It’s official: being green-fingered is back. The trend of harvesting your own delicious produce has skyrocketed in recent years thanks to the power of social media.
Whether you have a large garden, allotment or a small balcony to work with, growing your own vegetables can provide a host of benefits that will make a positive impact on your health and well-being.
Our guide will walk you through some of the many positives around growing your own vegetables and set you up with some info on easy-to-grow plants for those looking to grow.
Let’s dive into the world of fruit and vegetable gardening.
Benefits of growing vegetables
There are a whole host of benefits to growing your own produce. From the cost to the health benefits, we’ll do a quick overview here of how you can expect to profit from vegetable gardening.
From earth to table
Growing your own veggies means you know every fruit and vegetable is the freshest it can be. Everything you grow yourself can be harvested and prepared in a matter of minutes, which can’t be beaten.
Growing your vegetables means you’re harvesting when they’re at their best, rather than being picked before they’re ready and travelling great distances to arrive at a supermarket. Chances are because you’re picking the vegetables at the right time, they’ll taste better too.
Control over ingredients
The growing process is entirely under your control when you decide to grow your own fruit and veg. With shop-bought produce, pesticides and other nasty chemicals are used for growing and preserving the vegetables – less than ideal.
Growing yourself means you can choose the soil, fertiliser and any growth helpers. You can also choose your own seeds if you’re conscious about going for non-GMO fruit and veggie varieties.
The cost of fresh fruit and veg at the supermarket can quickly add up. While growing your own has the initial upfront cost of the pots and soil, maintaining the garden is a low-cost activity.
As you get more experienced and confident with growing fruits and vegetables you can move on to plants that are expensive to buy in the shops, like shiitake mushrooms, and grow your own personal supply for years to come.
If you grow a lot of vegetables then you could can or preserve some of the produce for the winter months, making the cost-effectiveness of gardening go even further.
Did you know that supermarkets are growing fewer varieties of fruits and vegetables each year? Growing your own produce is an excellent way to combat this. You can hand-pick which fruit, veggies and even grains you’d like to grow (within reason, depending on which climate you live in).
Opting for heirloom types or exotic varieties of plants you’ve not heard of before comes with the added satisfaction of trying something new. Not to mention, the insects and wildlife will be happier for the diversity too.
Connect with nature
Hands down, the most impressive and fun thing about growing your own vegetables is the connection you feel with nature. There’s nothing like tending to your plants on a warm summer’s day, or watching a crop grow from seed all the way through to harvest.
Gardening is a form of exercise, a great way to improve mental health and a learning experience all rolled into one. Why not give it a go?
Easy vegetables to grow at home
As you now know, the benefits of growing your own produce at home are numerous.
If you’re sold on starting your own vegetable patch, here are some recommended fruits and vegetables to start your growing journey. We’ve selected types that anyone can start with and start harvesting the rewards quickly.
These thirsty plants are fast-growing and bountiful to harvest throughout the summer. For best results, make sure your courgettes are grown in pots and are in a sunny spot.
Don’t leave harvesting a courgette for too long, otherwise they become marrows. Opt for yellow varieties for something different to try on your plate!
Everyone knows and loves spring onions, which are great plants for budding gardeners as they grow quickly. They work best in moist, well-drained soil and should be planted in early spring for a long summer and autumn harvest.
The beauty of growing a spring onion is you can harvest it at different stages: pull them up early for smaller bulbs, or wait a few weeks for some giant bulbs that are fun to cook with.
These long, green pods are a great source of fibre, protein, and vitamins – and they’re easy to grow. Suitable for garden beds, trellises or pots, French beans love the sun and will give you produce throughout the summer if planted in the spring.
Top tip: once the crop has finished, leave the roots in to break down and release nitrogen back into the soil for next year’s crop to benefit from.
These tasty tubers are great for those looking to dip their toe into growing veggies for the first time. A versatile and low-maintenance plant, potatoes can be grown pretty much anywhere but benefit from raised beds or pots to avoid soil-based pests.
Plant them in the early spring in pots with good drainage, then harvest in the late summer and early autumn for bountiful potatoes to enjoy.
Strawberries are a popular fruit that are well-suited for growing in most gardens as long as they have ample access to the sun. There are hundreds of different varieties for you to choose from, so don’t be afraid to experiment with growing new-to-you plants for added diversity.
Strawberries are typically harvested from June to October. They should be watered regularly to keep the soil moist and mulched with a layer of organic matter to conserve moisture and suppress weeds. Once established, they’re a low-maintenance option for beginners.
If you are looking to invest in a garden that is beautiful and functional, why not hire an expert to design a space for growing your own fresh and nutritious vegetables? Our garden designers London are on hand to advise on your new outdoor space.