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Experience home-grown veg this spring

Not everyone loves to eat all the foods that are good for them, which is perhaps one reason people sometimes opt for nutritional supplements.

If you're not a fan of the likes of spinach or other veg, though, you might be more tempted to eat it when it's been lovingly grown by your own hands.

It's easier than you might think to start your own vegetable growing journey, and this time of year is a good time to be considering this sort of move.

Giving some veg growing tips recently, Tim Rumball, who edits Amateur Gardening magazine, explained that spinach, as well as brassicas like kale, are examples of plants that people grow "from seed".

To do this, he recommended getting a pot or tray of appropriate size: "not too big – you don't need to sow a whole packet of seeds!" he said.

Seed compost is another ingredient here. This is a variety of compost with a low level of fertiliser, as too high a level of fertiliser might do tiny seedlings damage. 

"All that's needed to raise them is a bright, warm windowsill until the seeds have germinated and are ready to pot up – transplanted carefully into individual pots, at which point you'd need some small pots and multipurpose compost," the gardening expert said.

You then grow the seedlings in their own individual pots and plant them in the garden during the early part of May, he went on.

First the plants need to acclimatise to the temperature drop they'll face by heading outside, though – something many of us can relate to!

"[Leave] them out for a couple of hours each day, then [bring] them indoors at night – do this for about a week, then they can safely be planted outside," Mr Rumball advised.

If you're thinking of planting some kale, you might want to wait a while because this tends to be grown "as a winter crop," he said.

The growing process for spinach, on the other hand, could begin now – with the same true when it comes to things like radishes, early potatoes and beetroot, among other tasty options, according to the mag editor. 

"There's a second sowing period in early April when more tender plants can be started - this is often seen as the traditional beginning of the gardening season, but for serious gardeners it's rather late," he added.

Gardening tools

It seems one tool wins 'hands down' when it comes to the garden, as far as Mr Rumball is concerned!

"The most important tools in gardening are the gardener's hands," he said.

"Touching plants and feeling the soil get you in touch with the growing environment – and it's lovely getting your hands dirty!"

It's also a great excuse to hop in the shower with some lovely herbal shampoo once you're done in the garden, of course! Or maybe even treat yourself to a lengthy bath alongside your favourite organic shampoo, and daydream about the veggies you'll soon be munching.

As for other tools, Mr Rumball recommended a few basics that he felt would do for a regular gardener, so long as they're not dealing with a massive number of weeds.

"In a garden that's up and running you need little more than a trowel and fork, and perhaps a hoe to keep weeds down," he said.

 
 
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