The Big Allotment Challenge follows in the footsteps of the Great British Bake Off to try and inspire Brits to be more self-sufficient. I love baking, but as a London resident, the only growing I do is a few tomatoes and runner beans on the roof terrace.
I’m sure that like me, most people like the idea of an allotment – picking vegetables for dinner and feeling that sense of pride because you actually grew them yourself. My godparents live in Norfolk and they grow vegetables, make jam and bake bread – it all tastes so much nicer and I’m really quite jealous of their idyllic way of life.
Now that summer’s on its way get outside and make the most of your garden. If you don’t have a garden then use funky flowerpots to brighten up your home.
But where do you start? If you know little about gardening but you’re keen or fancy gardening with your kids, then read on. We’ve got some of the best fruits and vegetables that are easy for novice gardeners and kids to grow.
Top 5 easiest fruits and vegetables to grow
1. Runner beans
Don’t scrimp on the water for these and remember that runner beans are climbers so they need somewhere to go – you can train them onto wires or a plant support frame. Once they’re ready you do need to pick them regularly, but you should be eating beans all summer long.
Super easy and super tasty – plant the pea seeds straight into the ground in spring and they’ll be ready by summer. All you need to do is support their stems. And the best thing about peas? The more you pick them, the more they grow!
OK so mint is a herb rather than a vegetable, but it’s easy to grow and extremely useful if you’re having lamb, Pimm’s or Mojitos. Just be careful it doesn’t take over your entire garden!
You don’t need a garden for strawberries – you can get about 3-5 strawberry plants in a hanging basket. You will need to water them more if they’re in pots as they lose moisture. Children might like growing the smaller Alpine variety that produces fruit up until autumn.
Even I can grow tomatoes. They’re so quick to grow they’re perfect for children because they can see the ‘fruits of their labours’ in just a few weeks. If you choose a bush variety of tomato, then all you have to do is feed and water them; you can also buy plug tomato plants rather than seeds.
If you’re keen to grow your own vegetables, then you’ll need the right gardening tools and equipment. Gardening has never been more stylish and here are our top picks to get you digging for victory.