Why grow vegetables?
We understand that it’s easy to buy vegetables, and that gardening can be a difficult task to master if you’re not naturally green-fingered. Growing vegetables can be an extremely rewarding activity that helps you stock fresh, sustainable produce, achieve a balanced diet, increase your physical activity and spend more time together as a family.
This is why, as part of the Nestlé Healthy Kids Global Programme, we have developed a guide to growing your own vegetables. You can download the guide in full (pdf, 2 Mb), or take a look at these six quick tips to get started.
1. Remember: you can plant your vegetable garden anywhere.
You don’t need masses of outdoor space, or any outdoor space at all, to plant a great vegetable garden. A simple window box is enough for many herbs and vegetables.
Why not explore your local area to see if there are any sites that can be shared by a community? Community gardening is also great for knowledge sharing and for getting to know the people who live around you.
Finding a space to create your garden
2. Make a grow box
All you need to make a grow box is some wood, some nails and a hammer. They are simple to make and it’s easy to fill them with nutrient rich soil.
Just make sure you’re careful when using a hammer and nails.
How to make your grow box
3. Create your own organic fertiliser
Organic fertilisers do not harm the environment, can reduce household waste, and provide plants with essential nutrients for healthy growth.
There are many forms of organic fertiliser including manure, worm humus and compost. Here are some easy ways to produce your own fertiliser.
4. Planting your garden
Growing vegetables is not just a matter of scattering random seeds on the ground.
Choose your plants wisely: spinach, radish, herbs and lettuce have short roots suitable for shallow planting boxes, while plants such as leeks, tomatoes and potatoes are better suited to deep garden beds.
5. Taking care of your garden
This is the part of gardening that many of us fear, but keeping a garden healthy doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Regular watering and weeding is all that’s required to keep your vegetable garden in prime condition.
And if you don’t own a watering can, it’s easy to make one yourself.
6. Dealing with pests
You’ve grown strong, healthy vegetables, but now they need defending. Bees, butterflies and ladybirds can help your garden by pollinating plants, or preying on more harmful insects.
Simply removing sick plants can help stop the spread of disease, while plants such as garlic, onions, and parsley that have strong odours can act as natural deterrents to invading plant-eaters.
Protect your garden