With a little bit of thought and some clever ideas, everyone can grow their own
27 June 2019| Last updated on 23 September 2020
All Credits: PA
You might be renting a garden-free house or live in a tiny 15th floor flat with plenty of views but no actual earth to plant stuff in – however, that doesn’t mean you can’t grow your own.
Sure, rhubarb is probably not an option (the leaves are elephant-ear huge), asparagus would be tricky (a long trench of sandy soil is required), and globe artichokes likely a problem (guys, they grow to human height). And there’s no point nurturing blackberries in this climate.
Yet, however compact your home, there’s always a nook or cranny somewhere that a seedling will thrive in. It’s amazing the produce you can coax into life with just a couple of windowsills and a front step.
Transform your plot – however small – into an urban allotment with these green-fingered, space-maximising tricks…
Old crockery and plates from charity shops are a good substitute too if you haven’t got the surface area for terracotta plant trays indoors.
There are certain items that are worth investing in though. One or two plastic seedling trays the size of an A4 sheet of paper (although coir – coconut husks – makes for a more eco-friendly option), a trowel (although hands work fine), gardening gloves (if you want to look the part) and compost – which will be essential. Secateurs are optional – after all, there’s not much a pair of kitchen scissors can’t do.
Growing your own also offers a chance to eat things you can’t usually get in the supermarket – chervil, lovage and sorrel are all easy to grow from seed and are hard to find for sale full-grown.
Among your herbs, clear a gap for a tray in which you can sow ‘cut and come again’ crops of lettuce leaves, spinach and rocket.
Chillies love a bedroom windowsill
You don’t want home-grown cherry tomatoes rolling around your bedroom floor, so save this space for edible flowers and chilli plants. We’re talking one pot for a plant that produces small hot red chillies, and one jalapeño pepper – placed either end of the windowsill.
Then fill the gap in the middle with a mixed tray of violets, marigolds and nasturtiums, the latter of which you can eat the velvety orange flowers, as well as the seed pods, which taste really peppery.