7 Easy to Grow Plants for Your Kitchen Garden
If you dream of having the kind of kitchen garden that you often see on TV cooking programmes or on the pages of the latest foodie magazine, but haven’t a clue where to start, don’t despair.
The secret is to start small with a few easy growing plants that will help you gain some confidence in the whole process. These plants are very easy to grow and you will see results quickly. You don’t need too much space and if all you have is a patio or balcony they can all be grown in pots except the beans which do best outside.
1. Garden Cress
We’ve probably all grown this little herb back in our school days and it’s one of the easiest and fastest growing plants to get started on. You can grow them in soil but if you want to be really retro use blotting paper, cotton wool or paper towels. You will start to see the shoots in about two to three days. Cress is lovely in salads or sandwiches and is packed full of vitamins and minerals.
2. Lettuce Leaves
Choose the cut and come again variety and as the name implies each time you cut the leaves they will grow back for a constant supply of salad leaves throughout the summer. Fairly quick to grow they can be planted in a pot or straight into the soil in the garden.
3. Broad Bean/Runner Bean
Both these beans are very easy to grow and are planted in much the same way using canes. Runner beans will need three canes stuck in the soil about a foot apart and tied at the top like a wig-wam. The seeds of both beans can be planted straight into the soil outside.
This herb is just about the easiest of all the main herbs to grow, but beware, as it can take over the whole garden! It will be happy enough in a pot indoors as long as it doesn’t dry out but if you want to plant it outside in a patch, plant the whole pot so the roots are contained. It is best to buy mint as a plant from your local garden centre.
An easy and quick growing salad vegetable, this will emerge from the soil in days and will be ready to harvest in a few weeks. To keep a constant supply of radishes, plant the seeds in stages with a week or two between plantings. Radishes contain vitamins and minerals and give a lovely crunch to your summer salad.
6. Spring onions
These salad vegetables can be grown along with the radishes and are quick growing. As with the radish, plant in stages so that you have some ready to harvest throughout the summer.
Buy plants from your local garden centre or greengrocer and plant in pots, grow bags or straight into the garden. Five or six plants will be plenty. If you are planting in the garden put them about 15 inches apart. You can also use special strawberry pots or even put them into hanging baskets. Water your plants well every few days and use nets to keep the birds at bay.