You don’t have to be an expert gardener to successfully grow your own produce. In fact, lots of fruits, vegetables and herbs grow so readily they need very little help from you at all! If you’re a new gardener looking to dip your toe in the world of growing your own, or you just want to grow some low maintenance crops- here are a few to consider.
Herbs grow very well in pots, which is useful because it means you can grow them anywhere. Even if you only have a balcony, a window box or a small garden you can produce enough to last you during the growing season. Producing your own herbs is useful since they’re low maintenance to grow but expensive to buy. If you do a lot of cooking, you’ll probably find yourself shelling out a fair amount each month on them. Mint is a very easy herb to grow, it actually spreads so quickly it’s recommended you grow it in pots to stop it from taking over the garden! Rosemary, thyme, sage and chives are all great choices. Invest in a couple of pots and create your own little herb garden. Now we’re in autumn, now is a good time to plant parsley seedlings out in the greenhouse. Once they’re established, you can bring them indoors to fully mature. A greenhouse, cold frame or polytunnel is a fantastic addition to the garden if you want to start growing your own.
Fruit trees can make a wonderful addition to the garden, not only do they look pretty but will provide you with a bumper crop year after year. In the UK, the easiest fruit trees to grow are apricots, plums, apples, and pears. You can use the fruit to make jams, jellies and chutneys to use throughout the year, or them gift to family and friends if there’s too much for you to get through.
Lettuces and salad leaves grow incredibly quickly, meaning you get to enjoy the first of your harvest just weeks after sowing. From crunchy iceberg to delicate lambs lettuce to the more unusual sorrel (which is delicious but can’t usually be bought from supermarkets). Salad leaves are a fantastic addition to your vegetable patch, and make for easy crops to grow in the garden.
Onions and Garlic
These really are a maintenance free crop- just plant the bulbs and wait for the magic to happen! In late summer the foliage will turn yellow and die back, this means they’re ready to go. You can then lift them out and dry them in the sun before storing them. You can buy ‘onion sets’ from garden centres, these are immature onions whose flower enzymes have been killed with heat. This prevents them from running to seed, and instead will grow into perfect onions with no additional effort on your part. For garlic, you just detach the cloves from a bulb and plant them in rows around ten centimeters apart.
Have you had any luck growing your own produce?