Suddenly everyone wants to grow their own. And why not, time on your hand, the scare of food shortages and whats more the sun is out. What could be easier than sowing a few seeds.
But where to start???
First get your hands on some seeds. Seed suppliers are over run at the moment with orders. Try picking up seeds when you go out to get your food shopping, many food stores sell seeds. Ask a grower friend if they can spare you some seed. Seed packets contain lots of seed, so always good to share with a friend.
Easy and quick crops to give you lots of fresh veg in a small amount of space.
Everyone has room for these…
Sprouted seeds – Quickest of all, ready in 3-10 days. Highly nutritious. Pretty much any seed will do. You can spend money on a seed sprouter, or you can simply use a jar. Rinse and drain at least twice a day. Click on the link for more detail.
Lets start gardening… You will need pots, seeds and composts. Window boxes are good. But before we start here is some…Terminology
Thinning out – remove some seedling plants to give the rest space to grow. Pinch out or pull, throw away or eat the seedlings. Root veg will not transplant well.
Bolting - shoots up, stem/ root goes woody, eventually flowering and seeds, leaves can taste bitter.
Radish – 4-5 weeks. Hot and crunchy, not for everyone. Sow a few every 2 weeks from Feb – August for a continuous supply. Sow thinly, 1cm deep, aim for 2.5cm (1″) apart. Harvest young before they bolt.
Rocket – 4-6 weeks. Spicy, peppery salad leaves. Aim for 15cm (6″) between plants. Bolts quickly, sow regularly for a constant supply. Older leaves can be cooked as spinach. The flowers are edible too, with a lovely delicate sweet taste.
Lettuce - 4-6+ weeks. Whole lettuces are a long wait and take a lot of space. Try cut n’ come again. Any variety will do, grow several different types to give different colour and texture. Space 10cm apart & harvest baby leaves regularly. Sow new plants every month, for a continuous supply. Cut n’ come again lettuce.
Spinach - 6-8 weeks. Highly nutritious, tasty and versatile; use baby leaves in salad, cook large leaves. Thin seedlings to 7.5cm (3″) apart. A few weeks later pull and eat every other plant to leave them spaced 15cm apart. Harvest outside/ larger leaves as needed. Bolts in hot weather, so grow in a shady space and water regularly.
Turnip – 6-10 weeks. Thin out until they are 15cm (6″) apart. Harvest young when sweet and crunchy.
Kale & chard – 5-10+ weeks. Pick regularly when young as baby leaves or wait for fully grown leaves if you have space and harvest all year. Plant 45cm (1.5ft) apart for fully grown leaves, for baby leaves they can be spaced much closer together.
If you have more space, bigger pots, a yard or garden how about Potatoes, Peas, Spring onions, Broad Beans, or Runner Beans.
Watch out for my next post soon.