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How to Start Growing Your Own Fruit and Veg at University

In an ideal world, students would grow their own veg and surround themselves with oxygen giving and soul comforting plants.

But, as with many things, the ideal world is not the reality. Students either don’t have the luxury of a garden, or they can’t spare the money to maintain their gardens, nor buy beautiful plants to decorate rooms.

Vegetables don’t have to be expensive though – scattered around Bristol, especially along Gloucester Road, Whiteladies, St. Michael’s Hill and Clifton, are small independent grocery shops with an abundance of fresh fruit and veg. Not only is this cheaper, but this is local produce and therefore better for farmers and the environment.

However, for those students who want to try something new, or who have a general interest in all things green, then student gardening is a fun thing to have a go at. In the spirit of this week’s “Her Garden” project, it’s time to think about growing your own.

Ah, but how, you ask? Well, all you need is a container of any sort and you’re ready to get gardening.

Growing veggies in containers is one of the easiest ways to create a city vegetable garden. With containers, you can grow anything from lettuce and tomatoes to beans and peppers. As long as there is enough drainage, nearly anything can be used to grow vegetables – wooden boxes, containers, glass jars, and plant pots. The world is your oyster.

(Image credit: www.myclimatechangegarden.com)

I spoke to the President of Bristol University Conservation Group, asking if she had any advice for city gardening. Emily explained: “In my flat we have a window box where we mostly just grow herbs, which has been really useful this year.”

Having a window box is a great way to experiment with gardening when you don’t have access to a garden. Access to constant light is perfect for the plant’s growth, but it also helps create a homely and peaceful environment.

Emily also mentioned that for students who want to take gardening further, there are organizations which allow students to get their hands dirty.

Way to Grow (a gardening project linked with Bristol Hub) do some veg growing at the Multifaith Chaplaincy which people could get involved with if they can’t grow their own stuff. I know a lot of landlords don’t like window boxes, so that could be a good alternative.”

Getting involved with Way to Grow and the Conservation Society is a really good way to get involved in outdoorsy projects, especially if you are interested in growing your own veg and plants. That being said, if you have a windowsill or space in your room, then looking after plants is not an unattainable reality.

Wilko’s offer really cheap “grow your own” plants, herbs and veg, meaning that even on the tightest of budgets, you can give gardening a go. These have been a particular hit with all of us at Her Campus Bristol – head to our Insta to see pics of our endeavours!

Additionally, if you are interested in gardening and conservation, you could also consider bug or insect hotels. These are man made structures built to provide insects with nesting facilities.

These can be found at any gardening shop or online, or you could have a go at making your own. Various ways of making bug hotels, some quick and easy, others more complex, can be found online. What better way to procrastinate from uni work?

Here’s one the Internet made earlier:

(Image source: www.skydesigns.xyz)

So, close down your Macs, get off your phone and get green this week with Her Campus Bristol!

Holly began as the features editor for Her Campus Bristol and then progressed on to managing director/campus correspondent in 2016. A third year English student, she has a passion for reading, nature and writing.
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