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Many gardeners may feel as though it’s too late in the year to begin sowing seeds and growing your own vegetables. However, this is not always the case according to gardening expert Jane Perrone. Jane is currently working alongside Mash Direct, who have launched a campaign to get people across the country growing their own vegetables and herbs.
She spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about what gardeners can start growing now, and why we should experiment with our gardens.
She said: “I think people worry, ‘oh I have not done anything yet’ but the great thing about gardening is whatever people tell you, you can start at any time.
“You might not be necessarily growing everything right now but there are definitely things you can do right now.
“Even if you started in the depths of winter, there’s stuff you can do.”
Jane said gardeners shouldn’t be “put off” if they didn’t start growing vegetables and plants on March 1.
“I think a lot of people assume, ‘I’m too late, I’m not going to bother’ and then they kind of lose motivation for the year,” she added.
The gardening expert said one of the main aspects a gardener needs to think about before sowing seeds is how long the plant will take to grow before you can harvest it.
Jane said, although tomatoes are a favourite among green-thumbed Britons, they may not be the best place to start at this time of year.
She explained further: “For something like a tomato plant, that you might be sowing in February and then starting to harvest in late July through to August, obviously that’s quite a long time.
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“So often, people start with tomatoes but actually you’re much better off starting off with a crop where the turn-around is much, much quicker.
“Partly because it means you see results way quicker, and also it means you can start later.
“For example, if you haven’t started with tomatoes now, there’s not much point in sowing the seed because you just won’t get any fruit until the end of the growing season.
“But there’s lots of things you can grow.
“You could certainly sow some lettuce and some other kinds of salad leaves.”
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Jane recommended trying to grow salad leaves or “oriental greens” which are best sown after the summer solstice.
“That’s things you get in your salad bags like mizuna, mibuna, pak choi, those lovely spicy leaves do best when sown after the solstice,” she said.
The greens grow very quickly and can be grown inside small pots or containers quite easily.
If you’re looking to sow something more traditional like beetroot or carrots, Jane said to look for varieties that say ‘early’.
This may sound slightly odd, but Jane explained that if you buy seeds that have got a short window of ripening and getting ready to harvest, then that works best.
“Just experiment with different things and give it a go.”
Mash Direct, the award-winning “field-to-fork” vegetable accompaniments brand, is launching the “Grow Your Own” campaign to encourage more people across the UK to grow their own vegetables and herbs and to increase their vegetable intake to harness the associated health and wellbeing benefits.
From May 24 – July 2, Mash Direct is challenging individuals to grow their own vegetables and herbs in their gardens, allotments and window sills.
If they showcase the evidence on social media, tagging @mashdirect and #GrowWithMash, they will be placed in a draw to win free gardening tools and Mash Direct products.
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