ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Organic Home Grown Vegetables. The Potager

Updated on November 6, 2013

The Joy of Vegetable growing.

No, the title is not an oxymoron. There is real joy in planting a vegetable plot and then harvesting the produce for the family table or to sell for extra income. The size of the plot doesn't have to be big and with the rise in apartment dwelling even those with limited space can grow lots of vegetables in pots. Nothing beats the taste of freshly dug new potatoes or peas straight off the vine. Many countries have a system of Allotments, plots of land set aside for citizens to rent at nominal fees. This is not complete guide to Vegetable growing but a brief outline to get you started.

Veggie Gardening par Exellence

A Beautiful English Allotment Garden
A Beautiful English Allotment Garden
Fresh Garden Produce
Fresh Garden Produce
Veggie Plots can be beautiful.
Veggie Plots can be beautiful.
Another Productive Garden.
Another Productive Garden.
Even in winter the Garden can be Productive........All Photos courtesy Flickr.
Even in winter the Garden can be Productive........All Photos courtesy Flickr.

Getting Started with Vegetable Growing

Allotments are fun and allow a little home from home in a convivial atmosphere. Most allotments have a shed. Many started up during WWII with the "Dig for victory" campaign. My early memories included visits to my Granddad's allotment where with much giggling we would hide away and he would have a smoke away from my Nan's disapproving looks. Swaps of surplus vegetables, left over seeds, bags of well rotted dung with neighboring plot holders all added to the pleasure of the Allotment way of life.

If you have no plot set aside for vegetables, it may be wise to consider raised beds. This way you can start small and add extra beds as needed. Raised beds are better in many ways as it is easier for elderly or disabled people to attend to their vegetables without bending and can give wheelchair access. Plots should be sited with maximum sunshine. Vegetables need sunshine to grow.Some vegetables like pole beans can be grown up sticks so taking up less room.

Make a list of your or your families favorite vegetables, bearing in mind that some vegetables may need years to become established like asparagus or globe artichokes. Some of these vegetables look good in flower garden too. If you are starting from scratch in bare uncultivated ground, potatoes are usually the first thing to plant as they break up the ground and make it easier to turn over. Select a place for a compost heap where vegetable waste and garden waste may be composted as nutrients will be needed to produce good crops. The importance of composting cannot be over emphasised in good garden practice Not only do they save room in your garbage can but they give free valuable compost for your garden.

The best time of year to start your garden is in the Spring when the growing season for your Zone is due to start. These Zones vary across the country and give you the length of growing season, Consult the Internet to find out when yours begins. Make sure the earth is turned over and raked to a fine tilth. Mark out your rows so that seedlings may be spotted easily and a hoe can be used between the rows. Second hand Gardening tools may be found for sale on Craigslist or often in Thrift shops. I have found that cheap new garden tools are not a great saving as they do not last. My spade, fork and garden trowel are stainless steel and slide easily in the ground I have been using them for over thirty years and they are still as good as new. I treasure them and keep them bright. They were such a great investment.

Buy good quality seed or get a head start by buying plants ready started in little pots but take care when decanting them as the main stem is very vulnerable where it leaves the soil. The lay out of your Potager, the French word of Veggie Plot can be very beautiful especially if you have a section for useful herbs. Hardy herbs can be perreial in most districts and are useful in the kitchen with their fresh flavor. Again I usually grow mine in flower beds near the kitchen. Basil being tender often does well on the kitchen window sill.

The best animal manure to use is well rotted horse manure, cow is not so good and chicken needs to be mixed with a lot of straw and well rotted. A large English garden attached to a Stately home has added a straw bale for male gardeners to pee onto, when saturated the bale is added to the compost heap. This is not only inconvenient for the female gardeners but their Pee is too acid! Most people want an organic garden these days which precludes artificial fertilizer, however a well managed garden with a compost heap should keep up its fertility. Another way is to use green fertilizer, seeds of cress are planted and allowed to grow a little and are then dug into the soil.

With careful planning It is possible to supply your kitchen for large periods of the year with great fresh vegetables There are many inexpensive books to help you get started. It is both fun and healthy. Enjoy!

Organic Gardening


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Thanks L.L. Woodard thanks for the kind comment. Sorry I have been busy in the garden and missed it earlier! Thanks also for the vote up and share. Happy planting!

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma City

      The photos you've provided in this hub provide plenty of motivation to get growing! It's the time of year to be planning that spring garden.

      Voted up and SHARED.

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      I really should look into that as I don't know the answer. Thanks for dropping by CVG.

    • profile image

      container vegetable gardening 

      7 years ago

      Some good tips is here Gypsy. I wonder if the allotment plots work in other countries...

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Hi Dim, lots of people grow vegetables in pots these days. Worth a try! Nice to see you as always. xx

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      8 years ago from Great Britain

      Really loved this. I used to so enjoy growing vegetables when we has a big garden, but that was years ago.

      You make me want to try again even though I don't have much space nowadays.

      Thanks for a great hub.

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Hi Kaie, potatoes freshly dug from the garden are my favorite too. Give it a try. Involve your children if they are young. kids love growing things. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Hi Dimitris, even you could buy a potted tomato and care for it!. empty a wine bottle, methinks you could manage that! fill it with water and stick it in the pot, this will last for quite a while slowly watering the plant, harvest and enjoy. You will find a recipe for green tomato marmalade amongst my hubs if they don't ripen at the end of the season. Have fun, thanks for dropping by. PS you will have to refill the bottle from time to time!

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 

      8 years ago

      My grandmother always had a potato patch in her garden......... well, it was really grandpa's garden; Gran only paid attention to the potatoes; she thought they were FUN! I've always thought it would be fun, but have never planted them, and have admittedly not had a garden for awhile.

      I may try the potatoes in a pot. Can't hurt!

      Thank you,


    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 

      8 years ago from UK

      Hi again Angel Face. I so envy people who can grow their own vegetables, but being a supremely lazy sod, I can never get myself to act on my best intentions :-)

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Absolutely there is a winter garden. Obviously the tender summer vegetables don't survive but things like swedes and parsnips do. You can grow potatoes in pots and tomatoes in very little space. Sunshine is the key to success, if you have a south facing balcony you are home and dry. You will have to arrange a watering system like wine bottles filled with water and stuck in the earth in the pots. It is so hot in Sacramento! Hope you have settled in well. Thanks for dropping by.

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 

      8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      I can imagine that growing the food you eat would not just taste better because of the natural process involved, but also because of the satisfaction you feel when you have success.

      I love this idea, and look forward to growing some vegetables, (my favorite being potato - lucky that's first on the list!) when I have a place to grow them. I may put some planters on my patio though. How much soil does a potato need to grow?

      Is there such a thing as a winter garden?

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Ha ha! that is where barter enters the picture which is so easy on the allotments. How did you end up cooking that precious marrow?

    • 2patricias profile image


      8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Last year Tricia produced a marrow that cost about £5 by the time she'd added up the grow bag, plant and fertiliser.

      Pat bought 15 tomato plants at a church sale and was heartily sick of tomatoes by September.

      This year we are aiming for more economy AND variety.

      Good Hub - thanks.

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Thanks for visiting Micky. Glad you liked it.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Great hub. Great video. Thanks.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)