26 April 2023
Growing Your Own Fruit and Veg on a Budget
Growing your own vegetables has always been a fun and thrifty way to eat well for less, but if you aren’t careful the costs can seriously start mounting up! As the weather begins to improve, you may be looking to the garden to grow your own food, so here are some tips to do so!
Grow Plants from Seed Where you Can!
It’s almost always cheaper to start your plants from seed where you can as opposed to buying larger plants. Ensure that when you go shopping for seeds, you read the packets before buying and sowing so that you know and have the right conditions, such as the correct temperature, the right space and amount of light in your garden or allotment.
If you’re a complete beginner, then keep it simple and go for plants that are easy to grow. Most companies will even list plants as such and tell you about their trouble-free plants!
It’s also okay to start small with just a few different types of veggies, herbs, and fruit. There is no point in buying thirty packets of seeds if you don’t have the space or time to do so!
Also be aware that you won’t be able to buy all plants from seeds – some can take years to provide fruit (such as many trees), some even require two types of the same plant to produce fruit. Do your research first and see how much time and effort you’re willing to put in.
Know Your Growing Area (And Its Limits)
This is incredibly important, as not understanding your growing area can lead to a very quick disaster. Consider the following before even going plant shopping!
- The amount of space you have (many plants need more room than you think)
- How much natural light there is in different areas (full sun all day, full sun part of the day, full shade, dappled shade)
- The soil type (heavy with clay, light and sandy, or lots of stones and rocks)
- Local constraints
Local constraints can include things like temperatures that will or won’t allow you to grow certain foods, ensuring you wait for the last frost to pass to keep young plants safe from it and other issues such as pests and disease.
Don’t Expect to become Self-Sufficient!
It isn’t realistic to become fully self-sufficient, especially if you’re a first-time grower. In order to become self-sufficient, you’d need a significant amount of land, a very good skillset, and a lot of time to devote to it.
However, you can certainly grow enough to supplement your diet, and make it the beginning of making food from scratch too, which is always cheaper than ready meals and takeaway. How much better would a homemade pasta sauce taste be using tomatoes and basil straight from the garden? It will also be healthier too as you’ll know where all of your ingredients have come from.
Try having a think about your favourite fruits and vegetables and the ones you eat on a regular basis, if you have the right conditions for them, grow away! Some people like to grow filling foods such as potatoes, swedes and carrots, and others like to grow more expensive ingredients such as herbs, strawberries, and rainbow chard.
We know people who grow cherries, apples, tomatoes, and an array of herbs in their garden to spice up their dishes – why not give it a go yourself? As some of them also have beautiful blossoms come spring too, so they’ll also brighten up your garden in the process!