As the author of four books on growing your own, I must admit to being biased towards growing vegetables and fruit. There are four main reasons for growing your own vegetables:
- You can save money growing vegetables
- You can grow without chemicals
- Home grown vegetables taste better
- You get some healthy exercise outdoors while you do it!
Save Money By Growing Your Own Vegetables
Just like any hobby, you can spend a fortune on tools and gadgets to help you grow and you won’t save much money that way. For tools, you can get by with a basic set of hand tools as I covered in Garden Hand Tools but a few other things will help you get more from whatever space you have.
A greenhouse is immensely useful and extends the growing season, allowing you to get started earlier and keep things going longer. Seed trays, propagators, cloches and pots can all add to the cost of setting up. However, buy frugally and recycle things like disposable vending machine cups into pots and your costs fall to pennies.
An average packet of carrot seeds from a good supplier may set you back as little as a pound for 300 seeds. OK, not all of those will germinate and some will be damaged by slugs and bugs but 150 carrots for £1.00 is a pretty good deal by any score. Especially 150 organic carrots.
Grow Vegetables Organically Without Chemicals
We’ve become more aware of the chemicals that go into our food and the possible ill-health effects of this. Who knows what the cocktail of pesticide residues is doing to us long term. There was a time when people didn’t believe cigarettes caused cancer.
When you grow your own you are in control of what goes onto and into your food. You don’t even need to be totally organic, you might think it appropriate to use chemical fertilisers but not pesticides.
Buying organic vegetables and food is often beyond the budget of many people, especially when times are tough. You carrots will cost the same to you whichever way you grow.
Home grown vegetables taste better than anything in the shops
Don’t forget, really fresh, unforced vegetables and fruit has another benefit over shop bought – the taste. There are two reasons. First your home grown is fresher and not forced with excess nitrogen. Second, you can grow varieties that have been developed for their taste rather than shelf life, resistance to transport damage and suitability for mechanical harvesting.
Healthy Eating & Exercise
When you grow your own you do have to do some work. Digging and hoeing are good aerobic exercise and far more fun than running on the spot in some expensive gym.
Because your home grown vegetables will taste better, you’ll eat more of those and less of the unhealthy snacks. If a raw carrot makes you shudder, then try a raw young Early Nantes ( a variety of carrot) – you’ll not believe it’s the same vegetable.
Where to Grow Your Vegetables
One reason people give for not growing is that they have nowhere to grow. You will be amazed by how much you can grow in a very small space though. There is no law that your front garden must be just decorative. You can grow a lot of vegetables in the flower border, leaving the lawn to the kids.
You could get an allotment or even a garden share to provide more space for growing your own.Don’t forget container growing on a patio – not just salads but almost anything can be grown in containers – see the articles list below
Articles on Frugal Growing Your Own Fruit and Vegetables
- Month by Month
- Vegetable & Fruit Growing in January
- Vegetable & Fruit Growing in February
- Vegetable & Fruit Growing in March
- Vegetable & Fruit Growing in April
- Vegetable & Fruit Growing in May
- Vegetable & Fruit Growing in June
- Vegetable & Fruit Growing in July
- Vegetable & Fruit Growing in August
- Vegetable & Fruit Growing in September
- Vegetable & Fruit Growing in October
- Vegetable & Fruit Growing in November
- Vegetable & Fruit Growing in December
- Why Grow Your Own Vegetables & Fruit
- Vegetable Fruit and Herb Growing on the Patio in Containers
- Small Space Vegetable Growing
- Greenhouses – Frugal Buying Guide to a Greenhouse