From “Garden” To Table: Grow Your Own
For the ultimate in fresh produce and locally sourced ingredients, growing your own fruit and veg is the way to go! It’s a lot easier than you think, and depending on what you want to grow, you don’t even need a garden let alone an allotment. You can get your foot on the fruit and veg growing ladder with something compact and quick growing like herbs on your window sill, or use your window boxes for lettuces!
Herbs don’t take up much room, and they’re handy to have on the kitchen window sill when you’re garnishing your meals, however, your micro garden will benefit more from being in direct sunlight for 8 hours or more. You can boost their light exposure with a fluorescent light overhead. They’re not very picky when it comes to planting conditions, so you might want to retrieve some containers from the recycling and give them a second life. Depending on the herbs you choose, they’ll take around 4-6 weeks to be fully formed, and then you can start harvesting their tasty leaves for a very local finishing touch to your meals.
Carrots, peas and beans are staples of cuisine, and can be grown in plant pots inside or outside. Carrots will need a bit of depth for them to grow, but because they all grow as individual plants you can get several over a wider surface. Beans and peas will grow upwards and need a stake to cling to, but their vertical growth make them space-economical.
Quick growing greens
Lettuce is a great all-rounder for salads, sandwiches and sides, and grows quick and easy in a fairly shallow container – you’ll only need about 4 inches of depth.
It’s in the bag
We couldn’t talk versatility and ease without mentioning the humblest of heroes – the potato. These guys will flourish in a simple grow-bag, so you can prop them up in a small space with ease, and far from being an okay stand-in for ‘proper’ ground space, growing potatoes in a bag, burlap sack or even a cardboard box is better for you when it’s time to harvest as you’ll know those ‘taters will be within a fixed area.
When growing indoors, in a greenhouse or in potted planters, your vegetation will be missing out the added nutrients and soil aeration that worms and insects can provide. You might need to boost your soil with plant feed to get that essential extra goodness in there. Don’t forget that you can use a thin layer of old coffee grounds on the top soil as a slow-release fertiliser for your plants as they contain nutritious nitrogen.
Once you’ve harvested your homegrown produce, serve it up in style with beautiful dinnerware.