Grow your own veggies for beginners
You don’t have to have a large garden, veg beds or plots, or an allotment to grow vegetables.
The best starting point is having a go in containers on your patio or balcony.
If you are a newcomer to veggie growing, we recommend you start this year with a few easy to care for plants near your back door as long as it is sunny and sheltered.
What should I grow my veggies in?
You can use any container to grow vegetables in – make sure it is at least 23-25cm in diameter. Ordinary flower pots are ideal but a more decorative container can also be used if your patio vegetable plants are to be ornamental as well as edible. Drainage holes are required on the bottom of your container, so if you opt for an old watering can to get a certain look be sure it is leaky!
Growbags are a good option and there are also specialist containers available such as strawberry tubs.
What soil or compost should I use?
A good quality compost will contain the right amount of nutrients to get your plants off to a good start.
Multi-purpose compost is the best choice for most containers as it contains the right level of nutrients required.
Growbags are another popular option – ideal for vegetables such as tomatoes, they can be used for most vegetable crops apart from those that need a deep soil such as leeks.
Follow the instructions on the labels of the plants you grow for guidance, but generally speaking water your containers in the mornings and evenings, before and after work is good, when there is a reduced chance of too much liquid being lost in evaporation and before watering, use your finger to check whether your compost is damp or dry. Push your finger into the soil as far as it will go to get a good idea of how wet it is. If it is dry, water well. Make sure the compost is kept damp at all times.
Fast growing crops, such as lettuce, don’t need feeding. Long-term crops, such as beans and tomatoes will need feeding weekly later in the season, once they start producing flowers, with a vegetable or liquid tomato fertiliser high in potash. We stock this organic one from Old Mucker too.
Most vegetables like a sunny position for best results.