Vegetable gardening and growing your own food has become very popular with all sorts of different people. They have seen how easy, cheap and fun it is to grow at least a few vegetables even if they don’t have a large garden.
Here are ten good reasons why you should start vegetable gardening and growing your own right now.
- Health. Eating a wide range of fresh vegetables adds fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to your diet. Natural plant phytochemicals found in fresh veg helps the body fight disease.
- Physical exercise. Vegetable gardening is wonderful for toning and tightening flabby muscles. It provides really beneficial all-round exercise for the body. And the food you produce as a result is low in calories. Who needs a gym when you’ve got a kitchen garden?
- Saving money. If you grow seasonal crops that are expensive to buy at the supermarket, such as asparagus, artichokes, chicory, salads and soft fruit, you can certainly save yourself some money.
- Taste. The freshest vegetables always seem to taste the best. And if you’re serious about food then fresh means not coming from a plastic bag full of gas to prolong it’s shelf life. Nor does it mean pre-prepared veg that has lost most of its flavour or has dried up.
- Convenience. What can be more handy or convenient than having a larder of fresh produce ready for you to collect when you want it right outside your back door.
- Life style. Vegetable gardening in your own garden at home or on an allotment is something that the whole family can do together at weekends or on summer evenings. What better way to get the kids involved than to let them grow some radish or lettuce from seed.
- Environment. Growing your own food helps the environment, particularly if you grow food organically. It helps cut down food miles and the use of fossil fuels. If you recycle waste into compost it reduces the amount of rubbish that goes into landfill.
- Local produce. Fresh local produce is currently the big buzz. And the food you can grow when you start vegetable gardening doesn’t come more local or fresh. You can also grow speciality foods, such as Thai basil or lemon mint, that you might not be able to source locally.
- Seasonality. Sometimes we forget that food is usually best when it’s in season. Instead, we’ve got used to eating certain vegetables and fruits all year round. But what can be better than picking your own tomatoes straight from the vine or gathering sun-ripened strawberries fresh from the plant, or popping peas from the pod? Supermarkets just cannot compete.
- Satisfaction. There is something immensely satisfying about growing your own. You feel that all the preparation, planning, tending, nurturing and hoping things turn out okay are more than worth the effort when you harvest your first lettuce or broad beans of the season and prepare them for the table.
Before you start vegetable gardening think about what you want from your kitchen garden
These are ten good reasons why you should start vegetable gardening right now. You may be able to think of a few more. However, you need to decide what you want to get out of your kitchen garden before you get started. Even if it’s only a few pots on your balcony or tubs on the patio. See some here
After all both your time and your garden space are valuable and you can’t take a ‘leave it all to nature’ approach to vegetable gardening. Digging a hole and bunging a few plants in won’t do. It’s much more hands-on than that. Veg growing means an on-going and regular commitment and some attention to detail. But you don’t need to become a slave to your veg plot. Get some key points right at the beginning and you only need spend time and effort on the things that count most to produce real results.
When you first start vegetable gardening you might find you get a bit carried away. If you take on more than you can manage,the result can be poor vegetable crops, wasted time, frustration and disappointment . So my top tip for starting vegetable gardening is that it’s far better to limit what you grow and grow it very well, than to try to grow a lot of different stuff and fail.