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Grow your own vegetables, eat fresh, and cut out the middle man

Updated on April 24, 2014

Years ago, our fore fathers and more recently our families and neighbors all grew their own vegetables. They enjoyed the satisfaction of walking outside in the fresh air to pick their vegetables, knowing they had grown it themselves. With the added knowledge, they had sprayed no chemicals over them.

When we buy our vegetables and fruit from the stores today, we really cannot be sure of where and how they were grown. Nor do we know with one hundred percent surety, if any chemicals are in the sprays, or fertilizers being used.

With the advent of properties becoming smaller all the time, it cuts down the area to grow our vegetables and herbs. Do not panic, we can still grow them in small areas, although not as many.

Back Yard Gardens

Whether you have a large or small yard, you can still grow your own vegetables. Start small, and dig up an area about six feet by six feet. Mix in a good all round fertilizer, add some blood and bone, and if available throw in some rotted lawn clippings.

Plant your seeds or seedlings in rows. Read the directions for planting each type of plant. You will need to decide which way the sun comes from. Most plants enjoy full sun but, for the others, plant them in front of taller plants this will give them more protection.

Plant by size; place the largest ones to the back.

Peas & Beans:

Best to grow these on a trellis of sticks, wire netting, or weld mesh. Make sure trellis is supported to hold weight of vegetables growing on them.

You can grow all types of cucumbers this way; it will prevent the cucumbers from rotting as it lays on the soil too, and will be easier to pick.


Always buy healthy young plants, preferably ones without fruit on. Plant after the last of the frosts, and fix to a strong support stick. Pick off the side shoots as it grows to put the goodness back into the plant. Pinch out the top centre when it has several bunches of flowers. This will encourage fruit growth.

Herbs are a great addition

You could plant a few herbs in the front of these veggies, as they are easy to grow.

Patios, around Park homes or on- site vans

Living in a park home or on site van does not mean you cannot grow a few vegetables. It will depend on the rules of each Caravan park. Some have small garden areas, while others allow you to have several planter pots.

Therefore, you can have a small pot with a variety of herbs for cooking. In a larger pot, you could grow tomatoes, or cucumbers, or peas and beans.

To do this you will need:

You need a small trellis, a large pot, newspapers, good potting mix, and if possible grab some rotting lawn clippings. Place the torn newspapers in the base of pot, and then some lawn clippings, potting mix then put trellis in the centre.

Now plant a tomato plant on either side. As it grows, tie it up onto the frame. Be careful when the tomatoes grow to tie more supports. Use the same principle for growing the other vegetables.

You may choose to grow fruit trees using this same idea, simply prune off the tree limbs that grow outwards and keep the others tied onto the trellis. This will make it easier to pick the fruit, as you can see them from both sides of the trellis.

Herbs will also enjoy growing in small pots or on window -sills.

Tips for your gardening

If your Tomatoe fruit skin splits- caused from irregular watering. It is best to water every second day rather than heavy watering to make up for letting them dry out.

Suggestions -you could plant a row of silver beet or spinach, one of lettuces. Then continue with rows of a variety of carrots, radishes, or whatever vegetables or salad plants you prefer and in season. Remember do not buy more plants than the area you have for planting. Overcrowding will not encourage healthy growth.

Encourage the kids to start their own garden

Carrots, radishes and silverbeet

These are the best ones for kids to start with as they are more hardy and radishes grow real quick.


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    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      obscurely Diverse, Gee you are lucky. We are sweltering today and its great. But our summer will soon be disappearing and your horrible winter will arrive over here. I know how you feel. And yes I love going out in the garden and pick fresh vegetables. And know what is on them nothing. I Hate those white caterpillars on my brocoli.

    • Obscurely Diverse profile image

      Obscurely Diverse 

      9 years ago from Tennessee, U.S., Earth, Milky Way via Cosmos

      Being more independent and less dependent on others, is always a good thing. Besides, when you're the one growing the produce and/or raising the livestock, you have total control over your meat & vegetables being organic. I always like the concept of "cutting out the middle man," as you stated in your title. Speaking of this gardening stuff, I'll be glad when it warms up! I'm ready for Spring time and I'm sick & tired of Winter!

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      lady I would go with the gardener idea too... but i do love to get my hands dirty though even though the better half tells me to wear gloves. He has no sense of adventure.

      Thanks for stopping by

    • Lady_E profile image


      9 years ago from London, UK

      A very useful/practical Hub which is handy for me. Growing our own Veg is the Healthiest Option. A lot of people try to eat healthy, go to the shops, buy lots of fruit and veg to eat, not knowing they've been sprayed with chemicals. Even potatoes worry me these days, knowing how they are planted.

      I'd like to grow my own. Actually, I'd like to have my own Gardener who can grow it all for me, Lol. :)

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      10 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      akeejaho, Oh boy, you can really get planting, strawberries, potatoes fruit trees, olive trees as a wind break, Oh I wish I had that much land today. Had over acre as a kid (mum and dad did) and we had everything growing. even had our own cow. It was terrific with the cream off the milk. Thanks for stopping by

    • akeejaho profile image


      10 years ago from Some where in this beautiful world!

      We are big gardeners here, with a good sized plot in the back yard and one almost a quarter acre on the family farm. Whoo hoo! (Now where did I put that watering can?)

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      10 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Jones, glad if it helps you, but just use imagination as well and experiment.

    • jonesj64 profile image


      10 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks for this information. My husband and I are trying to build a garden to save on organic produce. Great tips:)

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      10 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Steve, thanks yes you cannot beat the freshness especially the way they keep thing refridgerated for so long these days.

