Carol Klein explains the importance of judicious pruning

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Gardening expert Carol Klein has shared her crop growing tips exclusively with With spring just around the corner, and more of us spending time at home, many Britons are now trying their hand at gardening. Here are Carol Klein’s top tips for growing carrots, salad leaves, potatoes and courgettes:


Carol said growing carrots in a pot is quite easy to do but it’s all about how you sow the seeds.

She said: “Growing carrots in a pot is a really great idea but you must sow your seed very thinly.

“Don’t think ‘oh if I use a whole packet I’ll get loads of carrots’.

“You will but they will be inedible because they will be so tiny.

“So sow them quite sparingly in a nice deep pot.”

Salad leaves

Carol said: “There are loads of vegetables you can grow in pots. Absolutely masses of them if you haven’t got a garden.

“All the salad crops you can grow so easily. You can even grow stuff that will come again.”

Carol explained that gardeners can grow vegetables like rocket or lettuce varieties which can be treated as “cut-and-come-again” plants.

This means you can pick them regularly and add them to your dinner table.

Carol said that to do this, gardeners will have to sow the seeds “a bit thicker than usual”.

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She recommended using a container like a deep seed tray or the top of a pot.

She continued: “Have them grow until they’re just a couple of inches tall and then you cut them.

“It’s quite satisfying because you get quite a lot out of it.”

Carol said all plants when they’re young are packed full of vitamins which means your homegrown salad leaves will be doubly as satisfying.

“Every mouthful is better for you,” she added.


If you’re looking to grow vegetables in the garden then Carol recommends trying carrots, beetroot or potatoes which tend to be “easiest”.

Carol said potatoes are “very easy to grow” and can even be grown from ones in the kitchen.

“You can grow some of the ones you’ve neglected in a bag,” she added.

Carol recommended putting a few potatoes in a big pot with a couple of inches of soil or compost.

She then said to cover them up, let them grow on and keep adding compost to them.

They should eventually “burst through” with huge plants.

Then, you can harvest them.


Carol said courgettes are another easy option for amateur gardeners.

However, she suggested when sowing the seeds to put them on the kitchen window sill or in the greenhouse first.

She also recommended sowing the seeds “one at a time” in a pot on their side rather than flat to stop them rotting.

She added: “Usually you have to pot them a couple of times because they grow very rapidly.

“They’re incredibly satisfying because even for a family of four, a couple of courgette plants will keep you going all summer long. They’re beautiful too.”

Catch up on Gardening with Carol Klein on My5

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