Start Your Own Vegetable Garden


With the increasing cost of living many of us are experiencing, growing your own vegetables may sound like a good idea.

Let’s look at some suggestions and ideas for starting to grow your own vegetables.


Enough Space?

You might be worried you do not have enough space.

Don’t worry. You can grow veggies in a small and large space. 

  • You can grow veggies in a container or pot on shelves or balconies. You do not need loads of space to grow vegetables. One of our tutors has a great crop of herbs and chillies growing nicely on her kitchen windowsill.  Another example is growing pumpkins in larger containers.
  • Try vertical gardening. Grow vegetables up the side of walls or fences in containers. This increases the space you have available for growing veggies, without having to take up lots of land.
  • Grow in raised beds. These can be particularly useful if you struggle to bend down to do your gardening.
  • The larger the space you have available, obviously, the more you can grow. If you have a large patch of land or garden, consider how much of the land you want to turn over to growing vegetables. If you are just getting started, perhaps consider a smaller patch at first until you are experienced in growing vegetables.

Start Small?

There is no right answer here, but it is advisable to start small unless you have plenty of time and experience available. If this is the first time you have set up a vegetable garden, take it easy. Start small and see what works. 

What Crops?

Choose crops that are easy to grow at first. For example –

  • Courgettes
  • Herbs
  • Potatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Beans
  • Beetroot
  • Salad crops
  • Spring onions

Also try to choose plants that don’t tend to suffer from many diseases and pests.

Start small and only plant plants that you want to eat and that are easily maintained. What’s the point in growing a lovely crop of tomatoes if you don’t like them? OK, you can give them away to someone else, but if you are trying to reduce your own costs, grow crops that you will use.

Close To Water

Make sure you are close to a source of water.   If you are growing crops indoors, then you can most easily use your tap. But if you are growing crops outside, consider that carrying water for distances can be heavy and cumbersome. Consider –

  • Can you use a hose?
  • What about a water butt?
  • Is there an outdoor tap nearby?
  • Can I find ways to irrigate the soil easily?

Find your Right Spot

As well as considering how close you are to a water source, also consider whether the spot you want to grow in is suitable.

  • Is it in the shade?
  • Is it too exposed to the elements?
  • Is it too close to a tree?

It is important to bear this in mind whether you grow indoors and outdoors. Even in the house, a plant may be exposed to too much sunlight, so bear this in mind.

Start A Compost Heap

Start a compost heap that is close to the plants you are growing. Again, you don’t want to carry heavy items unnecessarily.

Start collecting suitable household food waste and putting it in your compost. For example –

  • Fruit skins
  • Vegetable peel

Don’t put meat, processed or cooked food into your compost bin.


If you are growing in pots, you need to consider the soil. The secret to growing great vegetables is the soil. See below for help on finding out what soil you are working with !  

Well-fed, healthy soil produces strong veggies, that are more able to withstand attacks from diseases and pests.

They also produce the tastiest veggies.

Different vegetables will require different soil, so do your research and find out the best soil type for the vegetables you want to grow.

If you are growing in the garden or on a patch of land, remove any weeds and stones from your

Design Your Patch

If you are planning to plant veggies on part of your garden or land, then draw up a design for your garden. Think what you are planting where.  You might choose to mix your vegetables randomly, or grow them in rows or sections. 

Seeds and Seedlings

Seeds are usually cheaper than buying seedlings, but also consider –

  • For some plants, growing from seeds is not practical, especially if you live in an area with a short growing season. Some plants tend to be purchased as seedlings to save time, such as tomatoes.
  • Consider how easy the plant is to germinate from seed. See below for more on this.
  • Will the vegetable require special treatment to grow well from seed? For example, some plants will need to be in the fridge for a while before being planted.
  • Do you need to grow in the house and then transfer to your garden?

Consider these points before deciding to grow from seed or seedlings. 

  • When growing from seed, pay attention to what it says on the packet. It will usually tell you –
  • When to sow the seeds
  • Whether they should be started indoors or can be planted straight away
  • Time to maturity

Let’s look at some options now –

Vegetables that Can Be Seeded Straight to the Garden

Good options include –

  • Root vegetables, such as carrots
  • Beans
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Garlic
  • Lettuce
  • Okra
  • Parsnips
  • Peas
  • Pumpkins
  • Radishes

Grow from Bulbs or Roots

  • Garlic and potatoes can also be grown in this way
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Horseradish
  • Onions
  • Rhubarb
  • Sweet potatoes

Grow from Seedlings

You might start these off as seeds in the home, then plant outside. Or purchase as seedlings –

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Basil
  • Artichoke
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Chard
  • Leeks
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes

Get Started

You’ve got your seeds or seedlings, you’ve got the place to plant your veggies, so just get going.

Things don’t always go according to plan. You will sometimes have failures, plants that won’t grow or don’t grow, crops that don’t quite mature. But keep going.  There is nothing more satisfying then growing your own veggies and then enjoying them with your meal!

Gardening is also great for our physical and mental health, so get started.


If you would like to learn more about growing your own veggies, why not have a look at our GARDENING AND HORTICULTURE Online courses and eBooks?

OR if you are more serious in learning more than the basics be sure to look into the following courses to really upgrade your knowledge : 

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