Whilst the idea of growing your own vegetables sounds fun and is a great money-saving idea, many people think they just wouldn’t have enough time to tend to their veggie patch. Sure, it can mean spending a lot of time in the garden, but don’t give up – when the sun is shining and the breeze keeping you cool, there’s no better place to be! With the help of Suttons, a premium vegetable seeds retailer, I’ve come up with a list of the best fruit and veg to grow in your own garden (taking the UK weather into consideration!) and how you can turn these tasty treats into some fresh, healthy meals.Goji berries
The goji berry can easily be grown in the British climate, regardless of its exotic nature. They are surprisingly tough as a shrub and the ideal conditions are windy coastal areas, with plenty of exposure to sunlight. The fruit is extremely juicy and rich in nutrients. Mix in a blender with other fruits and natural yoghurt to make a superfood smoothie to help you face the day. Or alternatively, use the fruit as a topping for your morning cereal to give it an exotic twist.Peas
Peas are pretty much hassle-free to grow in your own garden, requiring little maintenance. One thing to keep in mind is that when growing, the more you pick, the more they produce. Happy days! They sprout well in cooler weather, so springtime is always a good time to start growing them. Remember, once you’ve planted the seeds, the peas need support for the stems; use either chicken wire or other netting between supports at the end of each row. Peas taste even better fresh from the pod, and you can use them as part of a green vegetable medley – or alongside a lean meat to finish off a dish. I shared my own minted pea pasta recipe on the blog and I just can’t get enough of it in the summer, so be sure to try that out!
To grow this British classic, take the plant and train the stem onto wires so that they are easier to harvest when they fruit. They can grow anywhere in the garden as they don’t need a lot of light or attention and are pretty low maintenance. If you don’t want to deal with thorns, then use a variety such as the Apache. Blackberries go perfectly with overnight oats. To make this sweet but nutritional breakfast, take rolled oats and pour either coconut soy milk or usual soy milk over the top of them (only enough to soak them). Mix the blackberries in and then leave it overnight to chill in the fridge. When you take it out in the morning, it’ll be a creamy texture perfect for a fresh spring day. Or why not try them in a blackberry tart, a harvest pie or mixed into an apple crumble?Spring onions and radishes
These salad vegetables can be grown in the spring and the summer using two techniques. They can be grown either in a pot in the garden, or you can sow them straight into the ground in warmer summer weather. Both are ideal to use in a fresh, flavorsome salad; the spring onion provides a sharp, sweet crunch – whereas the radish can add a natural pepperiness to the dish. Ideally, these vegetables grow in plenty of sunlight, so wait until the end of spring (now-ish!) before you start planting your seeds.Potatoes
The potato is part of one of the largest food groups that we need in our diet: carbohydrates. It is a staple ingredient in most dishes. The growing process is also fun: plant your seeds in a potato bag and as the green shoots start to sprout, cover them again with compost. Keep doing this until your potato bag is full, and then you can start watering them. Wait around 10 to 20 weeks until the foliage begins to go yellow, and then tip your bag upside down to see all of the potatoes that you’ve managed to grow! Use them to make loaded skins, potato salad or healthy homemade crisps in the microwave!
I hope this list has encouraged you to grow a few items of fruit and veg in your garden this summer – there’s nothing better than fresh ingredients to make a recipe taste really delicious. Let me know what you’ve had success with growing in your own veggie patch by leaving me a comment below – I’d love to try planting up some new varieties so please do share your tips 🙂