At times like these growing your own vegetables becomes more relevant than ever. There are so many different reasons to do this and each one has its own value. It’s fun, it’s healthy, it keeps you occupied with something that connects you to nature, and it can also make your outdoor space look good.
The good news is that you don’t have to do anything complicated or too fancy to achieve great results. If space is what worries you most, don’t worry, you won’t need a lot of space to have some fresh produce for your cooking, you can do it all in pots.
Start thinking small so that you don’t get overwhelmed with the planning aspect. One thing at a time will make things a lot easier. It also means you can leave some thinking for the next days so that you have a bit more to look forward to every day.
To get started you will need:
- Seeds and propagation containers (pots or seed trays) but you can also buy plugs from your local garden centre or order online
- Good quality compost and/or grow bags with added fertilizer if you don’t add it yourself, well-rotted manure can be a good option
- Watering can
- Gardening tools: compost scoop, dibber, secateurs, gloves
- Stakes for tomato plants for example
- A range of containers of different sizes preferably plastic as they are light and easier to move
Now, for the planning stage; you need to give it some thought so that you can narrow down the innumerable options you have. Start by thinking about which vegetables you would use more in your diet. Then find out which ones are the most expensive. Onions, for example, are quite low in price but courgette, especially organic, are a bit more expensive. So, the best thing is to grow the most expensive option for yourself. However, if you are just doing this to get the best flavour rather than save money, then it doesn’t really matter if they are cheap in the supermarket. When you grow your own potatoes, you will discover how much more delicious they are grown at home.
Another thing to have in mind is that you also want to have fun with this and a great way to do this is by choosing unusual varieties or even heritage varieties of the vegetables you like. There are so many vegetables that used to be grown decades ago which have now been forgotten about because of the more reduced supermarket variety. So, you have a great opportunity to change this for yourself. You could start with yellow courgettes, ‘Gold Rush’ is a particularly tasty variety.
How to grow courgettes:
- You will only need one or two plants for the whole season and they are very easy to grow from seed
- Place a single seed edgeway in a 9cm pot
- When you see two or three true leaves transplant it to a bigger pot
- A 12 inches deep container will be adequate
- The flower that then becomes the vegetable is edible but you don’t want to eat all of them or you want to have any courgettes
- The lower leaves might get mildew so you just need to cut them back as you see the mildew on them.
- The plant will continue to produce new leaves. They are a little bit prickly so use gloves to protect your hands
Growing your own vegetables has such a fantastic impact on your wellbeing, and I’m sure you will start noticing the effects very soon.
- You will be fitter because of the physical activity planting up and carrying out the maintenance of your plants.
- You will have something to look forward to looking at how your vegetable plants are growing.
- You will exercise your brain thinking and implementing your plan and how to push it forward.
- You will make your surroundings more beautiful taking care of your pot planting design.
- Finally, you will also grow vegetables with a higher nutritional value. And all of this in your home, either in your patio or on your windowsill.
Next week I’ll be showing you how to protect your crops from pests without chemicals using companion planting.
See you next week and keep potting!
Your Potty Potter.
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