Growing your own produce is an enriching way to immerse yourself in nature and learn more about your local environment.
Whether you’re blessed with a large outdoor space or limited to a small patio balcony, there are plenty of ways to start your fruit and vegetable garden and reap the rewards.
How to start a fruit and veg garden
While it’s tempting to jump straight into starting your own fruit and veg garden, there are a few things to note beforehand. Ensure your produce achieves maximum quality and yield with these tips for fruit and vegetable gardening for beginners.
Choose a sunny spot
Fruits and vegetables thrive in open and sunny spaces. An area in your home or garden that receives a decent amount of year-round sunlight is a good choice.
Grow fruits and vegetables you like
Yes, some fruit and veg are easier to grow than others — but that doesn’t mean you should fill your garden with peppers if you don’t like them! Choosing produce that you and your family enjoy will eliminate food waste and make your meals even more enjoyable.
Prepare the soil
If growing fruits and vegetables in the garden, prepare the soil beforehand. This means removing weeds and stones to improve the structure of the soil. You can also help the soil by digging in compost or leaf mould — your plants will appreciate the extra nutrients.
Don’t sow too early
Gardeners recommend waiting until the soil is ‘warmed up’ before sowing your fruit and vegetable seeds. If planted too early, the seeds may not germinate or produce a lesser crop.
Easiest fruits and vegetables to grow at home
Looking for a hassle-free way to grow fruits and vegetables? Choose low-maintenance and high-reward seeds like these.
Chives are hardy perennial plants that survive in most conditions. They’re a fantastic option for growing fruits and vegetables in small spaces. Chives can be grown from seed, and the pretty flowers are also edible — perfect for sprucing up mealtimes.
Your fruit and vegetable garden is made simple by choosing easy garden favourites like bell peppers. The sweet salad vegetable starts out green and then changes colour as it evolves and sweetens.
Choose an area of your fruit and veg garden with direct sunlight and keep it inside until late spring or early summer for the best results.
Blackberry bushes used to be reserved for large gardens with lots of space. However, these sweet and tasty berries require minimal effort — ideal for growing fruit and veg at home. When selecting your berry type, choose one suited for your climate and location.
Blackberries need a well-draining, slightly acidic soil and plenty of air circulation. Depending on your space, you can choose between a traditional taller cane plant or a container caneberry, which doesn’t require support as it grows.
Beets are bursting with essential vitamins and nutrients and are also one of the easiest fruits and vegetables to grow at home. Since they are cold tolerant, they enjoy a long harvest period and are OK to begin life outdoors.
The robust veg is often recommended in fruit and vegetable gardening for beginners, as they’re rarely troubled by pests or disease and don’t require staking, pruning, or any fussing. Just keep your soil moist for optimum germination.
For fast-growing produce that’s ready in weeks, plant yourself some radishes. The crunchy, peppery vegetable is perfect for small areas and is ready to harvest in around four weeks, meaning you can continue to plant them throughout the growing season.
Radishes also offer a variety of uses and options. Once your plant becomes leggy and starts to flower (meanings it’s done for the season), you can either leave them to seed for next year or pickle the radish pods for a uniquely delicious snack.
Growing fruit and vegetables in small spaces doesn’t need to be complicated. Garlic is a small and versatile vegetable that you can plant in spring or autumn, depending on the weather.
Ideal for cooler climates, garlic needs a good amount of chilly weather to separate into cloves. Abundant harvests also don’t require much expertise — careful planting and regular weeding will see you jazzing up your pasta sauces and roast potatoes in no time.
Easy vegetables and fruits to grow in pots
If you have limited outdoor space, you’ll want to look for tender fruiting crops that appreciate the warmth of small containers.
Tomatoes, aubergines, cucumbers, and courgettes are fantastic small fruit and vegetable garden ideas. Simply find a sunny spot — a patio, kitchen windowsill, or a bright area in your home – and start planting.
For the best results, follow these tips when growing fruit and veg at home in pots.
- Place the pot in its final position before planting – it will be heavy once filled and difficult to move.
- Fruit in pots needs daily watering during dry periods in the growing season. Ensure the compost never dries out.
- Once established and depending on the type, the plant may need to be repotted every two years.