10 March 2020 By Kitty Yarrow
Whether you are an enthusiastic grower who needs a bit of inspiration and direction on what to grow, or you are a complete novice when it comes to sowing seeds - Julia Parker of Parker's Patch hosts growing workshops for varying abilities at her beautiful home in rural West Sussex.
With an emphasis on sustainability Julia has some top tips to take away with you to help you minimise waste, grow different and unique crops of edibles that you might not have considered before, and get the best out of what you grow. Below we have listed 3 of our favourite tips that we took away from the Basic Fruit and Vegetable Growing Workshop we attended.
1. Keep your loo rolls
Empty toilet rolls are the perfect container to sow your seeds in. These free and biodegradable pots means that when ready, you can plant your sprouting seedling, loo roll included straight into your soil and not have to worry about removing the toilet roll at a later date. The length of the loo roll is great for those roots that need more space to grow.
2. Consider Crop alternatives
Whilst carrots and tomatoes are a commonly grown vegetable, alternative crops that you would not necessarily see in typical supermarkets, are possibly cheaper and more economically friendly.
Micro-greens are a wonderful addition to your vegetable repertoire. These can be grown in seed trays on windowsills in fairly warm and light area such as the kitchen. Sunflower micro-greens are a tasty dimension to your normal salad dishes and produce almost weekly when grown right. Once you have harvested the greens, simply tip the soil and seeds out and start a fresh.
3. No more gnarly carrots
If you aren't one for carrots with various knobbly bits, or you're trying your hand at winning a vegetable competition, try Julia's top tip for straighter carrots. Place sand into your chosen container - sand is well known at helping with drainage however, Julia advises using it because unlike soil it is smooth and without large lumps meaning that nodules won't form. Place a long cylindrical shape into the sand, making holes about 30cm deep. Add a light sprinkling of multipurpose compost in each cylindrical hole and place your carrot seed in. Water and wait for those perfectly straight carrots to grow.
If you want to learn more about growing and like the idea of a hands-on workshop, then why not book a space on Julia's Grow Your Own - Sowing in the Greenhouse workshop, hosted at Alitex. Find out more about the event and purchase your tickets here.