For those with green fingers, there’s nothing quite like hosting guests for a summer BBQ and being able to serve food that’s been grown in your own garden. For anyone with fond memories of the 70’s sitcom The Good Life, it’s the dream.
What’s great about many of summer’s essential ingredients is that they can be grown easily and contained in the smallest of spaces; perfect for those with compact gardens, or even a balcony. From herbs and salad leaves to tomatoes, spring onions and beans, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite seasonal veggies below.
These speedy growers can be planted practically anywhere and will keep on producing leaves throughout the summer. If you’re lucky enough to have a large garden, seeds can either be planted out in neat rows or dotted in between plants in your flower beds.
Those with restricted outdoor space can place them in small terracotta pots or planters.
Tomatoes require a little more TLC to get going, but once established will produce a healthy crop. Some may prefer to grow them from seed but buying the partly matured plants from a garden centre or nursery is the simplest way to start.
Warm conditions are vital for their development, so placing them in a greenhouse or a sunny spot is key. A trellis or support can then be used to keep the plants upright.
TIP: Keep the roots constantly moist; letting them dry out and then suddenly adding water can cause the fruit to split.
Perfect for jazzing up salads, spring onions will take up minimal room and grow quickly. Sow from seed, 5mm deep and about 5mm apart.
Peas can be sowed directly into the ground in June and will be ready to harvest around August. Once the shoots emerge a little way from the soil, add in supports for the stems to grow up – these can be sticks, a trellis or just chicken wire.
Whether you’re brewing tea, cooking or garnishing Pimms, mint is a summer must-have. Best grown in a pot to avoid it swamping beds and borders, this versatile leaf will freshen up any alfresco spot.
What are you growing in your garden this summer? Tweet us a picture at @FishpoolsUK! We’d love to see!