Growing your own veggies
Published Monday, 23 February, 2015 by Claire Keen
February and March are the perfect months in the year to sow seeds and grow your own veggies! It’s a common belief that growing your own vegetables and plants is a hard and labourious process requiring vast amounts of time and space; however this couldn’t be more wrong, the perfect carrots could be grown on your very own windowsill!
The perfect seeds to sow in February are winter salads, tomatoes and peppers; root vegetables like carrots and parsnips are ideal to sow in March and April time. Sowing seeds shouldn’t be a hard or costly process for many reasons; in fact it will save you money if you get a successful harvest, great when you’re a student! One pack of carrot seeds from Wilkos cost 60p; these will fill plenty of plant pots over a staggered period, providing plenty of carrots for a long period of time! It’s important to be organised with veggie growing however, make sure you allow plenty of time to grow. If you sow carrots in March you can expect to see carrots in May/June time, it can be a long process, so be patient! Following these few tips can help successful growth and save money in the long run.
- Pick the correct spot – it is important to give your plants the optimum chance for growing, if you don’t have any outside space then don’t fret because they can be grown on your windowsill. It is important that the place you put your plant pots gets plenty of sunlight, so perhaps if your bedroom window isn’t suitable then ask your flatmates if they don’t mind you putting them on the living room windowsill – you never know you may inspire them to grow their own.
- Correct pot – this is very important to decide once you have decided what you are going to grow. It is important to pick the deepest pots you can to allow for the roots to grow, it is possible to buy packs of roughly five plastic plant pots for £1 or £2. However if saving money is your prerogative then how about make your own! As can be seen in the pictures below, two litre plastic bottles have been used to grow carrots; they are extremely deep and let in plenty of light allowing for growth.
- Correct compost – it can be very beneficial to buy proper compost rather than just soil as this is designed to keep hold and save water in plant pots, meaning you can water the plants less often. A small bag of multipurpose compost, plenty for potting, can be bought from Wilkos for £1.
- Allow excess water to drain – this can be done through not packing the pots too tightly, but also through drainage systems. Pre-bought pots tend to have holes already for this, however it is important to put a few small holes in the bottom of a homemade plant pot and a saucer underneath to catch excess water.
- Watering – when growing plants on the windowsill it is important to water often as rain can’t reach the plants however don’t over water as this can kill the plant too. If you are not sure how much water to put in, feel the compost just under the surface, if it is moist there is enough water.
- Staggered planting – instead of planting all your seeds into different pots in one go, it’s a good idea to plant some, then a week or two later plant some more and so on. This will ensure that you have a continuous crop rather than carrots (or other veggies) ready to harvest all at the same time.
How to make your own plant pot and sow seeds:
Firstly cut cap and lid off of the bottle using a sharp knife, perhaps a pen knife. Also taking care make small holes in the bottom of the bottle to allow water drainage.
Fill the bottle with soil up to an inch from the top, leaving space to sow the seeds.
Place (sow) the seeds on top of the soil with plenty of space in between the seeds, approximately 2-3cm inbetween, to allow them to grow with plenty of space.
Add extra soil to cover the seeds and water well to start the growing process.