Space, Cost, Taste! The new ‘Grow Your Own’ mantra
The benefits of growing your own
Growing you own fruit and vegetables is so rewarding. A simple pack of seeds or a small plant can give you beautiful produce that’s good for you and tastes amazing. In fact, freshness and taste have become two of the main reasons why people want to grow their own. Other benefits include no plastic packaging, zero plant miles, the ability to grow in a small space (many plants will happily grow in a container), and the boost gardening can give to your health and wellbeing.
“Gardening gets you outside into the fresh air and gives you space to think and clear your mind. It is so therapeutic to nurture plants and see them grow,” said Sarah Squire, Chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres.
A survey by Squire’s Garden Centres found that during the first lockdown in Spring 2020, 59% of people who responded had planted vegetables and 44% had planted herbs in their garden.
“We’ve seen a huge increase in the popularity of grow your own over the last year. Garden habits have changed, with people gardening more and trying new things, whether that is planting vegetables for the first time, or growing new varieties of plants,” added Sarah Squire.
So, as well as Hands, Face, Space perhaps the new gardening mantra could be Space, Cost, Taste! Even if you have a small space outdoors then you can grow your own fresh fruit and veg. It doesn’t cost much, you just need some compost, pots and seeds, and then you will be rewarded with the wonderful taste of your home grown produce.
What to do
- Prepare your soil – aim for a spot that gets plenty of sunlight. Dig in organic material or use a good quality compost. Apply feed just before sowing to give your plants the best start.
- Sow – the precise method varies slightly from vegetable to vegetable (check the seed packet), but make sure that you sow seeds thinly. If sowing directly into the soil, dig a thin, shallow trench and place each seed in ensuring regular and sufficient space. Cover with a thin layer of soil and pat down. For vegetables that have to be sown indoors, use a seed tray or propagator and place on a windowsill.
- Water – water immediately after sowing, then water on a regular basis.
What to sow
In April you can sow Leeks, Broad Beans, Beetroot, Lettuce, Parsnips, Peas, Mange Tout and Spinach outdoors under cloches.
In May try sowing Courgettes, Runner Beans and Sweet Corn. Plant tender vegetables such as Tomatoes, Cucumber, Aubergines, Peppers and Melons in grow bags once the risk of frost is past.
All the kit you need to grow your own
- Compost or grow bag
- Seed trays
- Plant pots – Try ‘Fibre Pots’, which are made from 100% natural biodegradable materials, great for seedling and cuttings. When ready to plant out simply pop the entire pot in the ground.
- Seeds or plug plants
- Plant labels
- Tools – A fork, trowel & watering can.
If you are new to growing your own then Squire’s has a ‘Grow Your Own Selection’ pack (£45) that contains everything you need to get you gardening. It includes an electric propagator, seed trays, compost, plant labels, a transplanting trowel, and packs of runner bean, tomato and carrot seeds. The pack is available online for local delivery and instore, shop now.