Getting Started With Growing Your Own
3rd May 2021
Growing your own fruit and vegetables may seem a little daunting at first but we can assure you that with a little bit of patience, by following simple steps and nurturing your plants, you will be able to grow any produce you desire no matter what outdoor space you have available to you.
The Right Location
Before you begin to sow seeds or purchase your plants, you need to decide on the best location for your new venture. If you are fortunate enough to have found an allotment then this is ideal for growing a wide range of produce, however, we can guarantee that this can also happen even if you only use pots.
For a garden, raised beds are perfect as they lift your plants away from pathways, from pests and pets plus are great for drainage. The height will also help you if you cannot bend down too low. If you don’t have the space for this, why not try making your own planter that can sit anywhere in the garden or perhaps even on the wall?
If you have a small garden, balcony or terraced garden then make use of hanging baskets, containers, pots and window boxes.
The key points you need to take on board when choosing a location are:
- Plenty of sun
- Good drainage
- Little wind
- Away from potential damage from garden visitors (pets, children etc)
The type of soil you use for growing you own is very important. You will want a nutrient rich soil which will feed and nourish your plants so do ensure that you take a close look at what you garden soil is like before choosing a spot or filling a container/raised bed etc. Your garden centre will have a variety of composts for you to choose from but if you are unsure, you can simply ask them for assistance. If you are already making your own compost, then this will be ideal for your new fruit and veg.
Sowing Your Seeds
If you want to grow your own from seeds rather than buying already established plants, then you will need to tend to these for a while prior to placing them in your garden. Your seeds will require a warm, sunny spot inside with regular watering. The best places for this to happen are on a windowsill inside your house, in a greenhouse, in a warmed shed, a summerhouse that gets plenty of sunlight or you could even turn your garden room into a potting shed.
Once they have outgrown their pots, are starting to look ‘leggy’ (have grown too fast) and the roots are established they will be ready to move to their next home. *You will need to research timings for potting and seasons for growing of your chosen fruit and vegetables.
Growing Your Own
Once you have your seedlings out in the garden, you will want to plan where each will thrive within your chosen spot. The easiest way of doing this is to plant in rows with plenty of spacing between each vegetable in order to give them the appropriate room to grow. Don’t forget to label the rows to keep track of what you have.
For fruit, this can be a little easier especially if you choose strawberries or raspberries which take little care and grow quite quickly. However, something like tomatoes can be a little trickier and can require more time and attention but this will all come with experience.
Our top tips for growing your own are:
- Checking your plants daily
- Laying down sand or eggshells as pest deterrers instead of using pellets or sprays
- Water regularly
- Do not dig the land whilst the growing is happening as this can release nutrients
- Cover your plants if you know there will be a frost
- Remove weeds as and when required
- Use nets to deter birds and butterflies
Reaping The Rewards
The more you experience, the more you will learn about growing your own and soon enough you will know what works well in your garden, what conditions are required and what you enjoy growing. Once you reap those rewards you will quickly be hooked!