There is absolutely no argument that home grown vegetables taste better than anything you can buy in the shops, and that includes organic produce and that bought at farmers’ markets and farm shops. It isn’t just about freshness; there is the taste of satisfaction that you get when you have grown something yourself, especially if you have raised it from seed.
You don’t have to be a very experienced gardener to grow vegetables from seed and you certainly don’t need an enormous plot. Lots of people make the mistake of taking on an allotment and getting disheartened with the amount of work they have let themselves in for. If time is tight or you just want to treat yourself occasionally with something home grown, there is nothing wrong with trying vegetable container gardening, on the patio or even along the path, if space is really in short supply.
One of the top tips for anyone raising plants from seed is to read the packet carefully. All seeds in Nicky’s Nursery will give you all the information you need to help you achieve success. With vegetables in particular you can get details on when to sow and whether you can start seeds off indoors or sow them directly where they are to grow; when the vegetables will be ready to harvest; and, perhaps most importantly when trying out vegetable container gardening, how big they will grow. Although it is possible to grow runner beans in a container, supporting them can be tricky as the plants can get heavier than the pot. If you have access to some real terracotta pots of a decent size, that is a real help as they won’t tip over so quickly and they also don’t tend to make the roots as hot as plastic pots will.
You might feel that you don’t want to make too much of an outlay on your vegetable container gardening project, in case you don’t like it (although you will, that is almost a guarantee!) and in that case you can look around the house and garden for containers. One brilliant way to vegetable garden on the cheap is to use supermarket ‘lifetime’ carrier bags, with drainage holes punched in. Be careful to choose the ones which form a square bottom, for stability, but this way you not only have a container for a few pence, but you can also move lighter crops around by lifting by the handles. They are ideal for carrots (for a bit of fun try crème de lite pale yellow carrots or cosmic purple); beetroot, leeks, celery and a host of other vegetables where you might want to sow just a few at a time.
You will soon find you are hooked on vegetable container gardening and next year you can try all sorts of exciting things to perk up your plate – try chillies, herbs, and marrows or branch out into kohlrabi, chicory or the tiniest of baby new potatoes; all much nicer than from the shops and cheaper too.