Summer will be here soon and hopefully we all will find the perfect opportunity to relax outdoors with your nearest and dearest. One great way to enjoy some family time is to get the kids involved in growing food with you. Even toddlers will relish watering plants and delving around in a tub to pull up baby new potatoes, while older kids can be given their own plot to tend.
Fortunately many of the staple ingredients in a vegetable curry are incredibly easy to grow, making it a great project for youngsters or anyone who’s new to gardening. If you put aside an hour or two this weekend you could be harvesting delicious crops in just six weeks. You don’t need an allotment or a huge garden there are all manner of containers that you can put on the patio or a sunny windowsill. Grow bags are ideal for a range of vegetables, and ‘Gro-sacks’ are now available which are specially designed for growing veg on patios. If space is at a premium, you can also plant vegetables in any spare spots in between other plants in your garden; spinach and red cabbages are decorative in their own right.
If you want to create your own kitchen garden area, draw up a scale plan so you know exactly how much room you have available. This will help you make the most of every centimetre. If you’re using pots and growbags, place them close together with the tallest ones at the back. This creates a microclimate and makes them easier to water.
If you have the space, raised beds are a great idea. They look great and can make it much easier to tend your plants. You can also
enhance the growing conditions inside the beds by adding plenty of garden compost or well-rotted manure. Stylish kits are available
online, or you could speak to your local scaffolding company as you may be able to pick up some boards for free. First put stakes deep in the ground (whacking them with a club hammer will do the trick), then nail the boards in place. They can be any length, but
aim for them to be no more than 1m wide so that you can easily lean over to harvest your delicious crops.
More tips on do’s and don’t to come soon!
Words by Jeannine McAndrew – Chaat! Magazine Issue