A Beginners Guide
To Gardening

It’s so rewarding growing your own crops, with fresh and tasty produce harvested straight from your garden. But if you’re new to growing your own vegetables, you may be intimidated or unsure where to start or which crops to select.

For a simple start, this easy-to-follow advice reveals crops and techniques for growing in containers or sacks – a very straight-forward way to starting your life as a home grower!

Essentials for growing crops in containers and sacks

  • Border fork – a small and light garden fork for breaking up large soil clumps.
  • Spade – perfect for digging out soil and adding soil back around plants.
  • Hand trowel – used for digging and moving soil and plants in containers and baskets.
  • Hand fork – helps break up clumps when planting containers.
  • Watering can – use with a spout sprinkler, called a rose, to delicately water small container
  • Gardening gloves – keep your hands protected and clean.
  • Hoe weeder – very helpful for uprooting surface weeds.
  • Secateurs – these ‘garden scissors’ cut stems and do general pruning and snipping.

Types of soils and compost to have

Different soils are best for home-grown crops at different stages of development.

  • Bag of general-purpose compost for planting.
  • Bag of seed compost for sowing (planting) seeds.
  • Bag of vegetable growing compost which is rich in nutrients.

Containers to grow crops in

By growing plants in containers, you can choose the soil they grow in, water them easily and create healthy and manageable crops.

Pick up these containers as a starting point:

  • Square pots, around 10inches (25cm) in diameter and depth.
  • Round planting pots, approximately 12inches (30cm) wide and 10inches (25cm) high.
  • Trough-style pots that are long and rectangular, ideal for windowsill displays.
  • Potato grow-sacks
  • Gro-beds, which are long space-saving sacks that are great for tomato plants.
  • Raised wooden planters, which help if you can’t bend down or want to plant at a height.

Greenhouses, sun bubbles and cold frames

  • Greenhouses create a warm and sheltered environment to sow seeds, young plants or keep
    containers and grow bags before they go outside in warmer weather.
  • Sun bubbles are easy to put up and secure, creating a large sun-filled dome to house young
    crops like peppers and cucumbers, for example.
  • Cold frames can have wooden, plastic or aluminium structures and are placed on the ground
    as a sheltered spot to begin growing crops and seeds.

Common crops to grow in containers and sacks

Potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and runner beans are common plants that beginners often choose at first to grow in containers and sacks.