Are you interested in the idea of growing your own fruit and vegetables? Growing your own fruit and vegetables is not as difficult as you might think and can even be fun!
Why grow your own fruit and veg?
It is a good way for you to be aware of where the food you eat comes from and it can also save you money. Fruit and vegetables can grow both indoors or outdoors – so wherever you live you can enjoy the simple pleasures of Scotland’s nature. In fact, here at the Young Scot office in Edinburgh, we are growing our own indoor garden – we have a selection of herbs and even strawberry and chilli plants!
Take a look at ‘Eating Local, Eating Seasonal’ to find out the best fruit and vegetables to eat at different times of the year. From this you can also find out the best time to seed and harvest.
You can also take a look at Scottish Natural Heritage's Garden for Food for inspiration.
A guide to growing your own fruit & veg
Step 1 - Getting ready
First of all you need to be prepared with the tools for the job!
You will need:
- Watering Can/Hose,
- Containers (Indoor planting)
- Trowel/Shovel (Outdoor planting)
Step 2 - Where to grow
Choose your location!
If your garden is indoors, choose a nice bright spot for your fruit and vegetables – perhaps a sunny windowsill or worktop.
If you are growing your fruit and vegetables outdoors, you need to choose a spot which gets a good amount of sun – ideally 6 or more hours per day.
Step 3 - What to grow
Now choose what you want to grow. It is a good idea to think about what fruit and vegetables you like to eat – there would be no point in growing things you didn’t like the taste of! They will usually come as seeds, bulbs or fully grown plants.
The soil you choose is also important in the growing process and a good multi-purpose compost should work well for most fruit and vegetables. If you are gardening outdoors you may have to prepare your soil before you start, take a look at BBC How to be a Gardener.
If you are creating an indoor garden you will need containers. They come in lots of different sizes and materials but the key is to make sure your container is deep enough for the roots of the fruit and vegetables.
Step 4 - Planting
Now that you have everything you need, it’s time to grow some fruit and vegetables. Always follow the instructions on the seed/bulb packet but in general you should do the following:
- Prepare the soil – if you have an outdoor garden you should even out the soil, in an indoor garden fill your containers with soil/compost but make sure your containers have drainage holes!
- Plant the seeds – tuck them into the soil and cover them over with a bit more soil.
- Water – give them a good amount of water.
Your seeds and bulbs will need a lot of care to start with, especially if you have an indoor garden. Indoor plants ideally like to be watered every day and fertilised once per month. Also, try to make sure the water is draining properly as they tend not to like sitting in water.
Outdoor plants don’t need as much attention but if it is particularly dry outside then you may want to give them some water!
Now let’s eat
The best thing about growing your own fruit and vegetables is getting to eat them. You will have chosen vegetables that you like to eat and there are so many recipes available that you will never be lost for new ideas!