Get ready to grow
The best value gardening comes from crops that are expensive to buy in the shops, difficult to find, or simply have more vibrancy and taste when picked fresh.
Often these crops are not grown commercially because they’re time-consuming to harvest, and difficult to transport or keep fresh. Such problems don’t apply at home. It’s a pleasure to nip out in to the garden, pick a few basil leaves or a handful of tiny currant tomatoes, and scatter them straight over your salad.
A whole range of useful herbs, salads, and vegetables grow well in containers, on a patio or balcony, backyard or alongside a path – and they look attractive, too.
A small, neatly edged vegetable bed can be amazingly productive. Why keep looking at that tired flower bed or mowing that odd patch of lawn when you could be harvesting your own vegetables instead?
Planting around the garden
Many herbs will fit into ornamental borders, need very little care and can supply you with a range of aromatic leaves for the kitchen.
Along a fence
Fences and walls used as screens or boundaries can be covered with berried fruits such as cultivated blackberries, loganberries or redcurrants – they’re no more difficult to look after than ornamental climbers and use up very little space.
Seeds or plants?
Seeds are the best value for growing large quantities of closely-spaced crops, such as salads, carrots and beetroot. However, if you only want to grow a few plants, such as tomatoes and peppers, it’s not much more expensive to buy seedlings. The same applies to herbs and fruit that are perennials (that is, they grow year after year).