Pick of the crop: 5 space-saving ways to grow your own
Keen to grow your own fruit and veg but lacking in space? It seems like you're not alone. After all, we all know it's the healthy and eco-friendly option. What's more, if you have children, it's a fantastic way to encourage healthy eating and teach them where food comes from. Most importantly for almost all of us, it's cheaper and tastier than forking out for supermarket-bought produce.
While expensive garden centres used to be the only place you could pick up the things you need to start, nowadays cheaper stores like Aldi, Wilkinson's and Poundland all sell seeds, bulbs, tools and equipment. It's probably worth doing a tour of all discount retailers before splashing out. Because we all love a good bargain, after all.
Another great way to save money once you start to grow your own is to make your own compost by saving veg peelings, egg shells and other kitchen waste. Compost improves soil quality and it's completely free. Better still, it saves you money on bin bags because you'll be throwing away much less rubbish, which is great for the environment too. Winning on all counts!
Yet sadly, many of us lack the garden space to make it happen. Luckily, we've done our research to come up with five ways the green-fingered, yet spatially challenged among us can get started.
1. Start small
Let's face it, baby steps are probably the best way to try your hand at gardening in case it turns into a passing fad. Why not start off by growing small vegetables, herbs and mini versions of larger veg on your kitchen window sill? It's a great way to dip your toe into the world of growing your own. Try rosemary, thyme, chillis and cherry tomatoes, because these are all relatively easy to grow and take up little space.
2. Branch out
Since many of us have big plans but zero outdoor space, allotments provide an affordable way to join the revolution. Costs vary depending on your local authority.
Apply online to find a plot near you, or to join the waiting list in your chosen area: https://www.gov.uk/apply-allotment
3. Use the space you have
If you live in a city centre apartment, the chances are you've ruled out growing your own due to a lack of outdoor space available. Good news! A balcony could be all you need. Check out these tips for creating a balcony vegetable patch.
4. Think outside the box
As a result of the boom in growing your own, there's now an abundance of products out there to help you realise your gardening dreams, whatever your living situation. The VegTrug is a raised vegetable garden designed to enable you to grow your own fruit and vegetables in the tightest of spaces. It comes in a range of sizes and styles, starting at £49.99 for the Poppy VegTrug.
5. Start an indoor garden
Finally, you could start your own indoor garden if all else fails.
Never one to miss out on a home trend, Ikea has launched an indoor garden range that will enable you to grow food all year round, without soil.
While they're not the first to lure customers into the world of hydroponics, they're more than likely to bring it to the masses due to their huge presence and following.
Read more here.
Browse their range of indoor gardening products here.