Green-fingered or not, everyone can garden. There are some plants that are so easy to keep alive you couldn’t kill them if you tried. If a cactus can survive in the desert it can survive in your home. Despite your over-watering or tendency towards neglect, you (yes, you) can still enjoy homegrown produce!
We’ll be honest, these five edible plants take a little bit more looking after than a cactus. But only a little! Plus, they’re perfect if you don’t have a big garden (or even no garden at all). Your fruits and veg will taste like sweet, sweet victory over Mother Nature. Ready to turn those fingers green?
You can’t beat an English strawberry. Sweet and juicy, we can’t think of anything that tastes more like summer. We’ll let you into a little secret too. They’re ever so easy to grow. Pretty much every garden centre will stock small strawberry plants for you to bring back to your own patch of land or windowsill and act like you nurtured them lovingly from seeds. Cheating? Yes. Do we care? Nope.
Here’s how to look after your strawberry plants:
- Give them plenty of light – they like to be in sunny spots.
- Plant plants in pots or in the ground 10 inches apart.
- Water them whenever the soil dries out.
Yes, it really is as simple as that!
We really can’t write an article about easy to grow produce without mentioning spuds. All you need to spawn an entire plant is one potato that’s been chitted, aka left lying around for too long and sprouted.
Forgotten a potato in the back of your cupboard? Congratulations, you’re officially one step closer to being a seasoned gardener.
Now here’s what to do next:
- When your potato has sprouts ½ – 1 inch long pop it into the base of a pot on a bed of soil about 4 inches deep. Make sure the pot has drainage holes and the potato is placed in with the sprouts pointing upwards.
- Sprinkle your tattie with soil so the sprouts are covered and give it some water.
- As the sprouts appear, keep topping up the soil so they’re just covered. Repeat until the pot is full.
- Water often and when the plant flowers that’s a good sign that the potatoes are ready to be harvested.
Not bad for one humble spud, eh?
Don’t want to dig up your garden? Don’t actually have a garden? No problem, short rooted carrots can also grow in pots. So you can have your (carrot) cake and eat it too.
Go on, give it a go:
- Plant your carrot seeds 3 inches apart from one another.
- Don’t over water them, only water when the plant’s leaves start to wilt.
- Avoid crushing the leaves as this can attract pesky flies that can destroy your carrots and ruin your hard work.
- In 12 – 16 weeks you can harvest your crops!
Disclaimer: Despite the urban legend, we can make no promises that eating your carrots will help you see in the dark.
Tasty Tomato Plants
You say tom-ay-to, we say tom-ah-to. Well actually, we don’t want to put words in your mouth, you pronounce it however you like.
When it comes to growing the fruit in question (yes, we have to say fruit because although no-one actually thinks of them as fruit, we like to be correct about these things) here’s what you need to do:
- Plant the little tomato seeds about ¼ inch deep.
- Grow the plants indoors for a couple of months first (or the whole time if you don’t have your own outside space).
- Keep the soil in your tomato pots moist, but once shoots and leaves appear they need watering less frequently.
- Once the plants are six inches high transfer them to outside if you can.
- The tomatoes will tell you when they’re ready to be eaten by their lovely, shiny, red skins.
You say tomato, we say, “Where?” because we’ve already scoffed it.
Guess what? Baby gem lettuces can also be grown in pots. Bonus.
Lettuce tell you how:
- Plant your lettuce seeds six inches apart – the space will be filled (eventually, be patient) with juicy edible leaves.
- Water periodically.
- Once your lettuce is ready for eating you can either remove the outer leaves and leave the stump (as the plant will continue to grow) or pull the whole juicy thing up in one and enjoy.
We learnt the cautionary tale from Homer Simpson that, “You don’t make friends with salad”. We beg to differ.
We can neither confirm nor deny that talking, singing, reciting poetry or performing a little dance will help your homegrown produce flourish… but there’s only one way to find out. What have you got to lose?
If you feel like you need a helping hand keeping on top of your gardening, well that’s what appliances were made for. Luckily you know where to go for help looking after those. Happy gardening!