Growing in small spaces with VegTrug
Growing your own food can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you are growing in small spaces. But the guys over at VegTrug have created a fantastic range of products that are perfect for just this! Designed to easily slot against walls or into corners/any unused space you have, they are perfect for anyone looking to start gardening with minimal space. Take a look at what we learned about VegTrugs below, as well as what they can be used for and some excellent tips on growing your own food.
Our interview with VegTrug
1. You make a variety of different products, from Planters in a range of styles to raised beds. How does each different product provide a different space for a small garden?
It all comes down to how much space you can set aside for growing your own. We have the iconic VegTrug which comes in 3 sizes (from 1.8m width down to 75cm) and some customers wanted to put this on their balcony but it was a little too deep. We, therefore, introduced the Wall Hugger models which are a little narrower and great for apartment balconies or narrower spaces.
We also have the VegTrug Poppy which is a very versatile fold-away planter which is ideal for the smallest space. This product has a changeable felt liner which can be used to grow vegetables in season. You can then change it for a ‘flower’ version which has additional grow pockets and you can create a standing hanging basket.
2. The products are perfect for growing vegetables in a small space, but do you have any advice about which product is best suited to growing certain things?
We have so much information on growing to support our products. Customers can visit our website or download the free VegTrug App (on iPhone or Android) to see articles and videos of what to grow.
The V shape of the VegTrug allows the grower to grow a variety of vegetables suitable for the family in the one product. The centre line of the VegTrug allows deep-rooted vegetables to be grown with shallower leaf crops in lines towards the back and front edges of the VegTrug.
3. Do you have any tips or advice you can share about growing vegetables in small spaces?
Our advice is to experiment and enjoy the hobby. You will have successes and failures, but far fewer failures than if you were growing directly into the ground!
Don’t plant too much! One of the biggest mistakes we see is when people plant too much. Allow space between the plants for the produce to grow and thin seedlings as they get bigger.
Grow what you like to eat and what your family likes. It’s no good growing hundreds of radishes that will not be eaten!
Another great tip is to look at your weekly food bill. Don’t try to grow things that are cheaper to purchase at the supermarket - potatoes for example. These are perhaps better grown in a simple (and cheap) sack. What suits the VegTrug is the more exotic (and expensive) produce like Rocket, expensive fresh herbs, peppers etc. You can pay pounds for a few leaves in the supermarket and with a ‘cut and come again’ lettuce you can enjoy free and better tasting leaves grown in the VegTrug.
Remember that after about 6 weeks of growth you will need to add nutrient taken by the growing plants back into the soil. We suggest adding an organic liquid fertiliser to the watering can you use for the VegTrug.
4. How much planning needs to go into a small vegetable patch?
Not too much really. Read the planting advice with seed packets or seedling plants. If you are growing with children’s help, why not get them to draw a planting plan? Make it fun and don’t forget to plan what to re-plant once the initial crops have been harvested.
5. What time of year is best for growing vegetables?
Of course, it is a little weather dependent, but once the first frosts have gone and the earth starts to warm up you can get going. The VegTrug has a range of covers that help growers start early (greenhouse cover) and even extend the growing season slightly with a fleece cover. We also have an insect protection cover which stops the most common aphids and helps prevent birds from stealing your produce!
6. Are there any vegetables/herbs which are particularly easy/hard to grow for beginners to get started with/avoid?
Anything that can be grown in the ground can be grown in a VegTrug. For beginners, carrots, spring onions, radishes and lettuces are very easy. If you do plant herbs keep them cut back as plants like mint can quickly overtake the whole VegTrug! We like to plant some strawberry plants in the corners which again are easy, but tend to take over once they get going! Cauliflower is not the easiest crop for beginners!
7. What are the benefits of growing your own food?
The first word that springs to mind is taste! Everything seems to taste better when grown in the VegTrug! Of course, you can also be assured that it has not been treated with chemicals and pesticides so you have peace of mind that what you are feeding your family is healthier for them.
My 8-year-old son has his own VegTrug and grows strawberries. In season, he pops outside and picks his dessert every night! From a very young age, he always ate the vegetables that he grew in the VegTrug!
The hobby itself is very tranquil and not too time consuming. Plants need the sun, water, and a little fertiliser. The VegTrug gives you very easy vegetable gardening without the back breaking work. If you only have 5 or 10 minutes a day it is perfect for your lifestyle.
Be careful, though, once you are bitten by the grow your own bug, it becomes a bigger hobby!
8. When in the year would you recommend starting to plan which crops you are going to grow?
New Year is a great time to sit down and make a growing plan ready for Spring. These days you can grow year round so remember to plan and manage your planting as you harvest so you can get the best out of the small space a VegTrug provides.