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BeeZee’s easy guide to growing your own

You don’t need a field and lots of special equipment to grow your own fruits and veggies.  

Here are a few ideas that can be easily grown in pots and enjoyed by the whole family 

Strawberries
  • Strawberries can be grown anywhere- containers, hanging baskets or borders. They’re a source of vitamin C and other antioxidants which help protect cells from daily damage. 
  • Strawberry plants can be bought as potted plants or bare-rooted runners. They’re versatile and just need a sunny, sheltered, well-draining soil. Keep them warm if there’s still a risk of frost and don’t forget to protect the fruits from birds or squirrels. 
Courgettes
  • Courgettes are a source of vitamin and C as well as being low in energy and therefore a great way to bulk up meals  
  • Courgettes are a really versatile veg (see our website for courgette cake or our courgetti recipes  
  • To plant, sow in May indoors in small pots- one seed per pot. Once the seedlings have 1 leaf and the risk of frost has passed (normally early June) plant 1 plant out into 10L pots outside. Acclimatise the plant first by leaving it in it’s seedling pot outside for a few days- this helps it get used to outside temperatures after being in your cosy house. 
  • One plant should keep the family going all season, just keep harvesting the courgettes and more will appear. 
Tomatoes
  • Did you know tomatoes are actually fruits? They’re a source of Vitamin C, A and potassium too. 
  • You can grow two types. Either a bush variety or climbing variety- bush varieties are good for beginners  
  • Most garden centres will sell tomato plant seedlings as it might be a little late to start sowing now 
  • Move seedlings into bigger pots as they need and keep in a sunny spot, watering well.  
Salad Leaves
  • Salad leaves are easy to grow at home. You can find ‘cut and grow again’ varieties or just keeping re-sowing them. You can even have salad leaves all year round if you’re growing them inside.
  • Fill a seed tray with compost, sprinkle the seeds over the top and then cover with a thin layer of compost. Water well and put on a sunny windowsill.  
Rainbow Chard
  • Rainbow Chard not only looks amazing but is a source of vitamin C, A and K  
  • Chard needs a sunny & sheltered spot with a pot roughly 25cm/10inches deep to plant into once seedlings are big enough. 
  • After 8-10 weeks the leaves should be big enough to harvest for salad or you can wait until they’re bigger to cook. Pick individual leaves from each plant as you need them, cutting at the base. 

Thanks to Sarah Witherby for the photo!

Things to consider:
  • Try adding some lavender, thyme or rosemary in amongst the vegetables as the scent will confuse pests…they look pretty and you can use them to season your meals too, even the lavender could be used in a dessert 
  • Think about where you are going to put your pots/planter and how much sun/shade you have in your spot before choosing what you’re going to grow 
  • Don’t forget to water. Fruit and veg need a pretty consistent water supply so if the sun is shining and there’s not much rain. They will really appreciate an evening water when the sun is not so strong. 

 

Useful websites: 

For more information on how to grow fruit and veg visit the RHS website 

https://www.rhs.org.uk/education-learning/gardening-children-schools/family-activities 

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/in-month/april 

 

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