Grow Your Own Fruit & Veg for a Great Sense of Achievement - Squire's Garden Centres

Grow Your Own Fruit & Veg for a Great Sense of Achievement

Gardening can give us a tangible sense of pride and achievement, and growing your own fruit and vegetables can give even more. It’s a deeply rewarding experience to know you have grown something from seed, cared for it, and enjoyed after harvesting. It’s a wholly unique sense of pride and achievement in a league of its own. The freshness of home-grown food shouldn’t be discounted either, as there’s nothing quite like going from harvest to plate in mere minutes or a few hours, or scoffed freshly picked! Combined together, you get the benefits of fresh food within your body, and a great feeling of pride from accomplishing it, both greatly enhancing overall wellbeing. But how?

Your Efforts Rewarded

There’s significant effort involved in growing your own food in the garden, from preparing the soil and planting seeds, to watering, weeding, and protecting plants from pests. When this effort results in a bountiful tasty harvest, the sense of accomplishment and elation is huge! It’s a tangible reward for the hard work and care invested, making the fruits (and vegetables) of your labour all the more satisfying to enjoy.

Lifelong Learning and Mastery

Every day is a school day when it comes to gardening. There’s always something new to learn. This continual learning process feeds your self-esteem and sense of self that we know and understand something to a good degree. Each season also presents new challenges and learning opportunities, whether it’s understanding plant needs, trying out your own compost, experimenting with crop rotations, winter protection, or tackling pest control. Overcoming these challenges not only increases your gardening know-how but also provides a sense of mastery and competence that contributes to your overall sense of achievement. This in turn also improves your mood, as you feel pride from the accomplishment. It’s a win-win!

Achievement Helps our Mental Health

In general, working towards and achieving things helps us to feel pride and fulfilment. When we are striving to achieve something, it gives us purpose, develops persistence, and the subsequent feeling of accomplishment makes you feel rewarded, builds confidence and positivity. The “can do” mindset. That can easily transfer to other aspects of your life.

Prepare Your Soil for Growing Success

Now, back to growing. If you’ve never grown anything before, chances are your garden soil will probably not be so great for growing plants that need a lot of good nutrients, yet. That means it’s going to take a bit of effort – but not too much – to make sure it’s ready for your fruit and veg. Doing this will pay dividends and set you up in the best way to achieve success in your home growing efforts.

So, how do you improve your soil condition? Generally, it involves adding some rich, organic material, and some good old digging and forking. Adding rich, organic material is usually done with an appropriate peat free multi-purpose compost or well-rotted manure (or both together), digging it in and forking to remove any big clumps, which also improves aeration generally, thus making it easier for plant roots to spread, as well as for water and nutrients to reach them. Whatever soil type you have – clay, sandy, silt, chalky – you will have to dig in lots of organic matter to improve it, but with other considerations.

For instance, clay soils are usually very dense and retain lots of water, and even have nutrients locked away inside densely packed clumps of soil. As a result, it might also be an idea to dig in something extra with your organic matter that helps with drainage and aeration, like horticultural grit. Many new build houses often have heavy clay soils.

For sandy soils, the opposite happens, and water drains rapidly away, it also doesn’t hold nutrients well. So, lots of organic matter will have to be added to it to bring it to a point where it starts to look like a loamy soil.

As for silt soils, they hold more water and nutrients than sandy soils, but are prone to being washed away even eroded away by strong winds too. However, lots of plant cover will help to prevent this. Thus, digging in lots of new, rich organic matter is needed here too.

When it comes to chalky soils, these are typically very dry and hard, which is hard for anything to grow in. Lots of organic matter will have to be added like sandy soils, but an additional material that would benefit here would be perlite which is naturally occurring and will help the organic material to retain more moisture.

If you’re growing in a pot or container, a compost specifically designed for this purpose will happily suffice. These have more water retaining material so your container doesn’t dry out quickly. You can also add something like vermiculite that will also help to keep the soil moist as in the height of summer it’s not uncommon to have to water thirsty fruit and vegetables twice or more per day.

Gain Confidence from the Fruits of Your Labour

A little pun, but the wellbeing effects of gardening and growing your own fruit and vegetables at home are not so little, in fact they are quite significant. We all need a win sometimes and watching seeds grow into established plants with produce is a great and rewarding achievement, and definitely something to be proud of. So, why don’t you have a go at growing your own fruit and vegetables this season in the garden, and find out how great the rewards can be for your own wellbeing.


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