GROW YOUR FRUIT AND VEGETABLES AT HOME
We have all been guilty of taking for granted the many supermarket trips in which we had an endless supply of fresh produce. This becomes even more apparent during these changing times, as we are now limited in the amount of times we can shop. This, along with other recent small changes, makes for a huge impact on daily life. With produce in low supply and limited visits to supermarkets, it’s a great time to challenge yourself to try something new and grow your own fruit and vegetables.
Regardless of the space you may have in the garden, (you can even grow it on a singular windowsill), you can still grow your own vegetables. Instead of having to aimlessly stroll around the garden centre for inspiration or guidance, we have created a step by step guide to help you discover your inner gardener.
To begin, we have focused on the fruit and vegetables that are easy to grow in limited spaces:
Grow super fresh and delicious strawberries in just a jam jar!
Step 1: fill your jar half full with water and add soil pellets. Leave to soak for 10 minutes.
Step 2: take out the soil pellets. Squeeze out any excess water and take off their lining, then place them in the jam jar.
Step 3: plant your seeds. Place your jar in a well lit warm area, this can be in a windowsill that gets plenty of sunlight.
Step 4: once your seeds have outgrown the jar -you can replant them in a larger pot and place outside. Make sure the pot is placed in a location that gets plenty of sun or on a windowsill.
Step 1: Plant the radish seeds directly in the desired pots.
Step 2: Sow the seeds 1/4 or 1/2 inch deep and 1 inch apart into the potting medium and gently cover them back with the mix
Step 3: Between 3 to 10 days, the seeds will germinate, and tiny plants will emerge.
Step 4: Thin out the seedlings, so they are only two inches apart and watch them grow!
You can start your seeds in just about anything that holds soil and has drainage holes ( even small yogurt containers with holes poked in the bottoms and waterproof saucers underneath work well).
Step 1: Have to hand, your seed-starting mix and thoroughly moisten. Then fill your chosen containers to within 1/2″ of the top. Firm the mix but don’t compact it.
Step 2: Place two or three seeds into each small container or each cell of a seed starter. Cover the seed with about 1/4″ of soil and gently firm it over the seeds.
Step 3: Water to ensure good seed-to-mix contact. You can just dribble a stream of water over the top. You don’t need to soak the soil, just moisten the top layer.
Step 4: Place the pots in a warm spot and keep the mix moist but not soaking wet. Ideally cover with cling film or an alternative.
Check pots daily. As soon as you see sprouts, remove the covering and place the pots in a sunny window or under grow lights, keeping the lights just an inch or two above the tops of the plants.
Containers – pots, troughs, window boxes and larger containers – are all suitable, ideally ones more than 20cm (8in) deep.
Step 1: Fill containers to within 2-3cm (about 1in) of the rim with moist compost and firm the surface lightly
Step 2: Scatter seeds thinly – if they are too thick, you will have to pull some seedlings out when they emerge. Aim for seedlings roughly 4-5cm (134in) apart each way for beetroot. Cover with a 1.5cm (12in) layer of compost.
Step 3: Finely spray the surface with water
Put the containers in a sunny spot, and keep the surface of the compost moist. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, pull out unwanted ones to give the rest enough space (they won’t swell out if they are too crowded). As the plants grow, they will need more water – daily if the weather is dry. Don’t let the compost dry out.
To grow garlic greens indoors:
Step 1: Plant three or four cloves in a pot filled with potting soil.
Step 2: Sit them on a sunny window ledge and water them lightly. The garlic greens will grow in just 7 to 10 days and can be snipped.
To grow entire heads of garlic, you’ll need to plant outdoors because like other bulbs (think onions and daffodils), they need the cold winter dormancy to produce the scape (flower) and generate a head.