Ben HaywardApril 27th
2020

With everything that’s going on at the moment, there’s been an unexpected surge in people deciding to have a go at growing their own food at home.

While the thought of growing vegetables may well conjure up images of acres of country gardens with rows of potatoes stretching off into the distance, the reality is that it doesn’t have to be like that at all.

In fact, with little more than a sunny windowsill, small back yard or balcony, you can grow way more than you might think. 

So, in case you’re unsure where to start, we’ve pulled together a list of some of the best veggies for you to grow at home - but remember, the most important thing is to grow stuff that you like eating!

Oh - and if you do fancy giving a spot of home gardening a go, don't forget that TOTUM members get 10% off home and garden products at Robert Dyas and you can find loads more deals on our Home & Garden page here.

Anyway, here's what you can have a go at...

Courgettes

I’m sure there’s a good reason, but I just don't know why courgettes are so expensive in shops, because one plant produces a lot… 

Great in all sorts of dishes, two courgette plants will provide you with more than enough - in fact you’ll be thinking of some very odd ways to get them into your cooking.

They do take up a fair bit of space (allow about 1m x 1m I’d say) so maybe not one for tiny spaces. However they’ll grow happily in pots as long as they get plenty of sun and plenty of water - and maybe the occasional bit of plant food.

Radishes

A delicious peppery little crunchy addition to any salad, radishes are super easy to grow either in containers or in the the ground.

Other plants such as peas and beans also love growing near them and they’re often used to deter pests away from other crops… 

Potatoes

Who doesn’t love a spud? A great crop to grow yourself purely because the yields are so high, you can grow potatoes pretty much anywhere. 

Just chuck them in some compost and when the green shoots begin to appear above the soil, simply cover them with more compost - and repeat!

About 15-20 weeks after you planted them (once the leaves turn yellow) you can dig them up and enjoy spuds with every meal. 

Rocket

This peppery salad leaf is another great one to grow at home as it needs so little attention.

Sow some seeds in a decent sized pot, and plonk it in a spot without too much direct sunlight and within a matter of days you’ll start to see little seedlings appear - rocket by name, rocket by nature!

Keep watering and thin your seedlings out, but don’t throw them away! Give them a wash and you’ll be shocked at how sweet and peppery they are! When the rest reach full size just cut off the leaves as you need them!

Spring Onions

Easier, and more space efficient than their larger cousins, spice up your salads with some quick-growing spring onions.

Sow them in little clusters of 6-8 either in pots or in the ground and when you come to pick them you’ll have a ready-made bunch!

Tomatoes

So quick that you can practically watch them grow, tomatoes are the ideal vegetable for kids to have a go at. 

Choose a bush variety like 'Romello' that can be planted in hanging baskets and window boxes and all you’ll have to do is feed and water them before the fruit starts to pour from the plant!

Beetroot

Okay, this one might not be everyone’s cup of tea - but wait until you’ve tried freshly picked beetroot from your own garden before you decide for sure. 

The beauty of beetroot is that it's so easy to grow - just sow seeds directly into the ground in spring and, well that’s about it to be honest!

From May through to September you can harvest your very own colourful, succulent beetroot - watch out for stains though… 

Chillis

For those of us who love to spice things up a bit, chillis are another great little crop to grow.

Most at home on a sunny windowsill or in a greenhouse, keep them well watered and by the summer you should be starting to see your fiery little friends appearing. There’s loads of varieties to choose from, so pick your fave and go for it! 

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