Have you ever thought about the idea to grow your own vegetables?
You may have watched one of the many TV shows featuring these lovely veggie gardens where you just go out and freshly pick what you want.
But then you started doing a bit of research and it all seemed so overwhelming that you gave up the idea even before starting.
We’ve all been there.
But I’m here today to tell you more about the reasons to grow your own vegetables!
In this article I will discuss:
Starting your vegetable garden
Before I get into the reasons why you should grow your own vegetables, let me just discuss why so many vegetable gardens fail shortly after they’ve started.
One of the biggest reasons is that people tend to give up after the first failure.
They clear a piece of land, buy some seeds, stick them in the ground, and water them.
And then when nothing happens, they give up.
But let me tell you, establishing a vegetable garden is probably the hardest part of gardening!
The learning curve with gardening starts at the top instead of finishing there.
That’s because the younger the plant is, the more susceptible it is to factors that causes it harm.
These factors include water requirements, plant depth, insect damage and so on.
Once your vegetable plants are a bit bigger and stronger, things get easier.
Bigger plants have bigger leaves, bigger root systems and stronger stems, making them much less sensitive to all these factors.
So if you’ve tried growing your own vegetables and have failed, you’re not alone.
It happens to almost everyone.
Just do more research, ask for advice and try again!
The top 18 reasons to grow your own vegetables
Without further ado, here are the reasons why you should grow your own vegetables.
To get out of the house and into nature
This may come as a surprise to you, but one of the main advantages of growing a vegetable garden is something totally different from the health benefits of vegetables themselves.
It is, in fact, the advantage of getting out of the house and into nature.
It’s not necessary to go for long walks in the bush to experience all the good nature has to offer.
You can experience most of that right there in your own backyard.
I’m talking of getting fresh air, hearing the birds make noise, observing the bees and butterflies in your garden and getting your hands full of fresh dirt.
I don’t need to convince you of the health benefits of just being outdoors, it’s common knowledge.
Being outdoors reduces the symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety.
So if you go out to work in your veggie garden, remember that you aren’t doing it just for the sake of the vegetables and their benefits, but also for yourself and your sanity.
More nutritional vegetables
You then decide how much fertilizer and what kind of fertilizer along with other plant nutrition supplements you are going to use.
Because you can monitor the vegetables in your own garden more closely than those on a commercial farm, you’ll be able to pick up quicker on plant nutrition deficiencies and treat it sooner.
The end result: much more nutritional vegetables!
Read more about the nutritional advantages of homegrown vegetables here.
The convenience factor
What way is easier than just ducking into your own backyard and getting some vegetables when you’ve run out?
No more taking the car and driving all the way to the nearest shop, unless for some reason you don’t have the required vegetables in your own garden.
Only pick what you want to use
When you grow your own vegetables, you inevitably only pick the ones you need.
This leads to less wastage because you don’t end up buying vegetables in huge numbers only to throw away some of them after they’ve gone bad when not used in time.
Improved freshness of your veggies
Vegetables straight from the garden to the kitchen.
You won’t find fresher than that!
The freshness of vegetables is also very important if you plan on eating them raw.
One of the lesser know advantages when it comes to freshness, is that when certain vegetables are picked at the right time, they are easier to cook compared to being picked too early.
Commercially grown vegetables are sometimes picked a little earlier than normal to allow for the freight and handling times, and because the skins are usually a bit tougher and can withstand the handling better.
That means that when you grown your own vegetables and pick them at the right time, you will spend less time cooking and even save on energy!
Improving your knowledge
There is no better teacher than hands-on experience.
Over time you will learn so much more about each of the different vegetables species as well as of gardening in general.
That will lead to better gardening practices and increased vegetable yields, better pest control and more nutritional vegetables.
Reduce your dependency on shops
Have you ever stood in front of an empty shelf looking for a specific type of vegetable?
Well, you’ll have none of that anymore when you’ve grown your own vegetables unless you are looking for something not in your own garden.
There is also a great deal of satisfaction in being able to provide for yourself.
