Illustrated by Abigail Dannatt

Growing fruit and vegetables as a student

You do not need a dedicated vegetable patch to start growing your own food, you can grow fruit and veg…

You do not need a dedicated vegetable patch to start growing your own food, you can grow fruit and veg in a variety of situations!

My current project is growing a pineapple plant as I feel it is a lovely addition to decorating my lounge and I cannot wait to eat it once it is ripened! 

I am also very interested in finding easy ways to help the environment and was excited to find out that growing your own fruit and vegetables benefits the planet! By limiting what I buy at supermarkets, I reduce plastic and food waste. 

I was always encouraged to plant my own food at home growing up and would always be so excited to watch the food ripen and grow! Therefore, I felt inspired to start growing some of my own food again with the benefits of a cheaper cost, and to the environment. 

What containers do you need?

I usually buy my pots from B&Q as they are inexpensive and last for a long time!

However, more central places such as Wilko on the high street also sell gardening equipment.

I always reuse my pots, so if I buy a plant that needs repotting I will buy a larger pot and use the smaller empty pot to plant new vegetables!

  • The larger the container, the better your crop will be! However, any container will do, the only necessity is they must have drainage holes.
  • Choose pots with at least a diameter of 30cm, so plants will have room to grow.
  • Fill your container with fresh, peat-free, multipurpose compost.

What equipment do you need?

Equipment is inexpensive as you can use household items you already own instead of buying new!

For instance I usually water my plants with a glass of leftover water to save water and the need to buy a watering can.

Also, instead of a trowel I just use my hands to scoop the soil ready for seeds.

However, if you are a budding gardener and want to buy tools here are some ideas of what to buy:

  • Basic tools like a hand fork and trowel.
  • If you are growing in the ground, you will need to dig the soil and remove weeds, then add compost.
  • For growing in the ground, a spadehoefork and rake will also be useful.
  • watering can or hose will enable you to keep plants hydrated.

What am I currently growing?

I am currently growing a pineapple plant and have enjoyed watching it grow whilst giving our lounge a nice homey feel! I enjoy looking after it as it is low maintenance so really suits the student lifestyle!

I have recently purchased two maize plants and am looking forward to having a taste of the grown corn once the plant has ripened! These are something I have never grown before so I am curious to learn about the upkeep and maintenance of maize plants!

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