Picture: Variety of vegetablesGrowing your own food is proven to have health and wellness benefits – not only is it a great way to provide yourself with great nutrition, but it’s also good for your mental health. Whether you’ve just moved into a house with a vegetable patch, or a flat in central Manchester, you can still make the most of your space with these 5 easy-to-grow plants.

Winter Lettuce:

The weather might be starting to turn colder, but some vegetables can still be planted to produce crops throughout autumn and winter. Winter lettuces are ‘cut-and-come-again crops’ meaning you can regularly cut a few leaves from the plant, and more will regrow! Sow patches of seeds fortnightly for a continuous crop.

Health: Great source of vitamin A and C

Recipe idea: All you need is a simple dressing, and let the lettuce do all the work.

Sow from August to November.

TOP TIP: It can be helpful to use a ‘cloche’ to protect the lettuce if it’s outdoors. When you don’t need it anymore, you can easily use our single item storage to keep it from cluttering up your home.

 

Potatoes

Boiled, baked, mashed, or fried, potatoes are an absolute staple, so imagine how pleased you’ll be eating your own potatoes on a winter evening. This is another vegetable you can plant now to produce a winter harvest!

Health: Good source of fibre and full of antioxidants

Recipe idea: Make your own chips with just olive oil, any dried herbs, and salt/pepper.

These can be planted in late summer/early autumn for winter harvests! Or plant in March to May and harvest June to October.

Did you know you can get BLUE potatoes?!

 

Broad Beans

These are hardy and adaptable plants and can grow in most soil types. Dwarf varieties can also be grown in pots, so they are ideal if you have less space! You can even sow them now for an early harvest next year!

Health: Source of protein and carbohydrates

Recipe idea: Broad beans are very versatile and taste great in salads, or a risotto – they are even better if you double pod them.

Sow in October/November for an early harvest, or sow February to May and harvest May to July.

 

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are simple to grow and you only need a couple of plants to provide you with plenty of tomatoes throughout the summer. With so many different types to choose from, you’ll never get bored.

Health: Source of antioxidants, vitamin C and potassium

Recipe idea: From homemade tomato soup to a tasty bruschetta (made with tomatoes, red onion, garlic, basil, and olive oil), there are plenty of different things to try!

Sow February to April. Harvest July to September.

 

Courgettes

These are easy to grow and are best picked small for the best flavour. You can grow courgettes in pots which is great for flats and balcony’s – for best results containers should be 45cm wide.

Health: Great Source of potassium, vitamin C and folic acid

Recipe idea: Grilled courgettes are a tasty edition to any salad, or if you are feeling more adventurous you could try pan frying them and dress with olive oil, chilli, and garlic.

Sow April to June. Harvest June to October.

 

The above list was put together by our Leicester storage team who have developed quite the green thumb over the past year.