Gardening expert shares tips for growing windowsill crops
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With spring now officially here, many Britons will be getting out into their gardens to do some planting. One of the main tasks Britons can start doing is planting crops ready to harvest in summer and autumn.
From strawberries to carrots, chives to rhubarb, Britons can save their pennies by growing their own, no matter the size of their green space, patio or balcony.
However, there are certain crops that are difficult to grow, fussy or prone to being attacked by pests.
Some crops also don’t suit the UK’s changeable weather. Tropical fruits like bananas, mangoes and pineapples need constant heat to thrive.
With this in mind, Miracle-Gro’s Gardening Guru Kate turner has shared what’s not worth growing at home and why.
Potatoes and onions
Potatoes are easy to grow, however, Kate said they may not be worth growing at home.
She said: “They aren’t worth growing at home as they not only take up a lot of space, time and water to grow but are also relatively cheap to buy in the supermarket.”
Potatoes do produce a lot of vegetables and are fairly reliable to grow. However, they can also be prone to pests.
Slugs won’t only eat their leaves but the tubers themselves. Potato blight is also a common problem.
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The fungal disease can cause brown patches on the stems and can eventually kill the plant.
Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage
Kate advised against growing any of these as they can be “destroyed” by pests.
She said: “They can get destroyed almost overnight by caterpillars or attacked by pigeons and therefore, need netting protection to prevent this. They also need a lot of space.
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“The exception is sprouting broccoli as it’s so expensive to buy and is slightly lower maintenance than other brassicas.”
Brussels sprouts are easy to grow but can take a while to develop. They will likely need harvesting in the winter months and are hardy.
Broccoli is also easy to grow and is another member of the cabbage family.
Cauliflowers are difficult to grow but can be successful if the conditions are right.
Melons can be grown in the UK but only in greenhouses. They are actually closely related to cucumbers so require similar conditions.
Unfortunately, the UK weather makes it difficult to grow melons as they need lots of warmth and sunlight.
Kate said: “They’re fun to try and grow but the hard work doesn’t necessarily pay off – especially with our British weather.”
Instead, Kate suggested growing edible flowers as they are “fun to grow, look pretty and can be eaten”.
She also suggested trying strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and rhubarb as well as vegetables such as sugar snaps, peas, courgettes, tomatoes, cucumbers, asparagus, spinach, chard and kale.
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