Tuesday, 23 July 2013

My 'Grow Your Own' Update!

It's been a couple of weeks since we planted our seeds for our 'Grow Your Own' challenge with Ice and The Organic Gardening Catalogue.  Although the weather has been akin to the Sahara Desert recently, we have tenderly watered our crops and waited patiently to see some evidence of our seeds germinating and exploding into life.  Suddenly over the last couple of days things have started to happen. Tiny leaves have burst through the soil and my troughs and pots are holding the promise of future crops.  We are a little excited to see our own salad leaves and rocket growing. I am already planning what meal they will join as a tasty and healthy side salad.  We are wondering if the beetroots and radishes will form under the soil.  I am enjoying this 'grow your own' project!  It is teaching the children where their food comes from, and is a small step towards living more sustainably.

Before They Grew

Beetroot Seedlings

Radish Seedlings

Salad Seedlings

Meanwhile in my little potted garden, we have had a crop of strawberries.  Delicious red strawberries fresh from the garden, what could be better?  We have had a little competition from the slugs, but mostly our small crop has been perfect.  Placing the straw on the soil has proved a good way to keep the majority of slugs off.  I must have picked the equivalent of a couple of punnets over the last few weeks from two plants.  Not bad for the first year of growing our grown.  Lots of runners have formed so next year there will be more plants and hopefully more fruit!  We are planning to train them to grow along the edge of our garden as it is well sheltered and out of the way of Freddy's garden toys.

Strawberry Plant

Homegrown Strawberries

My potato plant has grown massively but is struggling to not end up wilting under the midday sun.  Keeping it well watered is helping, I just hope it has got the energy to form potatoes.  I so want the children to taste freshly picked spuds that they have grown themselves!

The Ice campaign promotes sustainable living and growing your own is one way of doing this.  In the long term I can see it also being a way to save money when weighed up against the cost of buying organic produce. Even someone with a small garden, or even a well lit balcony can create a potted garden using pots, troughs and grow bags.  I know with my small garden project I will never be able to be self sufficient, but just to get a few lovely baskets of fresh, chemical free garden produce is a wonderful prospect!


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