Top 10 quick and easy vegetables to grow now

Quick and easy, nutritious, and no need for a garden.

Quick and easy to grow vegetables - lettuce
Quick and easy to grow vegetables – lettuce

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If you haven’t grown anything before, there is no better time than now, even if you don’t have a garden. Yes, its possibly to grow some tasty and nutritious food indoors or on a balcony. A south facing window is best for maximum light, but any bright window will do in a pinch. So here is my top 10 quick and easy vegetables to grow now.

1 – Microgreens

These little nutrient bombs can be grown just about anywhere as long as you have a window. You can buy kits like this one I use, or improvise your own, or sow in a pot of compost. Pea shoots are quick and do actually taste like peas! You can also grow chard, beetroot, brocolli and many more. Crop in as little as 7-10 days.

Quick and easy to grow vegetables - microgreens
Quick and easy to grow vegetables – microgreens

2 – Rocket

Fast growing Rocket can provide a quick crops of fresh leaves in six or seven weeks. You can even harvest baby leaves in as little as two weeks. Sow thinly in a pot. These will grow nicely on the balcony if you have no garden. They can also be grown as microgreens, so they are very versatile.

3 – First early potatoes

There are lots of varieties that will be ready to eat in as little as 10 weeks. Swift (one of my favourites), Arran Pilot, Pentland Javelin to name just a few. The fastest is reputed to be Rocket, which I have grown, but found them rather tasteless. I buy mine here. You can also buy packs of 5 seed potatoes in Wilkos (UK) for £1 which is great value if you have limited budget or space. Read more about growing potatoes here and here.

4 – Lettuce

Lettuce spoils you for choice as there are so many varieties to choose from, and I have quite a few favourites. Can be sown thinly in a pot or bucket (with some holes in the bottom for drainage) and grown on a balcony if you don’t have access to the garden. Some varieties are called “cut and come again” where you harvest a few leaves at a time rather than pull up the whole plant. It’s a bit of a misnomer as its better to twist and pull the leaf off as you could easily cut into other leaves that are not ready.

Quick and easy to grow vegetables - lettuce
Quick and easy to grow vegetables – lettuce

5 – Sprouting seeds

If you love beanshoots, this one is for you! Source some mung beans (as these are the beans that beanshoots are grown from). You can grow them in a large jar with aeration holes in the lid, or buy a sprouter kit with a ready made jar and aerated lid. Sprouts are ready to eat in 6-10 days and can be kept in the fridge for a week after harvesting. Eat fresh or in a stir fry.

Sprouting mung beans
Sprouting mung beans

6 – Beetroot

This is a relatively fast growing root vegetable, around 8-10 weeks from sowing to harvest, or sooner if you want baby beets. They will grow well in a pot/bucket, and the leaves can be used just like spinach too. No waste here!

7 – Radish

A very fast growing crop with a harvest time of about 4 weeks. Again there are many varieties and they grow well in a pot. I have no experience of growing these as I don’t like them. If you do, you will be rewarded very quickly!

Quick and easy to grow vegetables - radish
Quick and easy to grow vegetables – radish

8 – Spring Onions

Spring, or green onions also quite quick to grow, can be sown in clumps, and harvested one or two at a time from each clump. This leaves more space for the rest to grow. Or you can pull up a whole clump at a time. Whatever works for you! Another one which is well suited to a pot on the balcony. They don’t need much space as they only have a few upright leaves. Space saving and tasty!

9 – Spinach

Another fast growing crop, packed with nutrition, and can be harvested for baby leaves in a few weeks from sowing. Well suited to containers, sow a few containers a week or two apart for months of fresh leaves. Eat fresh or blitz into a green smoothie for instant nutrition.

10 – Mushrooms

The kits are so readily available in many varieties now. No balcony needed either, so perfect if you live in a flat or apartment. Time to harvest can be a matter of 2 weeks or less dependant on the variety.

So there you have 10 quick and easy vegetables that anyone can grow. What’s even better than that is:

NO airmiles

NO chemicals

NO loss of nutrition

NO supermarket supply issues

NO unnecessary plastic packaging

Quick and easy to grow vegetables - salad
Quick and easy to grow vegetables – salad

In these times of uncertainty, particularly in the UK with Brexit and now the coronavirus, there has never been a better time to ensure a supply of good food. So start now and you will have some quick and easy, luscious food in a matter of weeks.

What do you fancy giving a go this spring? Tell me in the comments.

Potatoes, potatoes

I grow potatoes, I have done for about three years now. This time of year is perfect for deciding which ones to grow. I just love potatoes fresh out of the earth!

There are many varieties out there, and it can be confusing to say the least. It doesn’t have to be, with just a little knowledge.

What do I need?

Having said that, potatoes are really, really easy to grow. If you are short on space you can grow them in a bucket, or an empty compost bag. As long as your chosen container has drainage holes, they will grow.

All you need apart from the container is fresh multipurpose compost. Then you need a fertiliser such as fish, blood and bone or chicken manure pellets. And water, and of course time.

What variety to buy?

There are a couple of things to bear in mind. First of all decide whether you want to grow salad, otherwise known as early potatoes. Some examples are Charlotte, or Swift. Alternatively try main crop, which are the ones you would buy for perfect roast potatoes. Popular varieties are Rooster, King Edward, Desiree, etc. etc.

Early potatoes are waxy and good for boiling and salads, as a general rule. Main crop are floury and are best for roasting and baking.

However there are varying degrees of each and some start waxy and become floury if left to grow on for example.

There are many reputable companies selling seed potatoes. Here are some I have used myself:

https://www.jbaseedpotatoes.co.uk/

https://www.thompson-morgan.com/vegetables/potatoes

https://www.vanmeuwen.com/fruit-and-vegetables/vegetables/potatoes

https://www.suttons.co.uk/Gardening/Potatoes+Onions+Garlic/Seed+Potatoes/

What next?

Browse the potatoes and see what will work for you. Try to choose varieties with good overall disease resistance. I am sure that you want to enjoy the growing process, rather than worry about constantly protecting your crop.

After that, wait for the next instalment. I will cover what to do with your potatoes when you receive them.

Here is my very small but perfectly formed first harvest!

Small potatoes!

Are you new to growing potatoes? What questions do you have?