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Grow your own: 5 common gardening myths debunked

House Beautiful (UK) logo House Beautiful (UK) 19/08/2019 Katie Avis-Riordan
a pile of vegetables on a cutting board: Growing your own food can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Everyone can get involved in producing fresh, tasty, organic produce, even in small gardens. © Photohaiku - Getty Images Growing your own food can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Everyone can get involved in producing fresh, tasty, organic produce, even in small gardens.

Growing your own food can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, and everyone can get involved in producing fresh, tasty, organic produce – even if you're restricted on space.

The Greenhouse People are debunking some common myths and clearing the path for you to get on with growing your own. Here are five of the most common 'grow your own' myths dispelled.

1. 'I don't have space'

Many assume that you need a huge back garden to be able to grow your own fruit and veg. Well, this is just plain wrong. You just need to get creative with your outside space, no matter how small. And always make use of vertical space!

Be selective about what you want to grow based on what you like eating and what doesn't need a large growing area. Also, a good tip is to choose fruit or veg that is expensive to buy in shops so you can save yourself some money.

Food perfect for smaller gardens and balconies

  • Legumes – runner beans, broad beans, French beans and peas
  • Squashes and pumpkins
  • Salad leaves, herbs and tomatoes
a close up of a garden: Runner Beans © FTFTSU - Getty Images Runner Beans

2. 'I'm horticulturally hopeless'

Everyone has to start somewhere so don't worry if you feel like too much of a novice to grow your own. Try easy-to-grow fruits to start, like strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. Water them during dry spells and cut them back to ground level before winter.

For extra help, search the Internet. It's a treasure trove of gardening advice and tips, especially our House Beautiful gardening section here.

3. 'I don't have enough time'

Contrary to popular belief, growing your own can actually save you time. Rather than popping to the shop for that last ingredient, you can simply visit your vegetable patch.

The best produce to grow for the time-challenged among us are squashes, courgettes and cucumbers. They require minimal time and effort.

a pile of fresh fruits and vegetables: Basket full of vegetables in the backyard garden. © Halfpoint - Getty Images Basket full of vegetables in the backyard garden.

4. 'I can't because I rent'

Your landlord probably won't want you making any big changes to the garden without permission, but this doesn't mean growing your own is completely ruled out. Use containers, tubs, and window boxes to form a non-permanent garden.

You could also speak to your landlord about installing a greenhouse or vegetable patch as this could add value to the property.

a bouquet of flowers: Growing organic vegetables on the balcony © vicuschka - Getty Images Growing organic vegetables on the balcony

5. 'My garden doesn't get enough sun'

A shadier garden can be tricky for growing vegetables and fruit. But some varieties do better with less sun than others – try currants, gooseberries, blackberries and sour cherries.

To achieve more light in your outside space, think about cutting back overgrown bushes and moving your containers in the morning and evening to follow the path of the sun.

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