Thursday, 7 January 2010
Grow-Your-Own-Food | Organic-Gardening
1. Grow Your Own Food: Introduction.
You don’t need a large garden or allotment to produce fantastic fresh food. Growing your own is not only cheaper, it's healthier, good fun and satisfying. We all know that fruit and vegetables are good for you, and fresh from the garden is the best possible choice for all the family and guests.
2. Grow Your Own Food In Small Gardens.
You can do it in small gardens or back yards too! There are lots of herbs, fruit and vegetables that grow just as well in containers so you can easily turn your paved areas into a productive kitchen gardens. Choose dwarf varieties where possible. Not forgetting windowsills - there are seed trays and propagators specially designed to fit.
3. Try Grow Bag Gardening.
You can grow lots of plants in a grow-bag. They are great for tomatoes, but you could also consider cucumbers, hot-chillies and peppers. The potato sack is a relative newcomer into the grow bag selections. Just right for the patio, it's a no-mess, easy way to grow perfect, delicious, ready to cook potatoes.
Plant sprouting seed potatoes into an organic peat-free all purpose compost.
Keep adding more layers of compost as the plants grow.
Watch out for flowering as two or three weeks later your new potatoes will be ready.
4. How To Grow Herbs.
Herbs are perfect plants for garden, patio or your window box. Everyone can grow herbs, even a pretty pot of parsley on the kitchen windowsill will provide instant garnishes. Salads will come to life with the addition of home grown chives and the amazing fragrance of freshly picked basil. The more herbs you grow, the more uses you will find for them!
How To Grow Basil
Sprinkle on salads and add to tomato dishes. Grow indoors, or outside in summer.
How To Grow Mint
Confine the roots to avoid excessive spread. Use the leaves to make tea and add to cold drinks.
How To Grow Chives
Chop and add to salads and dips for a mild onion flavour. Very attractive clump forming plant.
How To Grow Sage
Versatile plant which has either silver green or purple foliage. Leaves used to add flavour.
How To Grow Coriander
Lower leaves can be used instead of parsley. Seeds can be dried.
How To Grow Sorrel
Use the young leaves in salads for a slight lemony tang. Larger leaves can be added to omelettes.
How To Grow Dill
Grow from seed each year. Dry the seeds for use in pickling, salads and fish dishes.
How To Grow Thyme
Lovely in pots but also good planted in cracks between paving slabs. Add leaves to meat and poultry dishes.
How To Grow Marjoram
A decorative plant which enjoys full sun. Use leaves fresh or dried in cheese or meat dishes.
How To Grow Parsley
The leaves can be used fresh, dried or frozen, often as a garnish. Sow fresh seed each year in spring.
5. How To Grow Fruit Trees.
If you have a small garden why not plant a fruit tree? Apple, pear or plum all look good and will provide a plentiful crop. They come in different sizes so you can usually find the right tree for the space available.
Plum trees are often overlooked, but they are attractive and will produce plenty of plump, juicy plums you can eat straight from the tree.
Even if you don't have a garden, you can still grow your own fruit trees. There are dwarf forms of apples, nectarines, peaches, cherries and pears, specially developed to grow in pots.
6. How To Grow Superfoods.
Certain foods have earned a reputation for being exceptionally good for us. This is because they are packed full of antioxidants which help to keep our bodies healthy.
How To Grow Blueberries
Buy young plants and grow them in decorative containers on the patio. They require an acid soil so use ericaceous compost and rain water. Grow two or more, so that the flowers will be pollinated and feed with B&Q Organic Living fruit and veg food concentrate.
How To Grow Strawberries
A strawberry pot with ripening berries looks fabulous on the patio. They are great value because at the end of the season each will have developed baby plantlets on the end of long shoots. Plant them into small pots whilst still attached. Once roots have grown, cut from the parent and you will have new plants for the following year. B&Q Organic Living fruit and veg food concentrate can help to improve fruit quantity and quality.
How To Grow Blackberries
A real seasonal treat. You can grow your own against a fence or over a wall in the garden. Cultivated varieties have larger berries than their wild cousins, produced on long, arching, very thorny stems. They are extremely vigorous, so prune hard.
How To Grow Blackcurrants
There are three types of currant, but the black variety is considered the healthiest. Attractive bushes which have pretty flowers and lots of juicy fruits in late summer. Can be container grown, but needs to be watered well.
8. Involve The Kids In Gardening.
Growing food is fun for all ages. Give children their own mini vegetable patch. They will have great fun, it's educational, and a good way to get kids to try new food. Let them plant things which are quick to grow and can be eaten straight from the plant. Carrots and peas are good, and strawberries will always be a hit. Teach them how to germinate seeds, care for seedlings and tend plants – let them enjoy the challenge and develop a valuable life skill.
9. Ready-Made Plants.
If you don't want to grow from seed, there's a wide range of fruit and veg available, already grown, and ready for you to plant. Look out for mixed collections, they give you a selection of plants which compliment each other.
10. How To Make A Raised Bed For Vegetables.
Raised beds for vegetables take up less space, are easy to manage and look great.
Raised vegetable beds can be any size so even a small garden can accommodate one. The idea is that you never step on the soil so it doesn’t become compacted. The plants enjoy a better growing environment and you can plant closer together, which is more economic and looks attractive too. Plant small quantities of each type so you get plenty of variety and interest.