Growing Vegetables and Fruit from Seeds

Growing Vegetables and Fruit from Seeds

Written by Andrew Oldham

Vegetables can be confusing. You probably think the two most popular supermarket buys, tomatoes and cucumbers are vegetables. No, you see egg and cucumber sandwiches are really egg and fruit sandwiches. BLTs are bacon, lettuce and fruit. Rhubarb is vegetable that we pour custard over.

Growing seeds in trays

When you learn to grow your own, this confusion becomes an endless joy.
When I started growing all I had was a windowsill, old yogurt pots, empty tin cans, mushroom trays, compost and seed. By the end of that first summer I had pounds of produce swelling on my windowsill and in pots by the front door.

Growing seeds in pots

There are several varieties to grow if you’re new or old to growing, cucumber, lettuce, tomato and strawberries will give you a wonderful display and a crop for the kitchen.

I sow lettuce in pots by the front door and in window-boxes from late-May onwards. You can get coloured varieties to create an edible display. All you do is fill a pot with compost, an old mushroom tray with holes poked in the bottom will do, scatter a pinch of seed across the surface, lightly cover with compost, water and wait. Some varieties of lettuce are ready in 21 days, some take longer but all make supermarket lettuces look dull and bland.

salads growing from seeds

I couldn’t have any garden without growing lettuce.
Cucumbers can be both edible and ornamental, I grow cucumbers up wigwams in a large pot by my back door (I recommend Patio Snacker for this). I have also grown tumbling tomatoes and strawberries in hanging baskets (strawberry Loran is a great variety for dangling down, its ruby red fruits free of slugs and birds).

Cucumber from seed

Sowing cucumbers and tomatoes is easy, from early-May, I fill pots with compost, placing two cucumber seeds to one pot and a thin sprinkling of tomato seed across the surface of the compost in another pot, just cover both and water (don’t forget the label). As they grow I split the cucumbers into separate pots with more compost added and the same with all the growing tomatoes. When all threat of frost is you can plant up tomatoes and strawberries in hanging baskets. This display will turn from green to yellow and red as the summer progresses which is great beside the vibrant green of the cucumbers reaching up towards them.

Cucumber from seed

The only problem is once you taste a fresh tomato, cucumber, strawberry or lettuce you will want more space to grow them. I went from a pot to a 20-foot row of lettuces.

Tomato Seeds

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