Spring is the perfect time to get your vegetable patch back up and running. If you've never tried growing your own, why not use March and April to get green-fingered and grow your own veg?
We've chosen three vegetables that are fairly easy to get started with, but don't let that limit you - it's possible to grow all sorts of things in your very own vegetable patch!
Most fruits and vegetables should be planted in March/April, so now is definitely the time to get your plot up and running. Everything has different growing requirements, so before committing, make sure you have the correct plants for your garden, and be sure to stock up on pots and compost.
Here are a few simple planting instructions for some of the UK's favourite fruit and veg.
When to Plant Potatoes
When to plant your potatoes depends on what kind of potatoes you're growing. New potatoes must be planted earlier as they appear earlier in the summer, but the big 'maincrop' potatoes can wait until mid-April. Remember, as potatoes are root vegetables, they need space to grow - so make sure you have a plot or pot big enough.
New potatoes are an ideal crop for beginners - they're less prone to diseases like potato blight, and though they're expensive to buy in shops, they're surprisingly easy to grow yourself. You'll never get them from the supermarket again!
Simply plant your new potatoes in March (with adequate frost protection) and wait 10 to 12 weeks. Your new potatoes should be planted 12cm deep and 30cm apart, in rows. You'll have the perfect potatoes before you know it!
'Maincrop' potatoes are larger - these are the ones you'll want to use for mash, roasties and jacket potatoes. These take longer to mature, so they're harvested later in the summer. Plant these in mid to late April, then harvest from late July to September. Plant your seed tubers 12cm deep and then space then 75cm apart, in rows. These larger potatoes usually taking 16 to 22 weeks to grow.
When to Plant Carrots
Carrots grow best in open, sunny, well-drained soil. Luckily the sowing season is quite long, meaning you can plant any time from February to July; however most varieties of carrot grow best between April and July.
The great thing about carrots is that they are drought resistant, making them perfect for the longer, drier summers we have been experiencing lately. However, remember to use horticultural fleece - pests like the carrot fly can rot your carrots, meaning all your work will be for nothing! Horticultural fleece will stop pests from getting to your veg, so it's wise to invest in some if you're planning to do some growing.
When to Plant Tomatoes
Tomatoes need a little bit of extra love to grow properly, but they are relatively easy despite the extra steps. Sowing your tomato seeds indoors will give them a head start. Keep the seeds in pots wrapped in plastic bags so the leaves can sprout. Once the flowers on the first 'truss' open, transfer the plant to a growing bag. A truss, by the way, is the little cluster of small stems; you should be able to see them beginning to develop as your tomato plant grows!
Alternatively, most garden centres will have young plants that you can put straight in the ground. You should aim to plant tomatoes in May or June. You'll find that it won't take long for little tomatoes to grow, and once they turn red, they will be ready for eating!
We know how much joy an abundant garden can bring. Why not book a Spring Lawn Treatment so you can grow your veggies and flower beds with peace of mind, knowing your lawn is already taken care of?