Get on Growing; Easy Ways to Grow Your Own
Planting fruit, vegetables, and flowers can feel daunting when it’s something you’ve never done before. However, nowadays there is a wealth of information at your fingertips on the internet or in books from your local library, which can help you make not only your thumb, but your whole hand green!
If you have an idea of what you would like to grow then that’s a great first step. Some things will struggle to grow in the UK with our less-than-sunny weather, so make sure you check this first before planting something in your green space. If you don’t have access to a garden, but have a windowsill or sunny spot in your home then you can still grow things indoors- in fact some plants prefer to stay cosy inside rather than in the ground anyway.
There are some plants which will need additional help to live their best lives, such as tomatoes and even the humble sunflower. For fruit like tomatoes, you will need a greenhouse and supports for their vines to wrap around. Sunflowers will also need supports when they grow so big because their heads can grow very heavy and their stems don’t always support them. It’s good to be prepared for how your plants will grow and what they need to keep growing so you don’t have to quickly rush out to buy things which can end up being expensive.
There are some household items which you can use to grow your own and save you money in the process. For example, for seedlings which need support and deep soil, you can repurpose the cardboard tubes in the middle of toilet paper rolls rather than have to lay out for expensive alternatives! You can also use study, relatively straight sticks or thin branches as supports for plants with vines. Empty milk bottles or plastic drinks bottles can also be used as a mini greenhouse when you’re growing things inside or on your windowsill. To do this, carefully cut off the top and bottom of the drinks bottle and then cut down the middle. Then unfold the bottle over your seedlings and cover with cling film to keep the moisture in and hey presto- your own mini greenhouse!
Creating your own compost can be a fun project in and of itself, and is easy to do. Save your coffee grounds, wash out your egg shells, and keep your banana peels, and use them when needed. Coffee grounds can be added to your soil to add nitrogen, egg shells add calcium but need to be broken down into small parts for the maximum benefit. Banana peels are full of nutrients for your plants and make for happy healthy soil which is key to getting the most out of your garden.
Your local library will have books on gardening and specific plants too, so why not pop down and speak to your friendly librarian who can recommend some great books on the topic for you to enjoy for free?
The most important thing about growing your own is starting slowly. Don’t be disheartened if one of your seedlings doesn’t grow, it’s all part of the process! You can also buy ‘starters’ which are baby plants ready to be planted if growing from the seed is not for you, and they’re a bit easier to maintain. Grow the things you want, and if you find yourself becoming a pro-gardener, then turn your hand to something a bit more tricky- gardening is all about patience, so be patient with yourself too!