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Growing your own fruit and vegetables is good for your wallet, good for your health and good for the planet. It can also be incredibly rewarding – you’ll appreciate the taste much more knowing that it’s your home-grown produce. For those that are eager to start farming their own fruit and vegetables, here are four ways in which you can get started.
Create a vegetable patch
The most common way to grow fruit and veg is to create a vegetable patch. This involves digging up an area of earth in your garden and mulching the soil so that it’s weed free. Raised beds are an alternative option that can reduce the effect of waterlogging and frost, however building raised beds takes more work.
Once your patch is ready, you can sow your seeds. Most plants are seasonal, so make sure you sow them at the right time.
The amount of maintenance needed is likely to depend on the type of produce you’re growing – plants like carrots and potatoes are fairly hardy and won’t need much upkeep, whilst broccoli and eggplant need a lot of TLC. Weed control and pest control are two tasks that every vegetable patch will require, so make sure to keep on top of these tasks.
Build a greenhouse
A greenhouse can allow you to grow vegetables outside without having to worry about damage from wind, frost or rain. You may even be able to extend seasons and grow fruit and vegetables in summer or winter that you wouldn’t usually be able to grow in these seasons.
The downside is that unlike a vegetable patch you do have to constantly water your plants manually, plus you’ll want to keep your greenhouse clean. All in all, don’t see it as a zero-maintenance approach.
You can shop for greenhouses at sites like Greenhouse Stores. You’ll find greenhouses in all shapes and sizes at all different costs.
Grow edible plants indoors
If you don’t have a garden, it is still possible to grow certain edible plants indoors. Tomatoes, peppers, watercress, carrots and oranges are just some plants that can be grown in pots next to a window. These are great placed in a kitchen window, allowing you to easily incorporate them into food
It’s also possible to use hydroponics to grow plants. This involves using an artificial light to simulate the sun and could allow you more flexibility as to where in your home you grow your plants. Companies like AeroGarden sell these hydroponic kits.
Rent allotment space
Another solution if you don’t have a garden – or if you don’t think your garden is adequate – is to rent allotment space. Many urban areas will have a local allotment in which you can rent a small patch and grow the plants of your choice. Allotments fees are generally small, but they are something you need to budget in (if you were hoping to save money by growing your own produce, an allotment may not be the best route). It’s also possible to rent out other people’s gardens as allotment space using sites like Spare Ground.
So what are you waiting for? Get growing!
This is a collaborative post.