Some Myths about Growing you own veg. Its easy if you try.

Growing your own is Easy peasy!!

A radio show recently did a piece on growing your own and living "The Good Life" on radio and while listening to it I realized that when you are involved in growing yourself, you forget that some people have absolutely no idea how to do it or where to start. Some of the texts the host was getting was for example,  one person  thought the Growing season only lasted for 3 weeks or so. And those of us that think we know a bit,know that it lasts all year if you plan a wee bit and don't sow all at once etc.
So with all that in mind it has sparked me to finally share some of my acquired knowledge and maybe put to rest some fears that
novices may have. In layman's terms, because we have all had to learn. You don't need the Latin names to succeed. ( Oohh the horticulturists are now berating me)

  • Get a good book!!!! Buy one that is small and to the point and gives the info you need. You don't need to know if the authors granny gave them tips or that the dog loves digging. No you are on a mission. You are now starting "The Good Life". One I always go back to is "The Garden Expert" range. Simple and easy to follow.
  • Start small with a container or a raised bed or even dig up a patch in your own garden and make sure you have a decent soil. A good rule of thumb is if you have loads of worms in your ground then you are off to a good start.
    If you buy some soil/compost make sure it has a good mix i.e. if its all compost it will dry out very quickly but if its a good mix of soil as well then it will hold moisture but also allow drainage.
  • The growing season can last as short or as long as you want it depending on what you sow. For example winter cropping veg will be sown early in the year but will take a while to get to harvest.In the meantime you can be growing salads and herbs and other short time to harvest veg that will keep coming all year if you sow little and often. Alot of herbs once planted may last a few years e.g. rosemary.
  • Your growing plants do need to be looked after but not obsessively. Pick an odd weed now and again to give the seedling the best chance of survival. Prick out as well(no not a bad word). This means you have to be cruel to be kind i.e. if loads of seedling push up from the soil and are all bunched together, don't think "oh I will loads". Pick out the weaker plants and give the required space to the ones left. Sometimes you can replant in a new area and in the case of some seedlings as well it can set them back 2 weeks which is good if you have too much sown. Water and feed as required. Do not over water. Some plants need more than others so refer to that Veg bible you have bought.
  • If you are reading this and you have done a wee bit of gardening I do not need to tell you of the brilliant De-stressing qualities growing your own gives you. I myself have had a rough few years  but if you come home wound up and worrying about things grab a rake or the hose and do a bit of watering and before you know it you have forgotten what the problem was. This has been proven in loads of different research papers on mental illness.
  • On the whole "saving money" debate, I'm 50/50 on that one. The reason is when you see carrots for 29 cent in Aldi its hard to argue the cost, but the ones you grow yourself will definitely taste better. On the other hand if you grow a crop that has to be flown half way around the world to be on your table then its a no-brainer that growing mange-tout or sugar snap peas is the way to go. They are so productive and in fact they hardly ever make it inside my kitchen because the kids eat them from the bush. So sweet and tasty and FRESH. So that is up to you what to grow but I would say after a good few years growing my own, is to grow what you will eat and not what is the trend on the TV.
  • KIDS love growing and planting seeds!! Fact. We had a fussy eater in our house and when she sowed some seeds and it turned into food she ate it.
    Because she saw where it came from. Imagine if we can bring a generation forward that will know even how to grow some salad and herbs.It can be done.
  • I know this is a very vague piece but I hope it may encourage you to grow something. Try some lettuce leaves( cut and come again) or spring onions etc. to get going. Here are some easy veg to start with. I am writing this to help as I am passionate about growing and am not out to rule the world just to enjoy my garden and hopefully you can enjoy yours too.    Sean Gallagher