Before the coronavirus outbreak, most of us relied on supermarkets for our fresh produce. However, there has been a significant increase in the number of Brits looking to grow their own fruit and vegetables at home since the lockdown went into effect - a 113 percent increase in March alone, according to data provider SEMrush. If you're thinking about brushing up on your gardening skills, then take a look at our helpful tips for some of the easiest fruit and veg you can grow at home (both inside and outside) and the no-fuss equipment you'll need to do it.
Gardening gloves, £16.99, Amazon
What do I need to grow my own fruit and vegetables?
Firstly, find a spot in the garden that has plenty of space and sunlight to grow your fruit and veg. Once you've got a dedicated vegetable plot, all you'll need is the seeds or plants of the product you want to grow, all-purpose compost and plant food to give them the necessary nutrients - all plants are different so check their specific requirements before starting. Add in the trowel and a pair of gardening gloves, and you should be all set!
Draper hand fork and trowel, £14.99, Amazon
Can I grow fruit and vegetables inside?
Not everyone has the luxury of a garden, but that shouldn't stop you from being able to grow your own healthy food. If you're short on indoor space, find a sun-soaked windowsill and a suitable pot you can use as a flowerbed.
READ: Online food delivery services available during lockdown: From Tesco to Aldi
What are the easiest fruits and vegetables to grow?
Not everyone is born with green fingers, and we've all got to start somewhere! There are plenty of easy items you can use to build up your confidence, including tomatoes, potatoes, carrots and strawberries - all of which ranked in the top ten searches for how to grow fruit and veg between February and March 2020. Take a look at some easy tips to get started...
Potatoes are a staple food in every household, so it comes as no surprise that they topped the list for the most searched vegetable to grow at home, increasing to 834 percent during lockdown. But be warned, planting your own potatoes in the garden requires a lot of digging! Plant seed potatoes in straight trenches and cover them with soil. Water them and ensure the surrounding soil is weed-free. As the potato plants grow, use a spade to cover the shoots with soil, a process known as 'earthing up.' If you're looking for a space-saving option, potatoes can also be grown in a wire bin.
While many people may assume that growing onions requires a lot of real estate, there's actually a simple way to grow them indoors with limited space. If you've ever left an onion in your cupboard for too long, you'll know they have no trouble naturally re-sprouting - and that's all they need to do for you to create a new onion at home. Plant an old onion bulb into a pot and ensure the soil is moist. With plenty of sunlight and water, it should naturally grow.
Spring is the ideal time to grow carrots - and with a whopping 406 percent increase in searches during lockdown, we're not the only ones wondering how! Perfect in stews, soups and salads, this multitasking vegetable makes it easy to rustle up a quick meal when you're stuck for ideas. Sow your seeds thinly, creating a shallow trench using the edge of a hoe or trowel and covering with an even layer of soil. Carrots are super low maintenance - just water occasionally, ensuring the soil remains weed-free, and they should be ready to harvest within three months. Why not mix it up by experimenting with colourful, Instagram-friendly varieties?
Who doesn't love fresh tomatoes, whether they're in a salad, burger or turned into a sauce? Online searches for how to grow tomatoes increased by 406 percent, and there are plenty of varieties you can grow at home. Beginners are advised to start with bush tomatoes, which can be grown in containers and hanging baskets and require minimal maintenance. Simply choose a sunny area against a wall or fence and plant them into the ground or pots.
The humble garlic bulb ranked ninth with a 174 percent increase in searches. If you love packing in flavour to your food then you'll want a garlic plant on your doorstep (or windowsill!). They take up very little room and are so easy to grow, even inside. Split the bulbs into individual cloves and plant them with the pointed end upwards, adding three or four cloves in a pot filled with soil. Sit them on a sunny window ledge and water regularly - ta-da!
Add plenty of soil-based compost to containers such as hanging baskets or terracotta pots, and plant strawberry runners so the roots are just covered. Water and feed regularly and position in a sunny part of the garden, adding netting over the tubs if any pests start to feast on your fruits. Alternatively, avoid all bugs by growing your plants inside - it won't be long before you can go strawberry picking in your own home!
Other items that feature on many peoples at-home gardening wishlist even include tropical fruits such as watermelon and pineapple! While seasoned gardeners are welcome to give it a go, we think we'll start with the options above...
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