The Amateur Gardeners – Growing Fruit and Vegetables

We have been attempting to grow a selection of our own fruit and vegetables for the past few years in the sunny South, now we’re not claiming to be experts at this.

We started off three years ago growing tomatoes (I love eating tomatoes and I think Alex was intending to cut down the food bill!), adding strawberries last year. Unfortunately the majority of the strawberries were eaten by slugs, we’re learning a few lessons as we go along.

Our Strawberry Crop

This year we have our usual ‘Gardeners Delight’ tomato plants on the go, along with strawberries that are doing better this year, as apparently they perform well in the second season as they mature. Now for the first time we’re trying to grow red potatoes and runner beans. We also tried to introduce some herbs but they’ve perished quickly and we’re not entirely sure what happened.

Our Tomato Plants

The main tomato crop are in grow bags in a plastic mini greenhouse to protect them from the elements, they are looking strong despite Rowan pulling the top off one of them. The strawberries are in a very sunny corner of the garden surrounded by straw that is supposed to fend off the slugs and snails. The runner beans are planted in a random bit of soil and are yet to sprout, the potatoes live in compost and soil in dare I say it –  IKEA bags, very professional I think!

First Strawberries of the Year

At the moment Rowan helps us water the plants with his own little watering can and as he gets older we can get him more involved. We plan to introduce lots of different varieties of fruit and vegetables, as I believe it’s a great way to show him how things grow as well as where his food comes from. In an ideal world we’d have a bit more of a better setup with a proper greenhouse so we can grow more over a longer period. We really like the look of these greenhouses.

Runner Beans

Top growing and recycling tip: A work colleague recommended putting used coffee grindings on plants to help speed growth, it’s something to do with the nitrate content and it seems to work with the tomatoes. You can pick up used coffee grindings from most of the major coffee shops,  they will provide this for free if you ask as it saves them having to dispose of the waste!

I’m looking forward to sharing more pictures later this year. I’d loved to know if anyone else is experimenting with growing fruit and vegetables?


  1. 09/06/2016 / 4:15 pm

    I never knew about the coffee grindings thing, I will remember this for next time we are out in the garden x

  2. 11/06/2016 / 1:11 am

    Kids love joining in with gardening, what a lovely post x

  3. 03/07/2016 / 3:44 pm

    Tea leaves work as well as coffee which is handy as I am a tea-aholic. Our strawberries were attacked last year too so we are growing them in hanging baskets to see if that helps.

  4. 03/07/2016 / 10:35 pm

    They’re looking great. We’re growing tomatoes, strawberries and peppers at the moment. Not actually had anything we can eat yet though!

  5. 04/07/2016 / 12:32 am

    You make it sound easy. I wish I had a garden to grown some fruit and vegetables. I’m hoping when I move house in the future we will get a garden, so I can sit and watch the birds

  6. 04/07/2016 / 7:34 pm

    Oh, we are growing some strawberries too, the little buds have appeared in the past couple of weeks. Must try the coffee beans tip next time are planting 🙂

  7. 04/07/2016 / 7:50 pm

    I think it’s great to get children involved! Sophie would love to help water them. I’d love to grow my own strawberries! 🙂 x

  8. 06/07/2016 / 10:08 am

    Oh my goodness I’m so impressed with your gardening skills. I’m praising myself this month because I managed to keep a potted plant alive for 5 weeks haha. Thanks for sharing some good tips 🙂 x

  9. 15/07/2016 / 10:21 pm

    I can’t wait to have a garden to grow pur own bits. We did mamaged to grow two peppers last year in our flat but they were the size of a plum lol x

  10. 15/07/2016 / 10:22 pm

    We had a veg patch in our garden when we first bought our house and I grew the biggest courgettes! I also had onions and garlic. We decided to get rid of it but I wish we hadn’t now. I hate gardening but live growing fruit & veg x

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