Vegetable gardening overview
Vegetable gardening enables us to watch our food develop and gives us the ability to walk into our garden and pick some fresh produce bursting with flavour. This is without doubt one of the most satisfying aspects of gardening and for myself gives helps realise a firm link with our position in nature that is increasingly missing in today's ever hectic modern day lifestyle.
The popularity of vegetable gardening has increased dramatically over the last few years due to reasons that are now being given greater coverage by the media. These reasons aren't new but have often been overlooked in the past. The popularity of organic produce has meant that the desire for pesticide free, herbicide free and all round artificial chemical free produce is high. Shop bought organic vegetables tend to be expensive compared to non-organic produce and so home grown vegetables are a much more economical way of eating organically.
Home grown vegetables also have the added benefit of being fresher, they haven't sat on a boat and crossed half the world before they can be eaten. Fresh produce benefits us in many ways, the taste, flavour and texture of home grown vegetables is vastly superior to any shop bought or frozen varieties. The taste of your first crop of freshly shelled peas will taste like no peas you have tasted before!
Because a vegetables nutrient content begins to deteriorate after it has been harvested it means that produce harvested from your vegetable garden will have a greater level of vital vitamins and minerals than equivalent shop bought produce.
When growing vegetables at home you also have the advantage of being able to choose when you want to harvest the crop. Unlike most shop bought produce which is harvested when it has reached its maximum size you can harvest crops from your vegetable garden before they have reached their full growth which often results in a more tender, better flavoured vegetable.
Vegetable gardening has traditionally taken place in vegetable patches or vegetable plots but with todays changing lifestyles and changing garden spaces many people are growing their vegetables in containers, in mini vegetable gardens, in pots and even indoors.
Be sure to experiment with different varieties of each vegetable you try. Different varieties will have different flavours, textures, colours and will also have differing requirements (i.e. light, temperature, soil etc) so you should read the variety characteristics before sowing and planting.