Easy To Grow Vegetables
The desire for a more back to basics lifestyle has meant that more of us than ever are trying to grow our own vegetables even trying to introduce it to our children. There is nothing better than harvesting your first crop of carrots or potatoes, but many people with tiny gardens think that they simply don’t have the space for growing anything at all, that couldn’t be further from the truth, grow walls have proved we can grow upwards rather than outwards. This is not the case, and there are vegetables which can be grown in tiny spaces, on balconies, in pots or in other very restricted spaces, of course the best gardening tools always help in tight spots.
Beetroot is very good for you, and is one of the easiest crops to grow. All that you need to grow beetroot is a long narrow container such as a trough, as the seeds need to be sown at least 9 inches apart. Beetroot seeds should be sown in April, slightly earlier if you have a propagator, and should be ready to be harvested in late summer around August with the many other jobs. They withstand the cold well so are good for growing on a balcony or directly into the earth(here’s how to take steps to make sure your soil is tip top) if you don’t have a greenhouse, and they do not require a great deal of looking after. Some of the best varieties to look for as a beginner gardener are Red Ace or Golden Detroit. Beetroot is traditionally eaten pickled in vinegar, but can also be eaten as a normal vegetable, or even added to sweet dishes like a chocolate cake.
Courgettes give you a high yield, meaning that you get a lot of vegetables from a relatively small space. You can grow courgettes from seeds, but it is easiest to buy young plants from trays in spring and then put them out in the garden once the weather gets warmer. Courgettes will continue to grow throughout the summer, so as soon as the first fruits get to around 10cm long, cut them and use them and more will grow in their place. Many newbie gardeners find that their courgette crop is so successful that they have a glut of the fruits and simply cannot use all of the courgettes they produce. If this happens, a glut of courgettes can be turned into chutney, soup or other dishes which can be frozen and kept for months.
There is nothing better than having a fresh supply of salad leaves on tap at all times, and one of the easiest to grow is rocket. Rocket does not take long to grow over the warmer months, so sow new plants every 2 or 3 weeks in a small tub or pot at the back door to ensure there is a constant supply of fresh leaves throughout the spring and summer. Keep it watered when the weather turns hot, and it can be grown as late in the year as September or October. Bare in mind Rocket will send the slugs crazy. Rocket has to be eaten fresh as the leaves do not keep well or freeze, and so it is best to only plant as much rocket as you are going to be able to eat comfortably. Gardening is good for you when you’re eating such quality produce.
You will need a little more space to grow a pumpkin, as experts recommend that you need one square metre of space for two plants. Pumpkins can be easily grown from seed, although they cannot be planted outdoors until the last frosts of the year have passed. Once planted they will not require a great deal of attention, although it is usually best to raise them up off the soil using straw or an upturned pot. Pumpkins and other types of squash are generally ready to be harvested in September or October, and there is nothing better than making your pumpkin lantern out of something you have grown yourself. Pumpkin can be kept for several months after it has been harvested and can be cooked and frozen for use over the winter months. Make sure you keep the seeds as you can have more free plants next year.
Kids love to grow peas and enjoy the excitement of popping them out of their pods when ripe. The benefit of growing peas is that they grow vertically rather than horizontally, making them a good choice for growing on a balcony or in a sunny spot in the back garden. It is best to sow peas between March and June, and the crop should be ready to harvest in around 14 weeks. Mange tout and sugar snap peas are the easiest sorts of peas to grow, with the added bonus that you can eat the pods too.