A Great Resource For The Vegetable Gardener
Growing your own veg (vegetables, veggies) can be a very pleasant pastime, which also has many positive benefits such as: healthier food (you know what chemicals, if any, have been used), exercise, working outdoors etc. Or to put it another way “Growing flowers is wonderfully fulfilling. Growing fruit and vegetables is wonderfully filling”. Taken from Alan Titchmarsh.
It is also a great activity for all the family to join in with, as it will help children have a better understanding of how nature works, it also helps them to understand where the food that they eat actually comes from, plus the fact they are much more likely to eat that “yucky stuff” if they have grown it themselves!
There is another benefit that is becoming ever more relevant in today's economic climate, growing vegetables at home can help reduce your grocery bill, while at the same time reducing the total food miles for your family so it is also more environmentally friendly.
There are many people who think that vegetable gardening requires a large amount of space, while this is certainly true if you are looking to provide home grown produce for the whole family every day of the year. It is not true if you are only looking to provide some fresh food to supplement your grocery shopping. As an example 10 or so runner bean plants in a container on the patio will supply more than enough beans for a family of four for a couple of months.
Another example of how growing fruit and veg can be done in a small space would be have two or three cherry tomato plants in a growbag against a South facing wall (North facing if in the Southern Hemisphere). Not only will these provide food to eat but they will also add colour to the garden.
However if you are growing vegetables to provide fresh produce on a daily basis throughout the year, then you will need to set aside part of your garden for this. If your garden is not large enough to allow you to do this apply for an allotment (UK). This means that you will be able to grow a much wider variety and to have the chance of having seasonal vegetables available throughout the year.
Don't think that not having a garden is an excuse not to grow your own vegetables, there are now plenty of varieties that can be grown in pots on a sunny window sill, so even if you live in a block of flats there is something for you to try. (watch the video at the bottom of this page for some ideas)
You do not have to worry about having a surplus as there are many ways to store vegetables for use when they are not in season, e.g. freezing, canning, root store etc. Another way of dealing with a surplus and to get into family and friends good books is to give some away to those not fortunate enough to be able to do this themselves.
There are many varieties of vegetables that can be grown in home gardens all year round. Different vegetables have different harvest time so by growing them in your garden you can ensure a fresh supply of home grown food throughout the year.
Every country in the world has different varieties of vegetable that grow best in their particular climate, indeed in some countries a particular vegetable that grows well in one part, will not grow at all in another as the climate and environment is different. It is here that some of the excitement comes into vegetable gardening, as you can experiment with different varieties of vegetable from different parts of the world to see what you can and can’t grow, it will also need experimentation to create different growing conditions for these unusual varieties for your climate.
In the UK the Victorians were masters of looking a particular plant from another part of the world and the providing a means to create the right growing conditions for that particular plant. These methods include: hotbeds, sunken gardens, walled gardens, raised beds hothouses and cold houses etc.
I am not suggesting that you have to go to these lengths, but trying to give you a glimpse of the variety of possibilities available to you.
Throughout the rest of this site you will find numerous guides on how to grow vegetables of different sorts and varieties.
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