Great Garden Revolution: Grow ‘easy’ summer salad favourites that germinate in 10 days

Poppy Okotcha provides advice on sowing vegetable seeds

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The pandemic has allowed people to slow down, spend more time outdoors, and learn new hobbies – such as gardening. For beginner gardeners, growing vegetables has never been easier, especially with a plethora of tips and pieces of advice online and on TV screens.

Packed full of gardening tips and advice on what to do in your garden, The Great Gardening Revolution aired for the first time tonight on Channel Four.

The show’s hosts, among them horticulturist and ecological gardener Poppy Okotcha, were in north London to help a family transform their garden into a relaxing space for all to enjoy.

In one part of the garden, Poppy showed viewers how to sow seeds that will eventually grow into vegetables.

The horticulturist said that now is the perfect time to plant seeds as the warmer weather means that they will start to germinate quickly.

Poppy said: “If you want to have loads of lovely veggies for those summer feasts ahead, now is the time to start sowing seeds, so it’s perfect to do this weekend.”

She explained that May is not too late to start sowing vegetables, especially plants such as courgettes and leafy greens.

Poppy showed viewers her “sowing box”, saying “I take it wherever I may need to sow in the garden”.

She continued: “Growing your vegetables from seed is easy, cheap, and great for cutting down on food miles.

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“But there are just a couple of simple rules to follow.”

Poppy created shallow lines in the soil with her hands, before placing the seeds in the earth.

She explained: “The rule of thumb with seeds is that it needs to be as deep as the seeds girth.

“Sprinkle the seeds as evenly as possible through the row, and cover the seeds really loosely.

“Then, gently firm down so that the seed has got good contact with the compost.”

Poppy placed the seeds into the soil, explaining that she was planting lettuces, courgettes, beetroots, radishes, and chives.

“They are some of my summer salad favourites,” she said.

However, Poppy emphasised that sowing seeds doesn’t have to stop there.

She said: “There’s a whole world of veg out there to explore.”

The horticulturist explained that sowing seeds in May allows them to germinate quickly, as the weather is slightly warmer at this time of year.

She said: “In this warm temperature now that we’re in May, we should see germination within about ten days, which is very quick.

“So, get out in the garden and get sowing.”

Poppy also showed viewers how to create their own forest garden, which is essentially making space in your garden for seven different layers of plants and leaving them to grow wild.

This is beneficial for you as the patch requires little maintenance, but it can also attract wildlife and birds more easily.

Some plants that Poppy recommended growing in a forest garden are a strawberry tree, mint, and lemon balm.

Lemon balm leaves can be used in teas and salads, while mint leaves can be added to cocktails and other drinks or foods.

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