Sunday, 28 June 2015

Bought or grown?

Rachel's comment from yesterday has inspired this post which is basically a list of some of the vegetables we have grown and are growing,  comparing flavour and suitability for a small garden plot.

Hi Mum, … .. Those courgettes look mouthwatering and it's true that things taste amazing that you've grown yourself. The only one exception of mine was when I grew broccoli. The plants were MASSIVE. I was on caterpillar watch. The first harvest was plucked, raced down the garden into the kitchen and eaten lightly steamed within 10 minutes. It tasted EXACTLY the same as shop bought!! I was gutted!!

I'll start with broccoli.

Fruit or vegetable: Broccoli/ Calabrese

Taste: I agree with Rachel here. They taste the same as shop bought but are a little more tender.

Suitability for a small garden: Not really suitable in my small plot as the plants grow big and it's a faff harvesting the small shoots. If there's a large head then, once harvested, the rest of the plant doesn't produce much and is a waste of space. Butterfly watch is essential and if the eggs are missed then searching for the caterpillars is very off putting because they are exactly the same colour as the plant. I've cooked more than one!


Fruit or vegetable: Tomato

Taste: Absolutely wonderful, especially the first one and they taste nothing like shop bought.

Suitability for a small garden: A greenhouse is needed - out door tomatoes take up a lot of room and most need staking. Tumblers are good but I've found the skins tough.


Fruit or vegetable: Asparagus

Taste: Nothing like shop bought. Steamed with butter and water for 10 minutes or so and they are mouthwatering. I add a little bit of salt for extra taste.

Suitability for a small garden: They take up quite a bit of room and crop from April to June. I've found that full sun is advantageous. Beware slugs which eat the tops as they peek out from the soil. When we planted ours we had to wait 4 years before the first pick.


Fruit or vegetable: Cabbage

Taste: As shop bought

Suitability for a small garden: They are large plants and I don't grow them anymore. We don't eat loads and it's more cost effective to grow smaller plants.


Fruit or vegetable: Strawberries

Taste: Hmmm! Forget the ones from the shop.

Suitability for a small garden: I've just let ours grow in a separate bed from the main plot and give them a haircut at the end of the season. The runners plant themselves. Always cut them in half before eating. There may be a surprise inside.


Fruit or vegetable: Grapes

Taste: Fresh and sweet, totally different from shop bought

Suitability for a small garden: Ours grow in a greenhouse but certain vines can be grown outside.


I've not listed everything we grow, just a few for our small garden. I wonder if anyone else grows veg. that they have found taste the same as shop bought. One thing I have found is that home grown veg. does not keep as long as shop bought. I wonder what processes they have to go through in order to keep a long shelf life!?

Thanks Rachel again for the inspiration. You will note that I haven't mentioned your night time activities!!!!!



Welcome to my new follower.


  1. 100% agree with you - tomatoes top my list of what I'm prepared to spare water for. Would love an asparagus patch though...

  2. Carrots are always tasty from the garden, I always give space in our small plot for them.

  3. Thank you!!!
    I'd recommend carrots as one of the best tasting own grown crop. They are so carrotty! You can grow them in a bucket of sandy soil easy peasy!
    This is a great informative post x

  4. HG potatoes taste so much better than bought too.

  5. New potatoes, beetroot, lettuce, green beans and runner beans, carrots, sweetcorn, asparagus, strawberries, raspberries = 100% better when home grown.
    Oh my goodness how am I going to manage when we move!

  6. The other thing you've got to take in to consideration is the chemicals used in producing shop bought veg, as well as cost. Sometimes shop bought can be cheaper but sometimes not. Try Maskotka tomatoes, they're my new favourite. They're a bush variety so they can be grown in a container, don't take up much space and can be grown in a greenhouse or outdoors. The best thing though is their taste, absolutely delicious.

  7. Wish I had a garden to grow my own veg!!!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger


Thank you for your comments. it's always exciting reading them.