Grow your own at home
Cultivate your own crops on an allotment, in the garden or even on your windowsill.
As the world shifts into the ‘new normal’ post-pandemic, we take a look at the pursuit of growing your own produce, from vegetables and fruit to herbs – for any size of space, from windowsills and balconies to gardens, greenhouses and allotments.
During these challenging times, many of us have taken comfort in exploring our interests and picking up new hobbies. Now at the height of summer with the increased length of days, growing your own produce can be an effective way to not only occupy extra time but also provide nourishing, productive activity.
An article from Garden Organic states that gardening and growing projects are known for being therapeutic and having a positive impact on well-being, with research suggesting the act of growing and cultivating produce can notably reduce stress and anxiety.
Not only is horticulture an evidently calming and positive way to spend time, it’s also an ideal way to encourage healthy eating habits. The produce you grow will no doubt inspire many dishes, from a variety of fresh fruit and staple vegetables to herbs that add depth and flavour to meals – growing your own food can be a remarkable experience.
To help you on your GYO journey we have compiled some useful tips:
- Start small – if this is your first foray into gardening and growing start with staples that are easy to grow such as potatoes, which can be grown in rows in gardens or allotments of just as successfully in smaller spaces using containers and pots
- Align your growing goals with the seasonal months – as we’re now in July, this is the optimum time to sow delicious beetroot, radish, dwarf French beans, shallots, kale and salad leaves
- Plan ahead – while we may be enjoying the heat of summer, it’s worth thinking about the produce you’d like to grow in the upcoming winter months and start planting such as cauliflowers, leeks, brussels sprouts and winter cabbage
- Consider perennials – fruit and vegetables such as apples, pears, plums, rhubarb and swiss chard are all produce that once planted, will grow back every year without all the extra work of reseeding and starting from scratch
- Windowsill gardens – herbs are dubbed as long-term container residents because of their propensity to being cultivated indoors, perfect for those with minimal space. Basil, parsley and mint are simple to grow and require minimal care – all you need is a pot or container that drains, herb seeds of choice, compost and a sunny windowsill