I do not put ads on my blog but do have a counter that shows me how many visits the pages get. (The stats. count is just there so I can see if I am 'talking' to myself, luckily so far this has not happened.) By continuing your visit here you are consenting to the stats. counter tracking cookies. Cookies, that sounds like something nice to eat but not that exciting.

Growing Your Own Fruit and Vegetables

We grow our own fruit and vegetables for our meals for as much of the year as we can. Without a greenhouse we have to buy shop food in the winter months but in the spring, summer and autumn we often have enough to share with family and friends.

Read about growing your fruit and vegetables here on my growing your own food pages.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Growing vegetables from seeds; why you should not buy plug plants for carrots...

Growing vegetables from seed is not difficult. It can be fiddly and take up a bit of time but buying plug plants for things like carrots and other simple vegetables is not really in the spirit of grow your own and a waste of money.

People new to growing vegetables may be taken in by the recent introduction of sales of ready started plants.  However anyone who has had a garden or grown vegetables in the past will have wondered at the wisdom of buying ready started plants instead of buying vegetable seed and growing your vegetables from them.  I first saw these plug vegtable plants in a brochure about a month ago and thought it rather an odd and expensive idea. I can see the point of buying a tray of ready started flowering plants for the border. The reason is sometimes you look at the garden and have a gap that you want to fill quickly a tray of flowering plants has the advantage that you can see the colour of the lobellia or petunias that you will be getting. But vegetables are different to flowers. There are exceptions and  in some cases it may be worth buying a tray of six ready started celery or cabbages but carrots they are having a laugh at someones expense.

So if you have never grown vegetables before and want to go and take a look at the packets of seeds that are on display.
  • Start off with something that is described as easy to grow.
  • Follow the instructions on the back of the packet.
  • You need the right compost to start them off in unless they are a type that can be planted straight into the ground where they will be growing.
  • It is not difficult. Larger seeds are easy to handle and so require less thinning and transplanting if the idea of that is daunting.
  • Get the planting out times right for the area of the country that you live in.
  • If in doubt ask a veggie growing friend or at the local garden centre staff there will be able to guide you.

Be brave have a go at growing your own vegetables from seed it is definetly not rocket science, things want to grow you just have to give them the right conditions. Even if you do not do things perfectly they will probably survive unless they get too colder conditions, or suffer from a lack of watering. But give them good conditons i.e. give them what they need and they will thrive and the harvest you pick will repay you ten fold for your efforts.
You may encounter a few problems as they are growing but buying ready started vegetable plug plants is not going to stop that happening.

I will update this with how to information and explanations of growing terms as the growing season

Are you ready to plant garlic and shallots soon ?

a healthy potato plant in flower

a healthy potato plant in flower
photo of potatoes in flower

home grown carrots.. grown from seed

home grown carrots.. grown from seed
photo of my first bunch of carrots 2009

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful
Home Grown Fruit can be made into delicious compote