Gardeners' World: Monty advises on planting Mediterranean herbs
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Gardening and growing your own food has become trendier in recent years – not only is it good for the environment, but it’s cheaper and studies have shown that gardening can be beneficial for mental health. Add a pandemic to the mix and it’s no surprise that housebound Brits have decided to get their hands dirty. Here are 10 foolproof vegetables and how to get your very own patch started.
Potatoes are easy to grow – simply plant them in the ground or an old compost bag, part-filled with compost.
When the green shoots begin to appear above the soil, simply cover them with more compost.
Repeat until the bag is full, and remember to water.
At the end of the season, when the foliage starts to yellow and die back, tip the bag out and rummage around in the soil to collect up your own homegrown potatoes!
Radish seeds are fairly large, so they are easy to sow and are ready to harvest within just a few weeks.
They’re easy to grow in containers, or sow them directly into the ground throughout the summer for a succession of crunchy, colourful crops.
Choose a small variety such as Half Pint, and peas will grow nice and easily.
Sow them directly into the ground from March to June and look forward to freshly picked peas from June to August.
They can also be grown in a container.
The young tips can be trimmed and added to salads for a delicious spring treat, and are followed by flowers and pods.
4. Spring onions
Spring onions are easy to grow in pots or the ground and can be harvested in just eight weeks.
Plant them with mint to deter onion fly.
A handy vegetable to have in abundance, onions grow easily in the earth with virtually no maintenance needed.
Just plant the bulbs in well-drained soil in spring or autumn and leave them to it.
In late summer when the foliage yellows and dies back, lift and dry in the sun before use.
Tomatoes grow so quickly they’ll take over your whole patch if you let them!
Choose a bush variety like ‘Romello’ that can be planted in hanging baskets and window boxes. Bush varieties don’t require training or side-shooting, so you only need to feed and water them before the fruit starts to pour from the plant!
7. Salad leaves
Salad leaves like rocket and oak-leaf lettuce can be sown in pots and harvested on a cut-and-come-again basis, so you don’t need to tend the plants for long.
You can buy several salad leaf varieties to sow together to make a colourful salad.
Courgettes are renowned for producing an abundant crop from just a few plants.
For the best results, grow your courgettes in fertile ground and water regularly, picking the courgettes when they’re no longer than 10cm.
Beetroot can be sown directly into moist ground from March to July.
As they grow, thin the seedlings to about 5cm apart.
From May to September you can look forward to harvesting your own colourful, succulent beetroot.
10. Broad beans
Sow Broad Beans in spring in small 7.5cm pots of compost, and within a few weeks these quick-growing beans will make sturdy plants that can be planted out in the garden.
Harvest from June onwards!
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