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How to start growing your own ingredients 

03/03/2021

Starting a herb or vegetable garden is a great way to eat tastier and more nutritious produce. But that’s not the only benefit. Daily exercise, stress relief, money saving can all be very rewarding things to consider. No wonder gardening is loved by so many of us! Here is all you need to know about growing your own ingredients.

Woman holding a bunch of freshly picked carrots in a vegetable garden

If you love cooking your own food, growing your own ingredients might just be the perfect new hobby for you. Grow fresh vegetables in your garden and enjoy cooking some delicious recipes after. Homegrown food is better for your health and the environment as well.

You can grow vegetables on your windowsill or in the garden. It is cost-effective to grow your own veggies as well. Did you know a single tomato plant can produce more than a bushel of fruit in one season?

Save money and protect the environment are added benefits of growing your own fruit and vegetables. Here are some tips to make the most of your new allotment or home garden this year.

Fresh parsley in the vegetable garden at The Pig Hotel, New Forest, England

Plan ahead

Before starting anything, it’s always wise to plan and prep in advance. Most fruits and vegetables have a season and therefore a specific time where you should plant them to get the most ripe and amazing products. You could start by getting a calendar, some pen and paper and get ready to plan when to plant what.

Educate yourself

If you don’t know where to start, don’t panic! Research the different herbs and their seeds to pick the right one for your garden. Choose which vegetables and fruits to plant and grow. Learn how the weather in your city and seasons can affect growth and health of your plants.

Beetroots at Garsons PYOP Farm in England

There is a lot of documentation out there on gardening. For example, you could sign up to a gardening forum, read some blog posts or simply buy some gardening books. If you’re more visual, you could also look on YouTube for some DIY tips.

Grow a veggie patch in your garden

If you are fortunate enough to have a garden, build some raised beds to maximise the space available. Or, invest in a polytunnel to protect your plants from the wilderness and maximise their potential. Genius!

Organic leaf garden at Gili Lankanfushi resort in the Maldives

Put your favourite herbs on a windowsill

Windowsill gardens are the perfect addition to any city apartment. Choose a spot in the sunlight and keep your herb garden well-watered, but not to the point the plants are sitting in excess. Avoid choosing an area that gets blasted by dry heat from a vent or fan heater.

Grow a selection of basil, thyme, oregano and much more to keep your cooking fresh and flavoursome.

Plants in vases, urban gardening

Container gardening (on your balcony)

Make use of the space in your small patio or balcony and start container gardening. Upcycle some pasta strainers or reclaimed vintage boxes, drill a few holes in the bottom and plant! Opt for soilless potting mix, and definitely, do not use the soil from any old garden.
Just make sure your containers are a least 6 inches deep, or use one big trough container to put lots of things in. Push a tray underneath the boxes to catch excess water and prevent any stains.

Find your community garden

Embrace your inner green thumb and make some friends at the same time. Growing food in a communal garden is a great way to build relationships with your neighbours. Share gardening tips, grow food together and strengthen the community bond.

Hands holding a bowl of fresh tomatoes in a vegetable garden

If your local community doesn’t have a shared garden, rent an allotment space instead. You can escape the stress of daily life and spend an hour or two pottering about in your allotment. Gardening has fantastic benefits for your physical and mental health too. Win, win!

Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post.

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