Do you grow your own?

Blackberries and raspberries from the garden

One of our money saving schemes is to grow as much fruit and veg as we can. We are constrained by the amount of time it takes to sow and plant out, prepare the soil, feed, water, weed and ultimately harvest. We both work full time and, although we love getting outside, we don’t want to spend all our precious spare time working in the garden. I also need time to preserve some of the harvest so I freeze what I can as it is, make soup for the freezer too and some preserves when I have enough fruit.

We are lucky if course to have a big enough garden to do this. I know that some people have to wait months or years to get a council allotment.

This year has been a mixed bag. Two crops we can usually rely on have been rubbish! The courgettes have failed to thrive and the runner beans got eaten by slugs. The tomatoes looked fantastic but are showing slight signs of possible blight. The carrots either failed to become seedlings or were eaten immediately, I’m not sure. We do have a few growing in an old recycling bin though 😀. The spinach also bolted as I put it in a sunny spot then we didn’t water it enough and the raspberries were smothered in bindweed so we have just a few. 

However, we have fabulous beetroot, leeks, cucumbers, redcurrants, broad beans, some chard coming on and sprouts which have so far avoided being decimated by cabbage whites, as happened last year. The neighbour’s blackberries tip over to our side and they are already ripening. Not our best year, but not a complete failure!

I think it is just about worth the effort. Do you grow your own? Do you think it saves you money?

4 thoughts on “Do you grow your own?

  1. I am sure there are people much more qualified to comment on this. However we have started this year and I do feel it will save money and as that is our aim to, frankly, it has to! As a real novice things have not all gone as planned this year but I am learning ready for next year and so very excited about doing better next time! Along with the money I love nothing better than the satisfaction of having our own scrammbled eggs on our home mae bread or nibbling on sugar snap peas and cucumber that I grew – FROM A SEED!

  2. Yes we grow our own. The things that you’ve described as a bit of a disaster for you have excelled for us! Runner beans, courgettes and carrots are producing loads. Spring onions are doing well as are cabbages. Radishes all got eaten by us, same for strawberries. Toms are at the flowering stage – but we have no greenhouse yet. Last year everything failed miserably – apart from a glut of courgettes! It saves us money and keeps the freezer full.

  3. I recently learned that courgettes (we call them zucchini in the U.S.) need calcium to flourish, which would explain why ours never have, and that tomatoes also benefit from additional calcium in the soil. We have a very small yard, but do well growing mini-tomatoes and herbs in large pots, and we have a quince hedge that’s getting established and a dwarf fig tree that does well.

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