Just like you, fruit and vegetables need a bit of time to grow but they’re definitely worth the wait.
What you need:
- Fruit or vegetable plant seeds
- A pot to plant them in
- Peat-free compost
Make sure you plant the right thing at the right time. Visit www.eatseasonably.co.uk for all the information you need to grow your own.
Whether you want to start big and get yourself an allotment or think smaller and use a tub on the windowsill, there are all sorts of fruit and vegetables that you can plant and grow yourself. The RHS have some really great advice about growing your own Fruit and Vegetables including location, watering, weeding and sowing.
Lots of National Trust places in the South West have Kitchen Gardens and / or allotments that provide food to the property and local area – take a look on the National Trust website for more details but 2 of the best in the South west are:
- Knightshayes Court:
Step back in time and immerse yourself in Knightshayes’ two and a half acre walled kitchen garden with fairytale turrets, specialising in varieties of produce grown in Victorian times. It offers a unique chance to see a vast collection of crops which are now almost extinct – including 102 varieties of heritage tomatoes.
The Outside In garden is a 100 foot long poly-tunnel dedicated to growing heritage vegetables, fruit and flowers – the seeds from which are saved to ensure their survival.
The kitchen garden supplies the restaurant and Tiverton town market all year round, providing rare vegetables such as oca, mashua and achoccha, alongside treats like Knightshayes chutney.
Younger visitors can enjoy the pizza making workshop, where they are shown how to harvest and top their pizzas with freshly picked vegetables.
- Trengwainton Garden:
The 200 year old walled kitchen garden at Trengwainton was built to the dimensions of Noah’s Ark, but instead of saving animals its cargo seems to be full of organic produce instead.
There’s a section entirely devoted to pumpkins – black, red and orange. There’s also an allotment section, where vegetables and salads are grown in meticulously straight lines, and a container section where you’ll find fruit plants growing out of old wellington boots.
For little ones, the kid’s community garden helps young visitors see the process of plot to plate.
Our knowledgeable staff at our places would be more than happy to offer help and advice about growing your own produce but you may also be interested in our ‘Kitchen Garden Estate’ book:
Self-sufficiency. Inspired by country house estates of the past. This beautiful book by Helene Gammack offers a glimpse over the kitchen-garden wall and into beehives, farmyards, orchards and allotments through the centuries. Readers can glean tips from the information on historic gardening techniques and husbandry, whether they own acres of land, an urban vegetable patch or a window box.
Buy online from the National Trust shop for £12.00