Growing your own food is something seen as many today by being difficult. A few years ago I would have agreed with you – but with the current food shortages expected to last until April, people across the UK have reportedly begun to put their gardening gloves on and dig for victory.
But isn’t that difficult?
It doesn’t have to be! In fact, there are many plants which take very little effort to grow.
Why should I bother?
There are several key benefits to growing your own food: you save money (after the initial start up costs of course), the food tastes better (anybody who has grown their own tomatoes will tell you the same), it is good exercise – the more you get stuck in the more benefits your body receives. Also the food hasn’t had to travel so far to reach your plate so the environmental benefits such as cleaner air are obvious.
What equipment do I need to start?
A seed propagator tray, some small/medium flowerpots and some compost.
Other useful but not necessary items include gardening gloves and a trowel – I used a spoon and washed my hands afterwards for the first month or two!
What should I grow?
Everything listed below is easy to grow and ideal for those with little or no gardening experience. If you’re just starting out, I recommend just choosing two or three things. The Royal Horticultural Society website has guides for most kinds of edibles – once you’ve chosen what you’d like to grow this year, check out their grow your own section.
- Vegetables. Potatoes, carrots, beetroots, courgettes, squashes, leeks, onions, tomatoes, chillies, bell peppers.
- Fruit. Strawberries, gooseberries, cape gooseberries.
- Salad. Nasturtiums, rocket, mixed salad leaves, lettuce, radishes, spring onions.
- Herbs. Sage, oregano, chives, mint, fennel, lemon balm, rosemary.
Before you start, think about how much space and time you have as well as what you’re most likely to eat. There is no point in growing something you won’t want to eat! The RHS website has guides on almost every type of edible you could plant – once you’ve written down a list of what you’d most like to growing suggest checking out their website to see if space and time permits. Don’t forget to consider sun and wind!