Last year saw a huge upsurge in Grow Your Own, with new gardeners discovering how easy it is to have some beautiful fresh ingredients to harvest throughout Summer and on into Autumn and Winter…
What better way to escape all the worry and isolation people have coped with in the last year, and to reconnect with nature. You don’t need a huge space to grow something delicious.
Suggestions for what to grow in a small garden:
• Micro leaves or salad leaves (spicy or less so)
• Strawberries (in a pot or high up, in lengths of guttering)
• Cut & come-again lettuce
• Perpetual spinach
• Spring onions
• Climbing French beans
If you have a little more room:
• Kohl Rabi
• Pak Choi
• Currants (black, red or white)
• Squashes (great on a compost heap. Can trail vertically
And for those lucky to have a good-sized plot:
• Broad beans
• Runner beans or Borlotto beans
• Kale or Cavallo Nero
• Purple sprouting broccoli
• Brussels Sprouts
Note the glaring omission – tomatoes! Even without a greenhouse, you can get a crop outdoors. They are super-easy from seed but if you haven’t planted early, buy young plants. For outdoor growing try Gardener’s Delight, Mountain Magic, First in the Field or Tumbling Tom Red.
If there’s a lack of sunshine to ripen tomatoes in late Summer, you can bring them indoors for windowsill ripening, or make green tomato chutney.
In a greenhouse – or any warm, sheltered space – you can grow chillies (an indoor windowsill or sunny porch will work), cucumbers and basil too, plus in Autumn plant salad leaves, spinach, Pak Choi and lamb’s lettuce.
Finally: got a warm wall somewhere? These must not be wasted as they’re perfect for growing fruit; perhaps trained in a fan or espalier. Be aware of the aspect when selecting what to plant: grapevines, pears and peaches and figs like hot sun even at midday, so will suit South or West-facing walls while apples, cherries, plums and apricots prefer less baking. You could even try one of the newer crosses such as miracots, plumcots or apriums. Enjoy!
The Plant Centre, Bromfield, Ludlow, Shropshire, SY8 2JR
Tel: 01584 856873