Here’s some more gardening advice from Lucy Halsall, the editor of Grow Your Own magazine…
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What’s your advice for someone growing fruit and veg for the first time?
It can be as easy or as complex as you want to. Radishes and salad leaves mature in 4-5 weeks, and you can grow these on your windowsill with no specialist equipment – that’s really easy and still immensely rewarding.
Some basic beginner crops I’d recommend are:
- salad leaves
Just sprinkle the seeds into a window box or grow bag, they’ll germinate within 2-3 days, and in 4-5 weeks you can harvest your first crop.
How to grow your own potatoes
Potatoes are really popular, especially in containers. Just plonk your potato tuber in the compost or soil, and keep earthing it up so that the new shoots are repeatedly covered with soil to encourage the tubers to form. Then in June or July, your potatoes should be ready.
As with all growing, keep the soil or compost consistently moist.
If space is tight, what fruit and veg can you grow in containers?
You can grow most fruits and vegetable in a container as long as you follow some basic principles:
Quick-maturing plants You can grow quick-maturing plants (like radishes or salad leaves) in smaller containers because the plant isn’t going to have a fully developed root system.
Longer-maturing plants Bear in mind that if you want to grow longer-maturing fruits (like apples or plums) then you’ll need a larger container.
You’ll also need a loam-based compost as opposed to a multi-purpose compost because that holds it structure better.
For something in a pot for 2-3 years, then a John Innes number 2 or 3 compost is great. Make sure your plant is well-watered and fed, because it’s more reliant on you than if it was in the ground.
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