Growing your own fruit and veg can be an excellent way to help the environment and save some money. This can be daunting to a beginner with not knowing which seeds to plant and when or where to plant them.
To start, it’s best to choose crops that are low maintenance, have a short harvest time, and are resilient to pests and disease.
Lettuce: Sow late March-early July
Lettuce is very easy to grow. There are endless assortments of lettuce to grow which can bring a variety of colour and shape to your garden. You can enjoy several harvests from the same plant by cutting off what you need and in no time at all you will have all the ingredients you need for a delicious salad!
Lettuce seeds germinate best in some light and prefer moist soil but in hot climates enjoy a bit of shade
To grow, sow the seeds thinly along moist, 1cm deep trenches, leaving 30cm between each row. Then cover the seeds with a thin layer of compost. Lettuce seeds germinate best in some light and prefer moist soil but in hot climates enjoy a bit of shade.
Tomatoes: Sow late March-early April
The flavour of home-grown tomatoes straight from the vine is unbeaten. Luckily they are very easy to grow whether it be in a garden or in a window box.
When the seedling grows to a few centimetres tall, support them by tying to a stick with soft string
Start by planting the seeds approximately 1cm deep in moist compost and cover with a thin layer of soil. You can cover with cling film to aid in the germination process. Once germinated, remove the cling film and keep the compost damp. When the seedling grows to a few centimetres tall, support them by tying to a stick with soft string.
As the plants mature feed them with tomato food and keep them in a sunny but sheltered spot so they can grow lots of nice and juicy fruits.
Courgettes: Sow late May-early June
Courgette plants are really easy to grow and produce fruit in abundance which are perfect for summer dishes, salads, and roasting on the barbeque.
Sow the courgette seeds about 2.5cm deep into moist compost and cover with a thin layer of soil. Courgettes like lots of space so give each plant about one square meter between each seed. As the plant grows keep the soil moist and feed it with tomato food.
If you leave the courgettes to grow too long it will reduce the plant’s fruiting potential
The courgettes are ready to harvest when they are about 10cm long. If you leave the courgettes to grow too long it will reduce the plant’s fruiting potential.
Peas: Sow March-early July
When it comes to peas, fresh is definitely best. This is one vegetable where supermarkets simply can’t compare to the sweet flavour of freshly harvested home-grown peas.
As the plants grow taller support them with pea sticks and feed them with tomato feed when flowers start to appear.
In a well-draining and sunny spot sow the seeds in lines 3cm deep, spacing the seeds about 10cm apart. Cover the seeds with soil and water well. As the plants grow taller support them with pea sticks and feed them with tomato feed when flowers start to appear.
Peas are ready to harvest once their pods appear swollen with peas which should take a few months.
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