Eat / Grow

Get Growing

Now that spring is here, the urge to get gardening is upon me. I don’t let a little thing such as having no garden hold me back. Here are some ways you can enjoy the magic of gardening when you don’t have a garden.

Make a Miniature Garden

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No matter how little space you have, there’s room in your life for a miniature garden and they’re easy to make.  I used a plant plug holder for the one above, which means it’s portable too: great for nomads.

Plant Peas

I have long raved about peas as the perfect plant for beginners – and if you sow a window box with them, and plant more as you cut them back, you can add pea shoots to stir fries all spring for pennies. They have pretty flowers too and can look lovely in pots outside your front door, if you have space.

Use Planters

Almost anything can be a planter, and raiding the recycling box is a good place to start. Yoghurt pots, old tin cans and ready meal packaging can be used as pots to grow tomatoes or chilli plants.

A chipped cup can look pretty filled with trailing ivy. Old bags can become grow bags. And lots of people leave old plant pots out by bins (at least near me, but it’s been true most places I’ve lived).

Of course, you can buy planters too. While I discourage buying plastic as far as possible, if you’re short on funds and can’t find free pots, Poundland and its ilk sell gardening supplies galore.

Create a Kitchen Garden

A garden in your kitchen can make budget cooking much more bearable. A seed tray scattered with rocket, sorrel and lettuce, and windowbox filled with your favourite herbs can save you a fortune – and mean you’ve always got a simple way to flavour your food.

Rosemary, thyme and chives are among my favourites, though sage can be great with chickpeas and lentils, or finely chopped in a potato rosti; and both basil and coriander add freshness to spring salads.

If it still seems too demanding, go for the ultimate miniature garden. Fill an egg shell with soil and cress seed. Draw a face on it and watch the ‘hair’ grow: fun for kids but it can also look stylish (if in a kitsch way) if you have artistic skill and a little imagination…

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