Chef James Martin has been impressing presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield in recent weeks as he joins them from his garden. The star has been appearing on This Morning to share his latest recipes, with many of his cooking segments filmed in his garden on the barbecue. However, today the celebrity chef shared his tips for growing your own vegetables in lockdown.
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As the nation stays at home due to the coronavirus, more and more people are looking to spruce up their gardens for summer, if they’re lucky enough to have one.
What’s more, as shopping for essential groceries has been the only outing for many Britons in the last three months, shops have struggled to cope with demand.
That’s given shoppers the motivation to try and grow their own vegetables and herbs as a way to save money and avoid missing out.
Broadcasting from his beautiful garden with his own greenhouse and vegetable patch, James Martin shared his top tips for growing your own.
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The 47-year-old star told viewers how growing his own vegetables is something that he learned from his family.
Martin’s grandad used to grow roses as well as potatoes in his garden, something he’s followed with his own efforts.
But it was his uncle who inspired him to grow vegetables, as he had an allotment and greenhouse in his garden.
The chef said that building his greenhouse was the first thing he did when he bought his home – revealing that he even lived in a motorhome on the driveway as he focused on creating his perfect garden first.
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James said that now that the country is in lockdown he’s spent most of his time in the greenhouse.
The star showed off his different sized tomato plants as they were all at different stages of growth.
He explained how you can buy them as ready-grown plants, or you can start with seeds in small trays.
Keen gardeners can then thin them out as they grow, putting them into pots of increasing sizes as the plants get bigger over time.
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However, the chef then revealed the key to making sure your tomato plants are a success.
Taking the camera over to the much taller tomato plants in his greenhouse, James said the key is to make sure they grow upright.
To do this you need to remove the shoots that come off the central stem at the top; this helps to force the plant upwards so that it continues to grow.
He also warned gardeners to avoid knocking off the flower buds, as wherever there is a flower, a tomato will soon grow.
Walking around his garden, the Saturday Kitchen star also recommended growing mint separately from other herbs in a pot as it “goes crazy” and takes over the patch if it’s mixed with others.
James also talked about compost, something frustrated gardeners around the country have been struggling to get hold of in lockdown.
The top tips came after garden centres were permitted to reopen in recent weeks thanks to their outdoor nature.
Green-fingered Britons rushed to get to garden centres around the UK when they reopened their doors, with huge queues as they had to stick to social distancing.
If you don’t have a greenhouse, tomato plants like a lot of sunshine so pick a sunny spot in the garden if you want to grow your own.
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