23 July 2020 By Kitty Yarrow
Superfoods claim to diminish the signs of ageing, increase physical and mental strength and are overall advocated as one of the healthiest food groups. Whilst this claim might be contentious, these foods do provide essential nutrients as part of your diet however, they can be notoriously expensive to purchase from your local supermarket. If you wish to incorporate them as part of your balanced diet, why not try growing them instead?
We have researched some of our favourite ‘Superfoods’ and how you can gain the most from your harvest:
Blueberries must be grown in acidic soil if you are to reap the benefits. A PH between 4.5 -5 is ideal, if you know your soil is more alkaline it might be worth considering planting them in pots using ericaceous compost.
If sowing early on, do so under glass or under fleecing to keep the cold out. Although a hardy fruit, they can be damaged by heavy frosts so keep them under glass until warmer weather persists. Moisture and sun are key to producing a healthy crop so consider your growing location carefully.
In order to properly grow grapefruits, you need to provide a warm environment day and night, ideally a greenhouse.
Although growing grapefruits from seed is possible, you are more likely to be able to harvest and enjoy fruit a lot sooner if you purchase a young tree. If planting in a greenhouse, you might want to plant it in a large pot, meaning you can move it outside in the summer months, making more space for other plants. Read more on growing citrus fruits in our blog on Growing in a Fruit House.
One of our favourite superfoods is the versatile Avocado, because who doesn’t like guacamole?
To grow an avocado from seed, half submerge the pit in a container of water, supporting it with toothpicks. Over the coming weeks (usually 4-6) you should see a root appearing from a split in the pit and growing downwards into the water. This is when you can plant it into soil.
Plant in warm and light conditions, and feed with a liquid feed every 2-3 weeks to ensure a healthy plant. The plant is likely to become quite ‘leggy’ and may need pruning from time to time.
Sunflower seeds are a great source of antioxidants and can be grown for more than their flowers. Whether you want seeds to sprinkle on your dishes or micro-greens to use as the base to your salads, sunflower seeds are extremely versatile. You can purchase large quantities of the seed online for a small amount and simply sow in containers in a warm and sunny location.
Spinach is a wonderfully nutritious food source, high in Iron and Calcium and very adaptable.Spinach thrives in a greenhouse environment combined with well-drained nutrient rich soil. This leafy green will germinate quickly in a warmer environment.Plant in containers so that you can easily transport them into outdoor beds roughly three weeks from when they start sprouting, planting them 3 inches apart for plenty of growing space. Once they start to produce large amounts of leaves thin them out.