ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why you should grow your own vegetables

Updated on February 6, 2014
vegetable display
vegetable display | Source

If you are reading this I am assuming you want to know why you should grow vegetables at home, what the advantages are to home grown vegetables and if growing vegetables is something you think you could do, and have the right conditions available to achieve it. Valid questions all round, and all too often I have heard people say blanket statements like 'everything I grow dies' or 'I don't have a garden'. These are not reasons not to grow your own vegetables, at best these are excuses not to try! This article is intended to encourage everyone to have a go at growing their own vegetables at home, even if only on a small scale.

I have been growing my own vegetables since I was very young, probably around 7 or 8 years old. This was not something my family had any interest in doing, and it was therefore something I discovered for myself. It has only been in the last six months or so that I found out from my Mother that my maternal Grandfather, (who died before I was born) had a huge interest in growing vegetables. Perhaps on some genetic level I inherited this love of producing my own food, fresh from the ground and why I now feel a need to pass this on to other people.

Few will deny that home grown fresh vegetables are far tastier than anything you will buy in a supermarket. This is probably because not only have most of the vegetables you buy in supermarkets been travelling for weeks before you see them in the shops, but also because the varieties grown commercially are usually the most prolific producers, the ones which will produce the best shaped crops and not necessarily the ones with the best flavours.

Once you harvest a vegetable it starts to lose its vitamin content immediately and the majority of the vitamin content is gone within the first few hours. By growing vegetables at home you can harvest them and have them on your plate within the hour, so maximising the vitamins retained in the vegetable.

Have you ever bought a cucumber or a carrot from a shop and realised it is actually bendable or 'wobbles' when you gently shake it whilst holding one end? I have loads of times, and I am immediately put off buying these vegetables because I know they are dehydrated and old. If I harvest a cucumber from my garden or my greenhouse, or pull a carrot from my allotment, or from one of my containers, I know all will be crisp, fresh, tasty and definitely not bendy!

a vegetable allotment
a vegetable allotment | Source

Everything I grow dies!

Many people will say the statements I began this article with as their excuses for not growing vegetables at home, so I am going to address these here. Firstly, to say 'everything I grow dies', may be true right now, but this only means you need to learn what basic requirements the vegetable plants have, and then provide them. For example, if your plants keep dying because they wilt, then clearly you are failing to water them enough. It is better to give any plant a good soaking as opposed to giving it insufficient water on a daily basis. Watering is a skill, but one easily learned. Work on the principle one inch of water will sink two inches down into the soil. Simply wetting the surface of the compost of a vegetable grown in a container will have little effect. Certainly the water is unlikely to reach the roots. Water your container vegetables until the water starts to drain out of the bottom of the pot, but make sure the compost or soil never dries out completely in between watering or it is virtually impossible to wet again, will shrink in size, and any water poured on the compost will simply drain around the sides of the dry compost and head straight out the bottom of the pot. If your compost has dried out completely then you will need to carefully submerge the entire pot under water, and keep it there until the air bubbles stop rising. Fortunately vegetables grown in an allotment usually survive without additional watering, especially if you use mulches to conserve moisture.

Another requirement vegetables have is light, so to grow the best vegetables make sure your pots or your allotments are in a location where they will get plenty of sunshine, (at least five hours a day) and are not spending the majority of their day in the shade.

Vegetables also need food, so if they are grown on an allotment make sure the earth is good quality, use mulches whenever possible and add plenty of manure or composted waste during times when the allotment is dormant such as over the winter. It is worth leaving some areas free of manures though, as certain root vegetables like carrots and parsnips need a low nutrient level if they are not to produce forked roots. Rotate this area annually to prevent disease build up in the soil. If the vegetables are grown in containers then only feed the vegetables that need food (essentially anything other than carrots and parsnips). Use either liquid feeds like Miracle Grow or add pelleted feeds periodically (including at planting time), for example Vitax Q4.

potatoes growing in containers
potatoes growing in containers | Source

I don't have a garden!

So you 'don't have a garden'! This doesn't stop you from growing vegetables at home, it just means you have to choose more carefully which vegetables you grow. I have seen plenty of people growing vegetables within their homes, e.g. chili peppers, tomatoes, cress, mung beans, even cucumbers grown across their kitchen ceiling. Even if you don't want to grow the actual vegetables within your home, you can probably place a window box or two outside your property, and sow this with salad leaves, radishes, spring onions, or even miniature finger length carrots. Hanging baskets can be utilised to grow tumbling tomatoes like 'Hundreds and Thousands'. The easiest vegetable to grow at home is probably cress, or mustard and cress combined, mostly because the crop is ready in about seven days and can be grown in a saucer. Mustard and cress is absolutely delicious on a salad, or in an egg mayonnaise sandwich or a cheese sandwich.

Vegetables can also be grown even in a tiny yard, e.g. grow a dustbin or garbage can of potatoes or use an old bucket with holes drilled in to grow yourself some carrots or some salad leaves. The only limit to the containers you use is your imagination and a little bit of common sense as to what you plant in each type of container, i.e. it probably goes without saying a three inch deep pot is not ideal for growing carrots in due to their root length (although you can get very stump rooted varieties of carrot that would cope with this).


If you are still unsure about growing vegetables at home and why you should give it a try, and if you feel you still lack the confidence in your abilities to make a success of this, then you might well find my website helpful, as this specialises in growing vegetables at home. You can check out my website for yourself if you go to the following link 'Grow Vegetables at Home'. You might also be interested in this page on the site 'Why Grow Vegetables at Home?'

Good luck, and I hope you enjoy you first crop of vegetables :)


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Lawson 

      4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks WriterFox, my allotment does produce some great vegetables as it is a clay soil that holds nutrients really well. Only trouble with that is that right now it is under water because it doesn't drain all that well. It should be okay by about March/April though and then I can get it ploughed up and start planting for the summer again :)

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 

      4 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      I agree that homegrown vegetables do taste the best. Your picture of the allotment garden looks like the perfect place to grow vegetables. Enjoyed and voted up.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Lawson 

      4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Patsybell, glad you liked the pictures as they are all of vegetables I grew :)

    • Patsybell profile image

      Patsy Bell Hobson 

      4 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

      Like the photos. Lots of good information.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Lawson 

      4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Nell, personally I can't wait for summer now. The weather here is wet and miserable right now with so much flooding, just need some sun and drier weather again.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      4 years ago from England

      Hi misty, like you I have been growing mine for years when I was at home, then of course I moved into a maisonette with a balcony and yes I can still grow some, but I tend to go for flowers now. this was great! and its lovely to see summery things at this time of year! lol! voted up and shared, nell


    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)