Toddler Bed specialist Room to Grow tells us that growing your own vegetables can be a really fun
way of providing some extra fresh food for the family and teaching the kids about gardening and the importance of eating healthy veg.
It doesn’t matter if you’re not an experienced gardener and it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a huge garden. In fact, if you don’t have a garden at all, you can still join in – growing some greens on the balcony or windowsill. If the idea of growing vegetables is daunting to you – don’t worry. Start off small by growing a few easy plants just for the fun of it and take it from there.
If you have a garden, consider giving over part of it to vegetables. If the idea of a vegetable plot doesn’t really float your boat, there are plenty of creative ways of working in the veg with the flowers! You can plant runner beans at the back of a border to provide a great run of foliage.
Plant some cabbages in amongst your flowers – they’ll add some great big leafy ground cover and show off your flowers to their best advantage. Plant some carrots – and make sure the beautiful fronds complement the neighboring blooms.
Some of the easiest vegetables to grow are salad leaves and these are always handy for providing a fresh accompaniment to a meal or a bit of extra crunch in a sandwich. Look for a pack of mixed salad leaves and sow in a shallow container close to the kitchen. Don’t try to grow all these greens to full size – pick a handful of baby leaves every day or so and eat them at their best.
Radishes and spring onions are easy to grow for beginners – they work great in pots and are both quick growing, an important consideration if the kids are joining in. Kids like instant results and will soon get bored with the daily watering chores if nothing much seems to be happening. At first, the quicker you can get stuff to grow from seed to table, the more likely the kids are to maintain interest in helping out.
Mint is always a handy plant to have around – you can add sprigs to peas or potatoes, add a couple of leaves to cold drinks for an extra zing or even pick enough leaves for a refreshing cup of mint tea. Grow mint in pots because it loves to escape and spread itself around the garden.
Potatoes are a great crop to grow and can be grown in bags, stacks of tyres – in fact there are loads of containers that you can use for the humble spud. Here’s some information on how to go about growing potatoes – what you grow them in is entirely up to you. Let your imagination go wild.
Once you’ve made a start with growing vegetables, you’re sure to want to take it further. Keep at it and you never know, you might end up growing quite a lot of the veg that you eat on a daily basis.
No need to eschew the supermarket or greengrocer’s entirely. Just supplement the veg you buy
with the veg you grow at home. Your own vegetables will be organically grown and taste delicious.