There are many factors which tell us we should be growing our own vegetables. Cost is a biggie, as is the increasing worry over what pesticides are being used and the carbon footprint left by the vehicles used to transport them from all over the world.
At one time only those with allotments grew their own veg, then more and more people turned over a section of their garden to a vegetable plot and now even those who live in apartments or only have a back yard can grow their own.
How to do it
If the latter two caught your eye in the last paragraph then good, as the message is slowly getting across that you need only the minimal amount of space to grow your own produce. We are referring to container gardening which does exactly what it says on the tin; you grow your own veg in containers as opposed to the ground.
This is catching on in a big way and even those who have previously spent hours sowing, tending and lifting veg are turning to containers as they are not only easier there is little or no wastage.
Any kind of container will work to grow veg in as long as it has holes in the bottom for the excess water to drain away. The larger the better is recommended for those giving container growing a go for the first time, as they hold more soil and thus more moisture so it means less watering.
There are very few vegetables that won’t grow in containers, certainly all the usual suspects will thrive in this environment and if you start now you can have a bumper harvest ready come Autumn.
This time of year is the perfect time to sow your seeds for the Autumn harvest as the heat gives them a head start and brings them on quicker. As its also nearing the end of the summer there is every chance you will be able to pick up pots, soil, compost etc at reduced prices as this is effectively the end of the UK gardening season and everywhere is getting rid of their gardening stuff to make way for those items pertaining to the big event that rolls around every December (we won’t say the C word…).
What to grow
When it comes to what you want to plant then some veg does grow better in containers than others in the cooler weather, which will kick in in September when the temperatures gradually drop until you harvest your containers around the end of October/beginning of November.
These include carrots, bok choy, peas and lettuce. You can successfully grow potatoes in containers as well, so remember this come April when the tubers come on sale.
Onions and beets are also very popular in container gardening but the onions will need an awful lot of watering, particularly in the hotter months, so check out which variety you want to grow and find the one that needs the least maintenance.
If you have previously considered container growing but weren’t sure how to go about it then now is the ideal time to put those ideas into practice. It isn’t rocket science, you don’t need emerald coloured thumbs but come the Autumn (i.e. now) when you are tucking into your own veg it will sure be worth it.