Can you think of anything more satisfying than enjoying a meal with ingredients you’ve grown yourself? Whether you have a spacious garden or have limited space in an apartment, it’s possible for us all to grow our own vegetables. From low maintenance herbs to consecutive potato crops, you can become a gifted grower in no time.
Pot: 6-inch clay pot
Soil: Well-draining potting soil that is pre-moistened
Chives’ versatility makes them the perfect herb to have on hand in the kitchen. They require around six to eight hours of full sunlight, so growing them on a south-facing windowsill is ideal. Chives also love company, so surrounding them with other indoor foliage will increase humidity and allow them to thrive. If you can’t offer your chives enough natural light, don’t worry, as a 6-12 inch fluorescent fixture with two 40-watt bulbs can provide what’s necessary. You can begin to harvest chives once the leaves are at least 6 inches tall, cutting these down to 1-2 inches will encourage regrowth.
Pot: A wide container with adequate drainage
Soil: Moderately rich potting mix
Mint can grow happily in the garden or indoors and is a fragrant delight to have in the kitchen. Complementing a wide variety of food and drink, it’s a fun and easy herb to grow. A window with indirect light is preferable, with moist but not overly wet soil, are ideal growing conditions for mint. As the plant often grows towards the light, rotation every 4-5 days is recommended. You can maintain your mint with regular pruning, as soon as leaves come to fruition they can be harvested, with young leaves having more flavour than older ones.
Pot: A pot slightly larger than 8 inches, with drainage holes and a saucer.
Soil: Seed starting soil mix
There are several types of lettuce that are more suited to being grown indoors; Garden Babies, Merlot, Baby Oakleaf, and Lollo Rosa. Placing them in a space that gets 12 hours of bright light each day, such as perched in front of a south-facing window is ideal if this is unachievable in your home investing in table top grow lights is advised as these are perfect for growing smaller vegetables, such as lettuce. Mist your seeds daily until they sprout, then ensure soil is constantly moist – not overly saturated or too dry. If your plant is in a particularly warm spot or there is visible wilting your lettuce will need some extra hydration. 30-45 days after planting, you should be ready for your first harvest!
If you’re a pesto lover, basil is a must-have home-grown herb! Whether it’s Sweet, Purple, Lemon or Thai basil, the most important thing to remember is this herb only grows during the height of summer – once the frost has past and the soil is warm (around June). Scatter your seeds over your chosen location and water frequently, once these begin to germinate spread them to 6 inches apart. The more basil is harvested, the more it grows. Pinch the stem off directly above where leaves have grown, this will encourage two new stems to grow and your plant will become large and abundant. Once flowers begin to grow, this can reduce the leaves flavour, cut all flowers off to help direct the plant’s energy to the foliage and maintain the authentic taste that can complement almost any Italian dish.
If you’re lucky enough to have a larger garden, you can grow potatoes with just a few essential elements; potato starts (or those potatoes you forgot about that have started sprouting will work just fine), a shovel, garden soil, water and sunlight. For a single potato plant dig a 3-inch hole, if you’re feeling more adventurous create straight, well-spaced rows with each potato start placed 12 inches apart. There are 5 types of potato crop through-out the year based on planting dates, you can find out more about these here.
Courgettes can be sown directly into soil enriched with manure or compost from late-May to early summer. If your soil is heavy and fertile, this won’t require additional feeding, however sandy or light soil should be topped up regularly with liquid feed. It is essential to water your courgettes regularly, especially when they are in flower. As a rule of thumb harvest your vegetables when they’re 10cm, at least three times a week during the height of the season to keep the plants productive.
To ensure maximum freshness, vegetables such as lettuce and courgette should be stored in the fridge. Designed to keep food fresher and help to reduce food waste, the innovative AXI refrigerator is our first-ever truly intelligent Food Manager. Using Artificial Intelligence, it puts you in complete control of everything you store and provides a bespoke experience to help you to reduce food waste by keeping track of when items are past their best. Fully Wi-Fi connected, you can also control and manage all AXI’s functions via the Wizard App.