The Beginner’s Guide to Growing Your own Vegetables
There’s never been a better time for edible gardening. It saves money, saves the planet and is an opportunity to grow more interesting flavours than you’ll find down supermarket aisles.
Sales of seeds and plants are soaring and planting a vegetable garden means you can slash your food bill while eating healthier.
So, fancy tasting a bit of the Good Life yourself but not sure how to go about it? Here’s everything you need to know to get started.
Will I have enough space?
Yes, it’s perfectly possible to grow vegetables in anything from a window box to a raised bed (a 4ft x 4ft bed is perfect).
Veg plot essentials:
- Trowel or hand fork
- Watering can or hosepipe
- Boots and gardening gloves
Plot your plot
Locate your veg plot in your garden’s sunniest patch for bountiful, disease-resistant crops that yield sweeter onions, carrots and tomatoes. You’ll get the best results from a growing patch which gets at least five hours of sun a day.
Plotting your patch away from other plants helps deter slugs and snails that can slither out of bushes and plants to munch away at your buffet.
Most ordinary garden soil is fine for growing vegetables, but shallow soil (not as deep as your spade’s blade) and soil filled with stones is best avoided. Instead, build raised beds or grow your veg in large pots.
Get ready to grow
Decide whether you’re going to grow from seeds or from plug plants bought from a garden centre. It’s easier and less risky to buy young plants but it’s more fun to experiment with growing seeds inside your home before transferring seedlings outside. Carrots, celeriac and lettuce are good vegetables to grow first.
Only grow what you really like and ignore anything that’s too difficult to grow or too big for your space. If you particularly enjoy the larger vegetables consider dwarf varieties such as dwarf leeks and aubergines.
Manicure your plot
Give your patch a good digging to break up the soil and pull out weeds and their roots as you dig. Dig down to at least one spade depth and remove any stones. If your soil is shallow, you can deepen it by piling compost on top. Digging in a good load of compost will improve the quality of your soil.
Only prepare the ground that you’re going to plant up – weeds will soon cover bare ground and ruin your hard work.
Don’t cramp your plants
Plants hate being crowded and will be weak and small if they haven’t got enough space. Leave about 20cm around a row of salad leaves, 35cm around a row of carrots, 45cm around a row of beans and 75-100cm around each courgette plant. Don’t forget to give your beans something to climb like garden stakes or trellis and plant them next to a house or garden wall.
Bring the outdoors inside
Not everything needs to be planted outside and plants like basil will be much happier growing indoors. It also pays to start off tender seedlings in pots indoors ready to sow direct in the warmer summer months.
Sow this month:
- Cabbages, cauliflower, sprouts and broccoli
- Chillies, peppers and cucumbers
- Courgettes, pumpkins and other squashes
- Leaf vegetables
- French and runner beans
- Peas and sweetcorn
- Root vegetables
- Lettuces and other salad crops
Tend to your patch well and in several weeks you’ll be eating your own freshly picked veg.
Discover more money saving garden hacks to try this spring.
This article was provided by First Utility, the UK’s largest and fastest growing independent energy supplier. We put our energy into saving you money and we pulled together this handy guide to encourage you to grow your own vegetables to grow your bank balance. Discover more ways to save by visiting the First Utility blog for money saving tips.
Latest posts by Sally - Silversurfer's Editor (see all)
- 3 simple ways to organise your medication - October 19, 2018
- Leaping into Costa Rica - October 18, 2018
- Pumpkin and Red Pepper Soup with Crispy Shallots and Pumpkin Seeds - October 18, 2018
- Would you support a delay to the final EU departure? - October 18, 2018
- Should all pensioners over 75 be entitled to a free TV licence? - October 17, 2018
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!