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Eco Blog 9: Grow your own


i everyone, Chiara here again for this week’s eco blog. This time I thought I would look at growing your own fruit and vegetables even in a limited space. I have just planted rosemary, parsley and mint in a window box just outside my front door. Growing your own fruits and vegetables is great, and not something that is just for those who have big garden and space. For those with small gardens, or even just a balcony, there are ways to grow tasty produce. It all about maximising the space you have and finding creative ways to sow and grow! Here are some top tips….

Herbs and Salads: Herbs are great plants to grow if space is at a minimum. You can put them in a variety of containers and they will grow happily with little attention. You can also try using household guttering for a fabulous salad garden that you can fill with lettuces, other salad leaves and radishes. Make sure you choose guttering that has a decent depth, so your produce has more room for its roots to grow.

How to make a Salad Gutter Garden: Cut a length of deep household guttering to the required size and drill small drainage holes every couple of inches or so at the bottom. There needs to be something at the end of each length to prevent soil from washing straight out, and the easiest option is to buy the corresponding stop-ends for the guttering which cost less than a pound. Or, alternatively you can use a piece of shaped wood and glue it to the end. Fix it to a fence or wall and place a few handfuls of gravel along the guttering and spread out evenly to help with drainage. Fill the guttering with compost and either sow seeds directly or plant out seedlings. For maximum production, you can plant closely, and this works well in a gutter garden. Closely packed plants compete for room and light, and this means that once you pick a few leaves, something else rushes to make the most of the new gap. Soon, the guttering will be bursting with leaves that keep growing more and more.

Window Boxes and Hanging Baskets: You can grow a surprising amount in a window box. Try garlic bulbs, herbs, lettuce, or edible flowers. Window boxes can be bought or made to any depth you require, making them a versatile planter.

Growing Fruit Trees in small Spaces: Fruit bushes and trees can be grown in any garden, even small ones! Where space is a problem, fruit trees can be trained to grow in shape next to a wall or fence and take up very little room.

An old wooden ladder: is perfect to put pots on filled with scented herbs. Great for a garden corner when short on space. You can pot up your favourite edible herbs like rosemary, basil, thyme and try a few unusual varieties such as lime mint.

What can you try growing this season? Have a go whatever space you have and do post any pictures of your produce! Bye for now…..Chiara x

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