Crops not worth growing yourself-Save time, money and energy by only growing crops that will really deliver in your garden!
For the past few years I’ve been trying to increase the amount of food that we grown ourselves in the garden. I have had mixed results over that time and have made many mistakes and, thankfully, learnt many lessons.
Some crops do really well in the garden, even in pots. Some crops, not so much….
Part of the appeal of ‘growing your own’ is the satisfaction of watching the crops that you have planted and tended to emerge and eventually end up on your plate. However, as I do not have all the time in the world to devote to my garden, and as I want a garden that is simple to maintain and keep organised, I don’t want to be spending time on crops that are frankly not worth the effort.
If like me you want to maximise the quality and quantity that you get from your garden produce then read on for the crops that are NOT worth growing yourself!
Disclaimer-I live in the UK, in the south-east, in a mild area with a sunny and sheltered garden. Results may be different in different gardens!
Crops that do not taste any better than the ones in the shops
A big appeal of growing your own is that the stuff you harvest from your own garden will taste SO MUCH BETTER than the stuff in the shops. A homegrown tomato or strawberry, for example, is light-years ahead of the stuff you find on the supermarket shelves.
This improvement in taste is usually due to both the variety the supermarkets stock (often choosing varieties for storage power rather than taste) and the fact that taste often deteriorates over time.
But not all homegrown crops deliver on the taste front. The following crops do not differ much (if at all) from the shop bought varieties so they will no longer be featuring on my plot.
- White and red onions-not much taste difference and how many onions do you really need?
- Potatoes (I do still make some space for new potatoes as my little one loves growing them!)
- Parsnips-tricky to grow and sometimes taste worse than shop bought!
- Brussels sprouts-not much taste difference and slow to grow.
Crops that take up too much space or too much time
Some crops will deliver on taste but just take up so much space in your garden or take so long to actually grow that the rate of return diminishes rapidly!
Unless you have a very big garden or allotment that you are willing to turn over to these crops then I would avoid the following:
- Peas – taste SO good picked fresh from the garden. The downside, you need to dedicate your whole garden to growing peas to get a decent sized, family meal out of them.
- Cauliflower- in the ground for ages and take up loads of space. Two strikes I’m afraid.
Crops that are very difficult to grow yourself
Some crops are just that little bit (or sometimes, lot) harder to grow than others. If you like a challenge then by all means go for it but I want a little more certainty when it comes to my garden!
- Aubergines-there has been a big growth in the number of aubergine plants marketed as ‘dwarf’ or ‘suitable for pots’. My luck so far? Zero aubergines!
- Sweet peppers-tricky to maintain the right conditions for these even if you have a greenhouse. Stick to chilli peppers instead.
- Cabbages- there are so many other creatures in your garden that will be after your cabbages that there will often be very little left!
Ready to start growing? The following companies sell a great range of seed and plants suitable for all levels of gardening experience.
I hope you found this guide to crops not worth growing yourself useful! Have you had any luck with the above crops and want to share your tips for success? Have some ideas for the best crops for people to grow? Then please share in the comments below! Remember to share or pin this post before you leave to help other people.
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