How does your garden grow?July 27, 2015
Whether you’ve got a garden the size of a small country or some pots in your flat or on your balcony, there are some great little veggies you can grow at home. Growing vegetables of your own, is sooo satisfying. They definitely taste better… they taste like a mix of joy and pride.
The smaller the better sometimes… because then when you pick them you can feel like a giant – such a great power trip/ego boost. You can say “look at these tiny chillies” in your booming, giant’s voice. Chuckle, chuckle.
Anyway, back to more sane talk. Seriously though, check out this selection that we picked straight from the garden…
These guys are for beginners. They only need to be watered every 10 to 14 days. But they do love some very good soil and compost. Harvest them once they are the size of a golf ball.
Those delicate looking lilac flowers in the top left are chive flowers. Chives are super easy to grow. As part of the onion family, and they should be planted in early Spring. They need a lot of sun and sandy, loamy soil is highly appreciated by these herbs. Maybe start the seeds inside for the first 8 – 10 weeks and then repot them outdoors.
Chard is great in soups, pies, salads and so, so much more. As part of the beetroot family chard seeds are best planted a couple of weeks before the last spring frost, but you can continue to plant the seeds every ten days for one whole month. Harvest them before they are 1 foot tall, or they will not be as delicious!
You can get up to 3 or ever 4 courgette per plant, per week. That is crazy! But these veggies do like to have their way with the garden a bit, so you will need at least 1 metre for them to spread themselves in. But, there are big growing bags too, if you don’t have a big enough garden area. The Royal Horticultural Society have some great tips on growing courgettes.
Also, I love courgette flowers, not only are they very pleasing for the old eyes… but if you make a thin batter and deep fry them… you’ve got yourself some courgette flower tempura – you can just dip them in soy sauce for extra flavour… or even chilli sauce if you’re feeling adventurous.
Sage is often a slightly neglected herb. I have never been sure why. Maybe it’s because it’s a bit milder in flavour, but offers so much to white meats particularly – like pork and chicken. It works very well in garden pots. Why not make a pot for all your herbs like sage, rosemary and basil… it will smell great! It doesn’t love summer heat and humidity so be aware and water more during these times! Planting seeds 18 to 24 inches apart in Spring or Autumn for the best results. It loves a good lot of sun and well-drained soil.
I would recommend making jam – or adding this to sponge and baking them in the oven. They are very sharp, so they need something sweet to offset the tang. You can harvest them right now – so mid-summer. These can grow pretty comfortably in containers if you don’t have a huge garden. One bush should yield about 4 kg of berries – and watch out for those sneaky birds; they love a berry or two for lunch.
Dill will self-sow after you initially plant it, so keep it in pots or it could take over a bit! They love a lot of sun… and these guys need a medium amount of water, but definitely be careful not to overdo it! They can thrive in poor soil, as long as it’s well-drained. Dill is great with fish! If you’re making salmon fish cakes, poach the salmon in dill & milk before you start. Delicious!
Mint is partial to morning sun but likes shade too – so maybe choose somewhere where it gets both at different points of the day. Mint also works well in containers or pots. You should pick the mint leaves before they blossom and flower for the tastiest minty flavour. Our friends over at Apartment Therapy wrote a great article on the dos and don’ts of mint growing.
Grow these babies from seeds – they are pretty perennial because they can flourish in a smallish space. They take about 2 weeks to germinate. Plant more seeds every 3 – 4 weeks to ensure that you get new ones! Sow the seeds about 5mm deep and 5 mm apart from eachother.
You see that long stalk with a pretty white flower on top? That’s an onion flower. You need well drained soil – and you need a sunny spot. You plant baby onions called sets and these will then become your big onion plants! Make sure you’re never caught without onions… by growning your own!
If you want more information on growing your own veggies and fruit – Check out the RHS website. They are simply experts!
So… how does YOUR garden grow?