There is something magical about having your own patch of earth and growing your own produce. However, if your garden is not big enough for plants and a vegetable path, there are plenty of options available to you – you can grow vegetables in containers, on a balcony or windowsills.
Space is not an issue, and if you are short on time but longing to grow your own food – like many of us Brits are keen to do – then there are plenty of plants, fruit and vegetables that are effortless to maintain. An added bonus of easy to grow options, is that kids can get involved too. Yielding results fast, children won’t tire of the wonder of sprouting seeds and flowering plants, especially when this happens in a matter of weeks.
Easy to grow plants
Primrose – this spring wildflower comes in a variety of colours and can be planted in pots and containers to brighten any home.
Bellflower – this summer-flowering plant is offered in blue, white or lavender varieties.
Forget-me-not – this flower excels in well-drained soil, producing attractive clusters of small flowers in pink, white or blue.
Lavender – a favourite among gardeners and homeowners alike, this plant produces white, pink, purple or blue flowers over the summer months.
Easy to grow fruit and vegetables
Lettuce – you can grow different varieties of lettuce all year round and the seeds start to sprout within two weeks of being planted normally. Lettuce can be grown in various locations, including windowsills and gardens. To plant on a windowsill, simply fill a seed tray with compost before adding a quarter of a teaspoon of salad seeds. Sprinkle some compost over the top, water and place in a sunny spot. Alternatively, plant the lettuce seeds in a 12-inch pot or directly in soil in your garden.
Strawberry – summer wouldn’t be summer without lashings of strawberries and cream. You can plant strawberries in a grow-bag or in individual pots, and you may want to use some netting to shield the fruit from the birds. Every three years, you should dig up the old plant and replace with a new one to maintain a good crop of strawberries.
Courgette – these baby marrows are perfect for planting this month, ready for early autumn. Grow courgettes in large pots or in soil, allowing for three feet of earth between each one.
Beetroot – this tasty red vegetable is so easy to grow, whether you plant the seeds in large pots and containers or in the soil. You can speed up the germination process too, by soaking the seeds for a few hours before planting – each seed produces several seedlings.
Potato – potatoes are so versatile to cook with, and potato seeds can be grown in most soil types, in a sunny location.
Tomato – delicious on their own or in salads, tomatoes are a joy to grow. Use either a grow-bag, pot or soil, and plant the seedlings, giving them plenty of water. Cordon is a favourite type of tomato as its grows up to five-feet tall – as the plant grows, you may need to use stakes to support them.
Carrot – quick to grow, carrot seeds will germinate within 2-3 weeks, and need plenty of sunshine.
Swiss chard – a tough vegetable, chard can survive winter and can even be harvested in milder winter months.
Onion – simply plant small baby onions and watch them grow. Plant in the ground in an upright position in rows in the earth about 4-inches apart from each other, and water well.
Pumpkin – delicious, healthy and versatile, pumpkins are about more than simply Halloween lanterns. Plant young pumpkin plants now, ready to harvest in early autumn. Plant in the soil about three feet apart and give them plenty of water. You can harvest the plants once the leaves have begun to wither. Remove from the soil and leave in the sun or shed to dry out and allow the skin to harden.