Turbines Tree

Beat the Recession – Grow Your Own Fruit & Veg

In a recession there is no end to the ways people will find to save money. One of the most popular in recent times is one of the oldest – growing your own fruit and vegetables.

The rate of inflation on food last year was around 4% and it was reported in January that many families were only getting around half of their recommended five-a-day. On the bright side there has been an increase in the number of people growing their own as they look to beat the price hikes and enjoy food that is as fresh as it can be.

How Much Can I Save on Groceries?

With the exception of the outlay of buying any compost or tools to get you started, there is not a great deal of costs in growing groceries. The price of seeds ranges between £1- £4 and for this you can produce plants a great deal cheaper than you can buy them for in supermarkets. Often, you can produce groceries for a fifth of supermarket price and sometimes even less. For example, a cucumber plant costs in the region of £2 and yields around 30-40 cucumbers. Compare that paying 80 pence for a single cucumber in a supermarket. So the simple answer to the question is a lot! Once you have planted your groceries they are also relatively low maintenance so it will not take up too much of your time.

Everyone can grow their own. It doesn’t matter how big your garden is – you can grow your own way!

Growing in Pots

Even if you only have a small patio or balcony you can grow vegetables. Herbs are popular as they can even be grown indoors but using pots outside you can grow favourites such as potatoes, carrots and mixed salad leaves. To start all you need is a good size pot. The bigger the pot the less you have to water it and the more you can grow. The type of compost will also have quite a big effect on yield so it is best to buy quality. Which? recommends the New Horizon Peat Free Grow Bag.

Vegetable seeds are available at all garden centres for very little. The packet should have instructions on how to get the best growth and when to plant. You can supplement growth with fertilizers with slow releasing fertilizer coming highly recommended. All you need to do then is ensure your plants receive plenty of sunlight and water throughout the season. Watering is crucial when growing in containers as they only have a limited amount of compost to take water from. Check the plants daily to assess their water needs.

Growing Fruit and Vegetables in a Garden

If you have more room you can dig up some of your garden to create your own vegetable plot. This will give a lot more choice to what you can grow and the plants will need watering less often. It is also a good idea to start your own compost heap. That way you can recycle things like old food and grass cuttings that will rot into fertile growing soil; which saves you money on getting rid of your grass cuttings!

For advice on starting your own plot including a seasonal calendar check out: Which? – Growing your own veg

Growing in an Allotment

If you haven’t got the room or just want a bigger space it is always an option to rent an allotment. You can apply for a site simply by contacting your local council about allotments in the area. They will help you apply for a council run plot or put you in touch with owners of private sites in your area.

The cost of an allotment always depends on the size and facilities. The fees usually range between £10-£100 per year and concessions on those prices are available to certain sections of the community. So it is actually quite cheap. Contracts are generally 12 month rolling leases and you are responsible for maintaining the plot and controlling any animals you may keep.

Written by Michael Hallam

Leave a Reply

Download Our Free E-book

Ebook - 50 Energy Efficiency Measures