I am one of the LEAST green-fingered people ever. We have tried growing fruits and vegetables every year, for the last 4 years. This year was, by far, our most/only successful year! We thought we would share with you what we have found to be the easiest to grow, and some of our mistakes that we have learnt from. One tip that goes for all of the fruits and veg you grow – WEED! If you see a weed (or 5 million) near the things you’re growing, then pull them out (with the roots attached!). If you allow weeds to grow near your plants, the plants will not be able to get all the nutrients they need. the thieving weeds will take a lot of it too!
Potatoes are SO easy to grow! Take a potato that has started to sprout, plant it in some soil. We have a veg patch, but it can be done in a barrel, a bucket….even a wellington boot! You need to make sure they are quite low down in the soil, as you need to add more soil every now and then to help them along. They need plenty of water. The plants grow pretty tall! The plants flower, and when the flowers/buds go/drop off, the potatoes are ready to harvest. You don’t have to get them straight away though, we picked some of our a week later or so later, and they were fine.
On a side note, potato plants can sometimes grow poisonous fruit. Make sure you DON’T EAT it! I only know because ours grew some, so I googled to see what it was. I took a picture to show you.
The packet of seeds will have the information of when to sew and how long until they should be ready to harvest. All you need to do is plant them where they’ll get some sunlight, and water them daily (or not, if you live in England and usually get rain fairly often!). When the plant has grown, it starts to flower, and that is where the pea pods grow. It is best to have something for the plants to grow up against – like a stick, netting, trellis, etc.
This is what they look like when they grow. You can see that these ones weren’t ready to pick yet, they still look pretty flat. The peas were right next to our carrots.
Carrots so super easy! Our big mistake this year, was planting too many carrot seeds too close together. This meant that not all the seeds could get all the nutrients they needed, so most of them came out really small! haha very cute….really difficult to peel!! The seed packet will have all the instructions on the back, follow them! They need plenty of sunlight and water. The best way to test if they are ready to harvest, is to brush some of the soil off from around the top, and if they look like a good size and colour, brush a little more, give it a wiggle and pull!
We planted our tomato seeds in a pot at first, but then as they started to grow, we realised that we had put too many seeds in there. So while the plants were still fairly small, we very carefully, trying not to ruin/brake the roots, moved the plants to our vegetable bed instead. They then grew pretty quickly (and tall!) The plants need plenty of sunlight and water. They will start to grow yellow flowers, and that is where the tomatoes grow. The kids got a little confused at first, because they were green! They found it exciting to watch the changes though. When the tomatoes turned orange, they knew it wouldn’t be long until they could pick them.
I don’t actually like tomatoes, but my husband said that they were very tasty!
We have really enjoyed growing these this year! We have learnt a lot and had a lot of fun planting, nourishing, harvesting and eating our homegrown food! It has been a great lesson for science, patience, responsibility, and not to forget cooking!
Bonus – if you manage to get lots of peas, carrots, and potatoes – you can freeze them! We had so many carrots, so we peeled them all and chopped a load up, and popped them in a freezer bags. I tried to put them in the quantities we would have for a meal too, so that we can just grab a bag out of the freezer and use that…..instead of me always accidentally tipping too many veg in the pan….
If you haven’t tried growing your own before, DO IT! We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!