It’s National Allotments Week on 12-18 August - but you don’t need an allotment to grow your own food.
In fact, more and more of us are setting aside a part of our gardens to grow fruit, veg and herbs. According to Garden Design Magazine, it’s one of the top garden trends - and it’s a trend that just keeps on growing.
If you do have an allotment, then lucky you. If not, there are plenty of things you can grow at home - even if you have only a small space. Here are a few easy-to-grow foods for you to try.
Containers and pots:
Microgreens are dead easy - all you need are seedlings and a pot - even an old yoghurt pot or takeaway container with holes in the bottom for drainage will do the trick. Pea shoots, cress, and mustards are good to start off with - a tasty and colourful addition to a meal.
Pots are also great for herbs. The list is endless, but easy ones include parsley, sage, oregano, mint and rosemary.
There are so many varieties of tomato, that it seems a shame that so few choices are on offer in the supermarkets. Growing your own means that you can pick your own toms, literally. If you enjoy a bit of spice, get yourself a chilli pepper plant and a biggish pot.
Citrus fruits, especially lemons, are also increasingly grown in pots in the UK - but you’ll need to bring them indoors during cold winter spells.
So much veg to choose from, where on earth do you start? For beginners, beetroot, courgettes, French beans and radishes are among the easiest to grow. Globe artichokes are another one to try.
For those with a bit more space, there’s nothing better than home-grown fruit. Apple trees are probably the easiest to grow but should be bought from a specialist nursery. And what goes well with apples? Blackberries! Cultivated blackberries are more productive than wild blackberries and thornless varieties will even grow in pots.
Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are also very easy to grow. Yum!
Of course, it also makes sense to grow the things you enjoy the most, ensuring you have a fresh supply of your favourite fruit and veg. The RHS website has an A-Z of grow your own produce, with all the advice you need for success - www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own. For more on National Allotments Week, visit the National Allotment Society website at www.nsalg.org.uk/news-events-campaigns/national-allotments-week/