If like us you have a passion for fresh, locally sourced produce, you've probably already had a go at growing your own foods, because lets face it, nothing is fresher or more local than vegetables and salads grown in your own garden or on your windowsill by you yourself.
You have first hand knowledge of everything that went into growing them, whether you chose to use growth hormones and additives or go 100% organic is up to you, but either way you'll have a greater awareness of your food than when buying it at the supermarket. Plus, the satisfaction that comes from raising fully fruited plants from tiny seeds is soooo good and it's a perfect way to spend the last few days of half term with the little people in your life.
Sold? Okay, so let's get into it.
For beginners or growers looking to plant with children, the easiest veggies and salads to start with are fast growing. This is because, typically fast growing plants don't need much attention and if you (or your little ones) are likely to get impatient, there's less of a wait before you see results.
If you're a fan of super foods, easy-to-grow essentials are Alfalfa and Spinach, which aren't only fast growing but will provide plenty of crops well into the end of summer, and Alfalfa can be grown as simply as by adding seeds to jar of water, they don't need direct sunlight so they're perfect for homes that don't get much light. Just drain the water and replace with fresh each day until you see green tips on your shoots; this usually takes 5-7 days.
Other plants to consider seeding are Runner Beans, they love the light but they shoot up so quickly! Keep them watered in order for them to produce bean pods and if you can't plant them next to a wall or fence consider popping some of those bbq skewers from the bottom drawer (we all have them) in the pot to give them something to hold onto as they grow tall. Little ones will love the curls and coils of bean stems and watching as they hold onto their supports.
Lettuce, Water Cress and Chives are some of the more typical easy-to-grow plants, like the others they start showing produce quickly and they'll give plenty of crops. These 3 are also ideal plants to keep the kitchen from seeds to fully-grown, potted conditions will keep them from getting out of hand and you'll be more likely to harvest if they're right at your finger tips.
These plants are easy enough to grow, but be careful because they can get real crazy real quick, and by that I mean, they're going to need some space.
Of course, you can train your plants to grow within a certain space using pots, but that's not to say you won't still be surprised by the size of the prize.
Tomatoes, they're so essential in my kitchen, breakfast, lunch, dinner they're around for most meals and that there are so many varieties makes them even more exciting to grow. They're really easy to grow from seeds and up to a point they're happy enough growing in your window (you'll know when you reach the point because you won't be able to see out of said window anymore).
They do get very big, but you'll have enough tomatoes to feed your family and give some to the neighbours.
Potatoes are another essential, this is England after all. They're SO easy to grow but you'll definitely want to grow these in containers because they also like to spread about. I learnt this when a potato ended up in my compost bin and a couple months later I had big, leafy shoots popping up all around and in the neighbours garden too. So yeah, buy a container or use an old plastic storage tub, whatever you can get your hands on.
Runner Beans, I've already spoke about but it's worth mentioning that bean and pea plants can also take up a lot of space, they're not wide and bushy like others but they get so tall. They also produce beautiful flowers though so they're perfect for the garden. Actually if you do have a garden and wanted to make the most epic den ever for the summer, once your seedlings are ready for planting in the garden, plant them in a circle (with an opening) and use bamboo canes and/or chicken wire to offer them support to grow tall, while also making a canopy, tee-pee style, then sit in there drink iced tea and pretend your the queen because you'd deserve it after making something so awesome.
Well, I hope we've inspired you to start growing, let us know how your growing goes and send us your pics! We'll keep you posted on ours, and any others we decide to grow over the coming months!