You will find that when you’ve grown your own vegetables and experienced the advantages for yourself, you will start thinking about growing more of your own food and spices!
More varieties to choose from
Commercially grown vegetables are bred to better withstand things like physical handling and freight.
Therefore the varieties of vegetables on commercial scale farms are picked for those traits.
This leads to less varieties of vegetables in shops.
Tomatoes are a good example.
Did you know that there are more than 10 000 different varieties around the world?!
Only a small percentage of those are grown commercially.
Therefore, when you grow your own vegetables, you’ll be able to choose exactly which varieties you want to grow.
When you grow your own vegetables, you cut out all the middle-men.
This advantage could be partially offset when you take your own labour into account, as well as the fact that larger commercial vegetables farms have the advantage of economy of scale.
Your own labour outdoors, though, has so many additional advantages, like the ones in this article, that you can ignore that.
Furthermore, as discussed before, when you grow your own vegetables, there is less wastage, so more money saved.
Better control over pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals
On most commercial vegetable farms, several different kinds of pesticides and other chemicals are used to control insects, weeds and other diseases.
On that scale it’s unpractical, for example, to use physical barriers to keep pests at bay.
But when you grow your own vegetables, on a smaller scale, you can start doing that.
You have full control over how pests and diseases are prevented and treated.
That gives you the versatility to even cut out the use of all chemicals.
The health benefits are absolutely worth it with having the risk of chemical residues elliminated.
It is more environmentally friendly
If your vegetables are grown in your own backyard, they don’t need to be transported by any vehicles.
There is also no big machinery required to harvest your own vegetables.
That means less pollution.
You don’t need any single-use plastic packaging.
That reduces pollution even further.
If you want, you can grow your own vegetables totally organic, free of any synthetic chemicals and have a fully regenerative garden.
It does not come more environmentally friendly than that!
Easier to convince children to eat homegrown veggies
This one I’ve experienced for myself.
If your children are involved in the garden and can follow the growth of a specific vegetable from seed to final product, and they even have the privilege to pick it themselves and carry it to the kitchen, they are more inclined to eat it.
The sustainability of this strategy is debatable and a bit sketchy at times, though!
Opportunity to teach your kids
That brings us to the next great reason to grow your own vegetables: you have the opportunity to teach your kids as well!
When you involve your kids in the gardening process and share your enthusiasm, it’s very likely that they will start developing a passion for gardening as well.
Younger kids are usually by nature very enthusiastic and inquisitive about gardening.
If you just keep them involved, they will most likely learn to love gardening as much as you do.
You create something to be proud off
Whether you do it as a family or not, creating a vegetable garden is something to be truly proud of!
There is an immense pleasure and satisfaction in seeing something grow before your own eyes, moreso if you’ve nurtured it from the very start and is able to stand back in time and marvel at your handy work.
A vegetable garden adds aesthetic value
Maintained plants, in general, makes almost any home visually more appealing.
A vegetable garden does the same, along with the added practical value in the form of vegetables you can use.
Gardening is surprisingly good exercise
Along with all these great reasons to grow your own vegetables, there is the added benefit of getting in your daily exercise.
According to the CDC, gardening is categorized as moderate exercise, and you can burn a whopping 330 calories per hour.
Talk about health benefits!
You can start small
While the end result certainly is an amazing big vegetable garden, you can start very small and then build it up over time.
If you have any reservations about whether you will be into gardening in the longer run, just start very small and ease into it.
Start with only one small row of something like carrots.
When you like it, just build from there by adding more rows and different types.
And before you know it, you will have a fully functional veggie garden and you’ll be hooked!
Great family activity
To spend quality time together as a family is priceless.
What better way than to grow your own vegetables together as a family and spend that quality time looking after the garden and nurturing it into something amazing!
More than that, you get especially your kids out of the house and thereby you have the opportunity to instill in them an appreciation for nature.
There are many more reasons out there to grow your own vegetables, I’ve just listed the main ones.
But to truly see these reasons, there is no other way than to experience it for yourself.
Give it a go, start very small, but do start, and find out for yourself how it truly feels to have your very own vegetable garden!