Growing your own fruit and vegetables can be highly rewarding. It can help you live an organic lifestyle and save you costs on groceries. For those eager to get involved, here are some useful home-growing pointers to get you heading in the right direction.
Where to grow
Whether you have a large garden or live in a poky upper level flat, there are options for growing your own fruit and vegetables.
Starting a vegetable patch in one’s garden is the most common method. For this, you should find a spot that receives suitable light and has suitable soil. You can grow in most types of earth, although stony soil may limit what you can grow (not long-rooted vegetables like carrots and potatoes). Clay meanwhile is great for summer vegetables, although becomes waterlogged in winter.
A greenhouse is ideal for growing fruit and vegetables in unpredictable climates. These glass structures protect against the rain and wind, as well stopping your produce getting too hot or cold. They can extend seasons and are ideal for plants such as tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. Greenhouses come in all shapes and sizes as you can see here https://www.swgreenhouses.co.uk/. Whether you have a small or large outside space, you should be able to find a greenhouse to suit your needs.
Those that don’t have any garden space meanwhile still have options. Many fruit and vegetables can be grown in a pot on a windowsill including carrots, cherry tomatoes, chillies, lemons, oranges and most herbs. You can even rent an allotment space, allowing you to grow any fruit or vegetable that you desire.
Tackling weeds and pests
Weeds and pests are the bane of home-growing. Before growing your own vegetable patch, the soil needs to be thoroughly excavated of weeds first. Commercial weed-killers will contain chemicals and could damage your produce, but there are some DIY organic methods such as using boiling water and vinegar.
Main pests include slugs and snails. You should be equally careful with pesticides and may be better off setting up a beer trap or using salt spray – you can find more methods here http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/organic-pesticides/ . When growing from the earth, leave space between each vegetable. Slugs and snails will then have to travel over areas of open soil, where they’re more likely to get plucked up by a bird or other predator.
Suiting the season
Different fruit and vegetables grow better in different seasons. Onions and garlic are winter growers and should be planted in autumn. Beans, beats and peppers meanwhile are summer growers, best planted in spring.
If you aren’t going down the greenhouse route, you’ll need to look after your plants in the winter by keeping on top of leaf debris and weeds. To stop fruit and vegetables getting killed off by rain, you may need to temporarily move them to pots with drainage systems or a raised bed. In the summer, keeping fruit and vegetables hydrated may be a priority, something which you can do with a sprinkler system or watering manually on a regular basis. Try not to overwater though – more plant owners kill off their greenery through overwatering than underwatering.