With inflation on the rise, anything we can do to save a few pounds will help. Growing your own veg may not save you hundreds of pounds, but it can be immensely satisfying and is great for mind, body, soul – and wallet. You don’t have to be Lord of the Manor to grow your own veg; with a little bit of imagination you can produce a surprising amount with limited space. Here are some top tips from our gardening experts.
When we think of veg patches, we tend to think of ground area, which automatically makes growing vegetables impossible for people with smaller gardens. But by switching your thought process from horizontal surfaces to all surfaces, you will open up a wealth of opportunity. Climbing vegetables such as beans and peas need relatively little ground space and will flourish with a wall, trellis or fence to climb up.
Plants don’t have to be grown on the ground; hanging baskets are great for growing tomatoes, strawberries and salad leaves. Window boxes are brilliant for herbs and lettuce and offer the convenience and unrivalled satisfaction of picking your food straight from pot to pan.
Pot it up
By using tiers in your garden, you can really make the most of even the most limited space. Different sized pots can be planted with potatoes, radishes, chard, peppers, aubergines or courgettes. The added benefit of pots is that, come winter, you can move them inside if you want to. If you are feeling very ambitious, you can use old pallets to provide tiered planting areas, allowing you to plant several different species in a space that would usually only fit a couple of plants on the ground.
Go for looks as well as taste
Of course, ultimately you want to produce vegetables and fruit that you can use in your kitchen. However, if you have limited space, it is a very good idea to consider aesthetics, too. Try to choose plants that have lovely flowers on them to attract wildlife as well as make your garden look pretty. Fragrant plants will add to the ambience, too. So if you are torn between a few of your favourite veg, try to choose the one that looks and smells best while it is growing.
It's all about the vines
Tomato vines, grape vines, bean vines are all wonderful ways of adding colour and coverage to otherwise boring vertical surfaces while getting a great crop yield. They also have the added advantage of offering additional privacy if you live in a terrace or block of flats. You haven’t lived until you have experienced a garden nook with a cucumber vine ceiling!
If you are looking for inspiration for making your outdoor space as effective as possible, follow Trust A Trader on Facebook or Twitter. To get a head start on your project, check out our online directory of local, trusted traders to find a gardener near you.