      Do not fear, that sounds really great. As kids we had an acre of land and grew everything. Trouble today properties are getting smaller so we have to resort to growing everything in pots . But still fresher than the shop. Thanks for stopping by

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      10 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Judy, Thanks sorry cannot help you with that at all. Im in Oz so too far away anyway. Thanks for stopping by

    • Judy Cullins profile image

      Judy Cullins 

      10 years ago from La Mesa, CA

      Loved this reminder of planting a garden. We have Eucalyptus trees so use pots for special lettuces. Anyone know where to get Arugula seeds? We in San Diego, so grow all year and soon getting a greenhouse from Cosco. I love the organic taste most of all.

      Thanks for the good information,

      Judy Cullins,

    • donotfear profile image

      Annette Thomas 

      10 years ago from Northeast Texas

      This is absolutely the way to go. If you live in the country, like we do, it's even better! We've got a very large garden this year with tomatoes, corn, green beans, purple hull peas, butter beans, squash, and watermelons. We are freezing what we don't eat now or share. It gives a great sense of satisfaction to produce what we eat. We've even purchased chickens (which has multiplied greatly since April with new babies) and 6 pigs! It's like Old McDonald's Farm here!!

    • stevemark122000 profile image


      10 years ago from Southern California

      Growing your own vegetables is definetely the best way to go. You can't beat the taste, purity and freshness. Nice Job!

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      10 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Jezzbb. Glad to be able to help you.

    • jezzbb profile image

      Jess Ba-ad 

      10 years ago from Philippines

      Now I know why the skin of my tomato splits. I'll water them regularly next time.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thanks for this Hub. I think everyone should have some sort of garden, from their whole back yard down to the tiniest pot of hanging strawberry or vine tomato. A firned has 1/2 her porch covered in large pots of different vegetables. It's fun, nice to look at the plants, and good eating.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      10 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      bob, I couldnt agree with you more. get rid of the middle man and grow your own. Thanks

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 

      10 years ago from New Brunswick

      Great advice, growing your own gives you more control and does cut out that middle man.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      10 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Sweetie pie Thanks for that. Your family is wise.

    • SweetiePie profile image


      10 years ago from Southern California, USA

      My family still grows vegetables, so I love the ideas you give in this hub.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      10 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      cenny wenny, Bugs are a real pain. garlic is supposed to help I use a garlic spray and it does help. and plant it between the other plants.

      alexadry B...y rabbits are a pain I know but sounds like you stopped there little game and recycled too.

      constant walker. You are so right. I will not buy roses on principle unless they have a perfume. And vegies with nice taste. We have to get the message to the super markets etc.

      Die dre, Glad you started gardening. Good for the body inside and out with eating fresh.

      Thanks everyone for stopping by

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      10 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Beats me, yes need it fresh. And its good exercise too.

      Lisa G , I know what u mean I used to grow brocoli and cabbages but cannot get rid of the white moths which create those little green grubs. And I know we need meat but not in the form of grubs yuk.

    • Die'Dre' profile image


      10 years ago from The Great Pacific Northwest

      I just returned to gardening last year. This year my garden is a little bigger. Thanks for the tips, particularly for tomatoes.

      Happy Gardening.

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 

      10 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      Good stuff, Eileen. I've been buying my fruits & vegies either at the Farmers Market or at an actual farm (Johnston Bros Farms) right outside of town. The difference in flavor alone is worth, but they are actually cheaper, too.

      Most, if not all, vegies and fruits bought at a store have been genetically modified to make them bigger, shinier more colorful. What they seem to have over looked is the flavor. Just like the roses and flowers bought from a shop - no smell!

      I find it distressing that this doesn't bother more people. Flowers without scent and fruits & vegies without flavor. Why bother?

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      10 years ago

      Great hub! Only thing, rabbits just decapitated all my veggies! :( I have crated all the rest with my dog's crates, at least I use the crates they have outgrown for something useful!

    • CennyWenny profile image


      10 years ago from Washington

      Great hub, I totally agree. My husband and I planted our first garden this year, and we're learning a lot! I had to use pesticides though because we have a very bad beetle infestation. That really bummed me out because I wanted an organic garden. I guess it was a silly thought because they spray my town for mosquitos anyway.

    • LisaG profile image


      10 years ago from Caribbean

      Great hub.

      The benefits of growing your own food are tremendous. I especially agree that commercially grown produce are laced with chemicals that can affect our health. Once you grow your own food you know for certain that you are eating healthy.

    • BeatsMe profile image


      10 years ago

      Hi Eileen, good hub. It's also useful for everyone who loves gardening.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      10 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Its great to share the products that you grow. Some of us grow the salads and others vegies and we swap. That way we help each other.

    • Rob Jundt profile image

      Rob Jundt 

      10 years ago from Midwest USA

      Our new neighbors just brought us some fresh romaine from their garden. Now I'm sold. Back when I was a kid, my father grew all sorts of vegetables and it seemed we were always giving a bunch away to friends and neighbors. Next year, the family and I are setting up the backyard produce stand. Since we have 5 gardens in our backyard right now, maintenance should be relatively easy. But the reward will be greater. Thanks for the great hub.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      10 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Just rodney, I love to go out the back door and pick my own salads and veg. You cannot beat it. Thanks for stopping by

    • Just_Rodney profile image

      Rodney Fagan 

      10 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      Eileen, yours is a great hub, in todays economic climate you cannot avoid to think of ways to economise. Not only that if you have your own salad bar growing it will aid to better health.


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