With the increased interest in self sufficiency and organic produce, it’s a great time to try growing your own fruit and veg at home. Here’s some tips on how to start from PlantsPlus Garden Centre…
We’ve said it before and we’re going to say it again – growing fruit and veg is IN!
No longer associated with those in the countryside or who are naturally green ﬁngered, GLEE 2018 (Garden, Leisure & Equipment Exhibition) referenced a study that revealed 43% of gardeners under 40 grow their own vegetables compared to 32% of over 60s. The beneﬁts far surpass just having food on the table: You can keep it organic; it’s not space dependant; it’s healthy, both the physical nature of the task and the freshest nutrients you could put in your body; it’s educational and fun for all ages.
SIZE DOESN’T MATTER
Urban gardeners are bringing grow-your-own into the 21st century which means there are plenty of creative ways to plant and harvest them, even if you have limited space. So forget about thinking that you need a large patch of ground in a garden or an allotment, you can get started now even if you live in a small apartment.
START WITH HERBS
If you‘re having your ﬁrst thoughts about dabbling in grow-your-own but are daunted about where to start, begin with herbs. They’ll be perfectly happy by your kitchen window and if you look after them well instead of treating them as disposable, they will keep rewarding you for months to come – trimming them will actually encourage more growth. Whilst they may look tropical with their bright and sculptural fruit, chilli plants can thrive on sunny window sills too!
DO A SWAP
Swap the ﬂowers in your patio planters or window boxes for vegetables. Grow all of your salad greens in one container such as lettuce, spring onions rocket and spinach. Planted away from the ground you’ll have less problems waith pests such as slugs and snails, and if they’re on a balcony you’ll deﬁnitely not catch any rabbits or deer having a nibble of them!
Although great for restricted spaces, just be aware that smaller containers will need more watering. If you want to make things even easier, there are ranges of self watering systems on the market such as easy drip systems that you can place in your pots to relieve the fear of over or under watering your crops.
JUST DO IT!
We’ve saved our best tip for last and it’s a tried and tested one that works for most people… buy some seeds or some starter veg and just have the conﬁdence to put them in the ground and give grow-your-own a shot. Like everything else, practice makes perfect and when you ﬁnally pick that ﬁrst juicy, red tomato from your window planter and taste how much more ﬂavoursome they are compared to the supermarkets, you’ll be hooked! Nothing will beat being able to plate up the rewards of your own hard work.
Find more seasonal gardening tips from our team on our website, or sign up for our monthly newsletter in-store where you’ll also receive exclusive vouchers and Reward Card member events.
Plantsplus Garden Centre, Berwick Hill Road, Seaton Burn, NE13 6BU Tel: 01661 824631 www.plantsplusgardencentre.co.uk