetables
It improves your health. Growing your own fruit and veg protects you from exposure to chemicals that are used in conventional mass-farming, including fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. If you grow your own, you know exactly what your produce has been treated with, or even better, that they are 100 percent treatment-free. There is also the added perk of getting a higher vitamin and mineral hit from your home-grown produce!
It saves you money! Planting and harvesting your own crops means you make a big saving on your food shopping in the long-run. It really is an investment in yours and your family’s future.
It’s a rewarding hobby. There aren’t many hobbies you can take up (except for baking and cooking) that let you eat the results. As well as giving you a brilliant way to spend your time, you’ll also be rewarded at the end of the process.
Contribute to saving the world. By growing your own, you are reducing your carbon footprint, especially when you consider that no-one will be transporting, packaging or selling your food.
Last but least, it actually tastes better. Commercially-produced food can’t wait until its prime to be picked, so you don’t get it in its prime. By growing your own, you can wait until everything is ripe, plump, and delicious before you tuck in.
How to start growing your own
Plan for the seasons
So where do you start? You may well want to dig straight in, but you’ve got to think about what you’re going to plant and when you’re going to plant it. Almost all vegetables grow in a particular season – for example tomato plants will only give fruit to harvest July-September (after being planted February-April) so it pays to do your research. What you plant will also be determined by how much space you have, which brings us onto the next point…
Pick a spot
If you’re lucky enough to have your own garden, you have the choice of planting your fruit and veg in pots, or directly into the earth. It could be worth beginning growing your vegetables in pots to give them protection against slugs, and then moving them to plots when they get stronger – and grow bigger.
If you don’t have a garden, you can have great success with growing fruit and vegetables in pots. When you’re choosing pots, go for 20-45cms, depending on your space availability and any guidance on the seed packets.
What can I plant?
When you are limited to containers, the rule of thumb is to stick to things you can put in salads; think beetroot, carrots, and spring onions. Compact plants, such as chillis, peppers and salad leaves are a great place to start as take up the least space.
In your garden you have more space to experiment and can broaden your horizons to cover bulkier vegetables, such as garlic, onions, potatoes and parsnips.
When can I plant?
When you plant depends entirely on what you’re planning to grow. Each fruit and vegetable has an ideal time to be planted, and the right time to be harvested. If you plan well, you can plant something every month if you have the space. For further guidance, visit the Dobies advice page on which plants to grow in which months.
Do you have your garden and have you tried growing your own fruit and veg? Let me know about your experience in the comments!
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