With Brexit making the market erratic, consumers around the country are wondering what impact the UK’s political situation might have on the availability and cost of some food. The best way to protect yourself (and your bank balance) is to grow a few things yourself. We check out some of the easiest vegetables and fruits that you can grow this summer.
Sow: Weekly throughout the summer.
Harvest: Three weeks after sowing.
Growing your own salad leaves is a great way to start. They are quick, easy, and your labours will be rewarded in just a couple of weeks. Plant your seeds in pots, water well, and cut salad leaves as and when you need them: straight from plant to plate; you can’t get better than that! If kept well-watered, your salad leaves should last through until autumn.
Sow: Throughout the spring and summer, at least four weeks after the last frost.
Harvest: A month after sowing.
These jewel-coloured root veg certainly pack a punch and make a great addition to a salad, or a delicious snack. Sow in containers, pots, or directly into the earth and enjoy a month later.
Sow: February - April
Harvest: July - October
Tomatoes grow so quickly that they are immensely gratifying, and a perfect way to catch the gardening bug! Bush varieties are low-maintenance, as they don’t need trimming back. Sow in pots, grow bags or hanging baskets and give them plenty of food and water to ensure a tasty crop.
Peas and Beans
Sow: March – July (depending on the variety).
Harvest: 2-3 months after sowing.
Peas and beans look great, offer a fabulous yield, and taste simply delicious. They need a little TLC as they grow, so ensure that the plants are supported well with canes and chicken wire to encourage growth. Once the plant starts producing pods, get picking! The more you pick, the more the plant will produce.
Harvest: July – September
The unsung heroes of the vegetable world, the humble potato is versatile and delicious. You can grow potatoes in potato bags, bins, or direct into the earth. Simply plant the potatoes and every time a shoot become visible, cover it with more compost. Once the bag is full, remember to water the plants until they die back. The harvesting process is fun; like a gardeners’ lucky dip, where you can rummage around in the soil looking for the fruits of your labour.
There is such a vast choice of fruit and vegetables that you can grow in your garden, so the best advice is to start simple and work your way bigger; if you are too ambitious to begin with, you may be tempted to give up! If you just don’t have the time to grow your own, why not employ a trusted local gardener to get you started? They will be able to give your vegetable garden a perfect start, so that you can enjoy it in weeks to come.