Friday, 9 October 2015

Vegetable Gardening - Is It Worth It?

Yes I do confess I asked myself this question earlier in the summer. Returning from a short break I discovered there had been an intruder in the garden – the young mange tout plants had all been eaten bar five plants, as had the lettuce and the tops of all my chrysanthemums plus the broad beans were covered in black fly which had then jumped across to the runner beans.
Countless spraying with soapy water didn’t get rid of the blackfly and I only had a few helpings of mange tout from the depleted plants. The cats got a scolding for not detering the rabbits but the consensus of opinion was that this time a deer had got into the garden whilst I was away and had a healthy dinner at my expense.
All that effort, all that nurturing from seed to young plant, hardening off, transplanting, watering etc etc had all been undone within the space of 5 days and I actually said to myself – is this really worth it??
I resorted to buying (yes parted with money) some ladybirds – you can get everything on the internet these days – which met with some derision from certain quarters but I have to say they did the trick and got rid of the invasion of blackfly on the beans – hooray! Now the beans aren’t setting very well so I’m out with the sugared water to attract more pollinators.
The jobs never end when growing your own crops – it is hard work at times so back to my original question – is it worth it??  Yes said my husband – he likes eating the produce you see but not necessarily the work that goes into producing it.   However when we looked back at this seasons successes it didn’t seem so bad – we’ve had rhubarb, raspberries, a few broadbeans and mangetout, courgettes, the potatoes are magnificent, the onions look fine and the baby carrots are delicious. There are plums and apples ripening on the trees and I am sure I will get a few runners. As my old Mum used to say “You can’t win them all”
So I’m not giving up – just revamping the veg plot a bit – as soon as I said “I might like some raised beds” to Mr Woodworker he was out there sawing and drilling making me some fine new raised beds – which at the moment, filled with compost from the overflowing compost heaps are just nurturing baby foxgloves, calendulas and wallflowers.

So YES I say to you all – growing fruit and veg is worth it on so many fronts – good exercise, good for the soul and good for the body – eating often mis-shapen veggies grown by yourself, harvested and on the table ready to eat in less than an hour. Don’t give up, however many problems you incur from pests large or small: there’s nothing like serving up a meal and saying “I grew that” and I tell you what, you don’t get that taste from the supermarket.
If you want to try growing something yourself, why not take advantage of 20% discount on the Growing Kits from Plant-n-Grow and get ready for next year or buy as a lovely gift for your keen gardener.   Plus keep your eye on our website for some very special seeds coming soon.

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