Top 10 easiest to grow fruit and vegetables

So, last time we talked about planning your ‘Edible Garden’ and the things you should consider such as which fruit, veg and herbs you might use the most and how much of each you are likely to need in your garden to see you through the season.

If you are still uncertain of what you want to grow and just want to start with something simple then here are some of the easiest-to-grow crops for you to consider.

Salad Leaves

Mixed fresh leaves have a fantastic range of textures and flavours. You can sow a salad mix throughout the summer months and start to use the leaves just 3 weeks later.  They also continue growing so you can harvest them again and again throughout the season.

Radish

Radishes are easy to grow in pots and you can also sow them directly into the ground throughout the summer for a succession of crops. Roots are ready to harvest in about four weeks from sowing so sow little and often every two weeks throughout summer for a constant crop for salads.

Potatoes

Plant potatoes during March in potato bags that are only part filled with compost. When the green shoots begin to appear above the soil, simply cover them with more compost. Repeat this until the bag is full and all you need to do then is remember to water them. Potatoes are easy and satisfying to grow, yielding a great harvest below ground. There is a huge range of varieties available, varying in shape, size, colour and use.

Peas

Sow peas directly into the ground from March to June and look forward to the amazing sweet flavour of freshly picked peas from June to August. Pick them as soon as they are ready and eat straight away for the best flavour.  The great thing about peas is that the more you pick, the more they grow so you will have a plentiful supply throughout the summer.

Mint

Mint will grow on almost any moist soil but it can overtake the garden so it’s best to keep it in a pot to stop it spreading too far. You can use freshly picked leaves in salads, with potatoes or use them to make your own mint sauce!  Freshly picked mint leaves are great in summer cocktails too! You can also freeze the leaves in ice cubes to use later on.

Onions

Onions are so simple to grow and require little maintenance.  Plant onion bulbs on well drained soil in spring or autumn then just leave them! In late summer when the foliage yellows and dies back, pull them up and dry them out in the sun.  Store them in a dry, cool place such as a garage and they will keep for anywhere between a few weeks up to a few months depending on variety.

Tomatoes

Tomato plants are quick and easy to grow.  To save space in your green house, you can grow them in hanging baskets or window boxes if you choose to grow a bush variety.  Bush tomatoes limit their own height of growth and require little maintenance since there is no need to pinch out side-shoots.  The bush varieties also work extremely well as outdoor plants because they don’t usually need any supports.

Beetroot

Beetroot is another easy-to-grow vegetable which can be sown directly into moist ground from March to July. Between May and September you can harvest your own colourful beetroot. Use it in soups, salads and chutneys or it can be pickled, roasted or even used as a good base for home made wine due to its high sugar content. Sow beetroot little and often and harvest it when it is young, tender and about the size of a golf ball.

Carrots

Carrots are one of the easiest and tastiest crops to grow and with so many varieties of this popular vegetable available, carrots can be grown in beds, containers and even window boxes making them suitable for gardens of any size.  Ensure there is enough depth of soil and that the soil is light, well-drained and free of any rocks, stones or debris which could cause stunted or forked carrots.

Spinach

Spinach can be grown all year round and produces large yields of leaves rich in vitamins which can be used in salads and cooking.  Spinach can either be sown in spring for a summer crop, or in the autumn for leaves to pick over winter.  Perpetual Spinach is a ‘cut-and-come-again’ crop which does just what it says on the packet so you will have a plentiful supply!  Hot weather and long days can however make some spinach bolt quickly. Don’t let plants flower as this will shorten your cropping season. Picking off flower heads encourages the plant to grow leaves, not flowers.

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