Are you looking for a way to get more from your outdoor space? Are you eager to try growing your own fruit and vegetables but don’t know where to start?
Fret not. Many people have been where you are, and for people who seemingly cannot grow anything successfully, there are many vegetables and other foods that can be grown in a garden, an allotment, or even a tub with minimal knowledge that will give you pride in the process and the taste.
So, with that in mind, what are some of the easiest foods to grow in a kitchen garden? Read on to find out!
For many people, nothing is better than having some of their favorite herbs growing in their garden or on their kitchen windowsill. Some of the most popular and easiest herbs to grow include rosemary, mint, lavender (in dry, sandy soil!) and sage. Make sure that you water these herbs every day to ensure the best growth, and make sure that they are placed somewhere that has mid-exposure to the sun. What you may find is that if you put them all into a large pot, one of them will dominate the others. So, it is best to keep them in separate areas to grow freely! For spices that don’t grow so well in your climate, why not buy bulk organic spices and herbs instead?
Many people look at courgettes and assume that they require some kind of greenhouse or polytunnel to grow them successfully. The reality is a lot simpler, and many people are surprised to learn that all you need is a bright and sunny spot with clay or sandy soil.
One thing to consider if you want to grow courgettes, however, is that they will need quite a bit of space between each seed, or they can very easily dominate each other and the surrounding plants. In many ways, they’re quite similar to pumpkins. Many gardeners advise that you begin growing your courgettes in a small plant pot with some simple compost. Seedling compost is not really needed for courgettes, as it tends to be very fine, and the seeds are very large! Once the seedlings have sprouted at least two leaves, you can transfer them into a larger pot until the leaves become serrated and a bit rough. Then, aim to plant them in the ground at least a meter apart from each other and protect them from slugs!
The best part of growing courgettes is not only that the vegetables themselves are easy to care for, but they also have beautiful, yellow flowers, which will attract pollinators like bees and can also be eaten! If you leave your courgettes for too long, though, they will develop into marrows. To prevent an overproduction of courgettes, you will need to sacrifice some of the vegetables and let them fall off of the plant, or else the plants will just keep making more!
There are so many different types of lettuce that you can grow, with some varieties even being ready to pick and eat in a salad in as little as four to six weeks! However, one of the easiest options to grow is loose-leaf lettuce, which you can sow in March all the way through to September. It’s a tough lettuce, but it requires almost no maintenance!
The best part of growing lettuce is that it doesn’t need as much space as courgette plants and can be grown in containers, making it a cheaper option than buying bags of lettuce from the supermarket that you may never eat. However, unlike courgettes, lettuce seeds are very, very small and will need to be sown into seedling compost and loosely covered to prevent them from becoming buried.
When you notice that the seedlings are big enough to handle, you can move them, but keep the compost moist and guard the plants from slugs and snails. They love lettuce! As mentioned before, lettuce can take as little as six weeks to grow, but for most options, it can take around ten weeks. You will need to ensure that the lettuce is not in a location where it is overly exposed to the sun, as this can cause it to dry out, and the soil or compost that it is grown in will need to stay moist, or the leaves will wilt.
Next on the list are potatoes; great mashed, boiled, roasted, or fried!
Potatoes generally do well in heavier, denser soils, such as clay-based soils, but they can be grown in pretty much any type of soil. The best part is you can grow them from a bag of potatoes that you may already have in your home; simply wait for them to start sprouting eyes and then bury them in the soil at about four inches deep. Make sure to water them every day as these plants are very thirsty.
Once you notice that there is a sprout, you will need to start building a small hill around it to help support it as it grows and to ensure the potatoes stay covered. If they are exposed to the sun, they turn green and poisonous. You will need to wait until the plants are about 8 to 10 inches tall before you start to dig up the potatoes. Also, make sure that nobody eats the flowers that these plants create as well; they’re very pretty, but they’re very poisonous. Potatoes adore manure and thrive in partially shaded spots in the garden, so try not to place them somewhere that they will be overly exposed to the sun, as the stems can wilt.
Potatoes are easy to grow, but, to the frustration of many new gardeners, it can be hard to predict their size as they grow underground. So, patience is a virtue when growing the humble spud! Which types are the simplest to grow? The russet potato is a favorite of many people, as is the red Pontiac, the Kennebec, and the Yukon gold. However, there are no types of potatoes that are ‘difficult’ to grow, so why not try growing one of each and see which one you and your family prefer?