How to grow your own Veg

  Growing your own veg is becoming ever more popular. It is a cheap way to have healthy fresh veg. Growing your own guarantees freshness. You know what you are eating, as well as being great fun. You can grow your own veg if you only have a balcony or small space; there are lots of vegetables suitable for growing in containers. Check out the 10 Best Veg to grow in containers. As long as you have sun, and plenty of watering, you can get good crops from container grown veg. 

Each type of vegetable has different growing requirements and below are links to growing guides on how to grow your own veg; how and when to plant. Each veg described is colour coded to help you pick what suits you to grow. Each of us only has so much time available and to help you choose green wheelbarrow are easy to grow and low maintenance vegetables, amber medium and Red more difficult or time-consuming.


Should I grow vegetables from seed, or mini plants?

A good starting point once you have decided what you would like to grow is to decide whether to buy Mini plants or seeds?

Seeds are cheaper but more time-consuming. Mini plants are easy and convenient, but for some crops such as peas and beans, you may need to buy quite a lot making it expensive. Some vegetables are very easy to grow from seed, such as peas, runner, broad and French beans, courgettes, and rocket.

Some vegetables need a long growing season and if you garden in less than ideal conditions, buying a small plant gives you a head start. Examples would be chilies, large beefsteak style tomatoes, squashes and sweet corn. If you are growing in more exposed parts of the country, small plants are a good starting point.

Most vegetables require a good amount of sun, but there are a few which will tolerate some shade. Dwarf green beans, salad leaves, radishes, spinach, chard and several herbs; coriander, parsley, and chives. 

Top 10 tips growing vegetables and video guide to growing from seed.

Colour coded to help you pick which vegetables to grow

Green wheelbarrow easy to grow veg

Green Wheelbarrow: easy to grow veg

Some Veg are easier to grow and less time-consuming, which is a good place to start. There are a lot of vegetables which are easy to grow such as onionsgarlicpotatoes, lettuce, rocket, the bean family, Kale, runner beansbroad beanspeaschilliescourgettes, strawberries, and herbs.

Click on the links for individual detailed growing guides

amber wheelbarrrow means medium difficulty to grow

Amber Wheelbarrow: medium difficulty to grow veg

These veg are a bit more time consuming to grow, requiring a little more time and attention. They are medium difficulty to grow, such as Carrotsleekscucumbers.

Red wheelbarrow means time consuming to grow

Red Wheelbarrow: difficult/time consuming to grow veg

Most vegetables are easy to grow as the green wheelbarrow shows. In the category of red wheelbarrow I would put tomatoes. They are not necessarily difficult to grow, but they are time consuming to grow and do require some knowledge to get a tasty crop. A guide to How to grow tomatoes.

Does crop rotation matter?

Crop rotation matters.  The long history of gardening wisdom is clear that to keep planting the same veg, in the same bit of garden, will not work in the long run. It makes sense because the same veg will use up the same nutrient from the soil and risk the buildup of the same diseases. To keep growing the same veg will remove the same nutrient and the idea of crop rotation is to prevent this happening, thus keeping the soil in better condition and producing better yields.

Under crop rotation, the crop which is planted is one which replaces the nutrients the last crop depleted. It is not as complicated as it sounds, and if you are intending to grow your own veg for a number of years, you will need a crop rotation plan.

If you are growing in containers, which are emptied each year, cleaned and replenished with fresh compost, this is not a problem. However, if you are growing veg in the same area each year you will need a plan and following this link for more advice and a suitable crop rotation plan. 


Our weather is becoming more extreme and hot summers can be fierce in the veg plot. Check out blog How to Protect Vegetables from Extreme Heat.

Last updated 08.03.2020