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A guide to growing fruit and vegetables at home

17th August 2020

 

The seasons changing from summer to autumn in a few months doesn’t mean you can’t stop enjoying the splendours of your garden and getting green-fingered to occupy your time. Summer and autumn can be the best times to plan an array of fruit and vegetables and the warm days of summer and the crisp, damp air in autumn are the perfect conditions for many of your favourite vegetations. This guide takes you through the process of growing your own fruit and vegetables, the tips and tricks you will need to follow to make sure they are as prosperous as they can be.

Continue reading to find out how you can transform your garden and start growing your own fresh fruit and vegetables.

Think about the type of fruit and vegetables you want to grow

Choosing what fruit and vegetables to grow can be tricky, so it is always worth doing your research beforehand. There are plenty of factors that could change your choices, including the amount of space you have, the condition of your soil and the amount of time you have to tend to your garden.

Ellen from Ellen Mary Gardening said that it is worth doing your research to work out which fruit and vegetables suit you and your space the best: “For anyone looking to grow fruit and vegetables I always recommend thinking about the time and effort that you can give to growing them. Some need more attention and space such as Brassicas - Sprouts, Cabbages and Cauliflowers - than others but some will grow perfectly well on a windowsill with little care like Chillies and Microgreens. Always be prepared to catch the gardening bug no matter what space and time you have!”

Consider the seasons and think ahead

 

Knowing which plants are perfect for which season can benefit your success when it comes to growing your own crops, some plants love the sun and struggle to grow when the ground is moist, but other plants and vegetables can flourish in the damper climates.

Ellen Mary always recommends planting to suit the seasons, this is simple because most seeds will often come with recommendations for when to plant: “For this time of year, think ahead to the following seasons. Sowing or planting with winter harvests in mind is a great idea to prolong the time you can eat freshly cropped homegrown food. Try planting Christmas potatoes now for a seasonal harvest or Lambs lettuce for fresh winter salads.”

Fruits like apples and plums are at their best in the later months of the year, as well as vegetables like swede and sweet potatoes. Maureen from The Little Garden Blog loves growing strawberries and salad in the summer months:

“Fruit and veg for this time of the year? For me, summer says strawberries - eating a freshly picked, home-grown strawberry has to be one of the most satisfying, and flavoursome, experiences I have ever had. As far as veg go, there’s a whole universe of salad leaves out there just waiting to be sown, grown and eaten. From mixed leaves to lollo rosso to rocket.”

Spring fruit and vegetables

  • Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers

Summer fruit and vegetables

  • Courgettes
  • Melons
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Runner Beans

Autumn fruit and vegetables

  • Rocket
  • Lettuce
  • Turnips
  • Strawberries
  • Apples

Winter fruit and vegetables

  • Parsnips
  • Spring Onion
  • Onion
  • Cabbages
  • Cherries

Consider the space you have

 

If you’re new to gardening and growing vegetables, evaluating your space is one of the first steps. You need to work out how much space you have for your chosen fruit and vegetables and if your choices are going to like the space you have for them. If you have a small area to play with, start small with smaller crops that don’t take up too much space. Runner beans are a great option as they grow up rather than out, saving you a lot of soil space. Onions, tomatoes and lettuces are also great for smaller spaces and will adapt to their surroundings.

John from Allotment Garden comments that the first thing to think about is what will work best in your garden or allotment: “Sadly in the real world it's different. You need to put some work in to get produce for your table. Get to grips with the basic, proven gardening methods first and then you can decide what is the best method for you in your garden. One area new growers often go wrong with is spacing. I've seen people plant cauliflowers close together because they look so lost and lonely when they're small. However, they need room to grow to full size.”

Starting off small is the best way to learn what will work in your space, if you find that you are growing smaller plants successfully, you can then consider planting some larger crops or getting some more beds put into your garden.

It takes time

Like any new hobby, it can take time to get to grips with and the same goes for gardening of any kind, especially growing fruit and vegetables. The first time you plant some seeds, it is going to be a case of trial and error and you may not succeed the first time around, but keep going and you will learn from each of your mistakes

“Most importantly, you won't always succeed. Don't be disheartened by failure but think why things haven't gone as you hoped or expected. Next year you won't make the same mistake. Much of the joy of growing is learning and even after 40 plus years, I'm still discovering new things on the plot

At this time of year, there's more harvesting than sowing in the veg plot but it's well worth sowing some mixed cut and come again salad leaves which will be ready in just a matter of a few weeks.

We grow ours in a tub on the patio – snip and serve,” says John.

Grow what you love to eat

Of course, the whole point of growing fruit and vegetables is to grow things you love to eat. If you are struggling to choose what to grow, choose things you love, because not only will you enjoy growing them, you’ll enjoy eating them too.

Maureen agrees that you should grow things that make you happy and you can enjoy: “Wondering what fruit or veg to grow? My number one tip would be: only grow what you like to eat! It may seem obvious, I know, but why grow parsnips when no-one in the family likes them, just because you feel you ought to?”

Growing fruit and vegetables in your own garden or allotment is a great way to unwind, enjoy the outdoors and stretch important muscles and get exercise especially for those who often find it hard to keep moving and need to use home stair lifts.

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.