Tag Archives: grow your own food

Urban herb garden inspiration

Via Janaina Vaughn on Pinterest

My love affair with herbs continues. I’ve been trawling Pinterest for quirky ideas for space-saving herb gardens. Turns out you can plant in anything from shoe storage to old tin cans. Click through our slideshow for inspiration…

By Hannah Bass.

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A herb for every corner: what to grow where

After reviewing  The Urban Kitchen Gardener I’ve gone herb-crazy. The wonderful thing about herbs – besides the flavours – is that they’re usually small, hardy plants that easy for gardeners with even the smallest space and resources to grow. And growing herbs not only provides you with beautiful greenery, it saves you money – a pack of fresh herbs is pushing a pound in most supermarkets.

The good news is, there’s a herb for every spot in your flat. Just check out our handy location guide and get growing…

Via Katlyn Marchbanks, Sharon Dion and Arin F on Pinterest

Kitchen windowsill:

Basil and coriander can be grown in the same pot (and they taste good together, too!) on your kitchen windowsill. They like lots of light and are very, very thirsty so keep them well watered from the kitchen tap.

Via Anneli Saks and Linds with an e on Pinterest

Dark corners:

Conversely, parsley barely needs any direct light at all. Use it to add a little green to the gloomier corners of your flat.

Via Monika Ambre and Sonet Providence on Pinterest

Bedroom window:

Chilli plants need lots of light and warmth, so keep them on a window sill in a room that’s often heated, such as your bedroom. Water them well to bring a little horticultural heat to the boudoir.

Via Softness and Eric Crumley on Pinterest

Shady balcony:

Most balconies, believe it or not, are full of shady spots. Luckily these are perfect for mint which doesn’t like direct sunlight. Mint can also withstand the wind and loves the rain so it will flourish even if your balcony is taking a battering in these storms. And lastly, mint is one of those plants which actually works best in a pot – it grows as rampantly as a weed otherwise.

Via Noel Dandes and Ivy Chippendale on Pinterest

Sunny wall:

A mediterrenean herb like rosemary doesn’t need too much water and can grow in pretty tough conditions. It does, however, like a bit of sun and warmth so plant it in a pot up against a wall that gets lots of light – the wall will continue to release heat even after the sun’s gone down.

Via Barb Alton and Rosa Yan on Pinterest

Balcony, wall or garden fence:

If you’re super short of space, why not grow vertically? Taller herbs like dill grow upright and using just a bit of wire or some bamboo sticks you can train them to trail up your balcony or garden fence

By Hannah Bass.

Book review: The Urban Kitchen Gardener

Mouse melons: a tiny alternative to cucumbers

Like many urban gardeners with limited space, I want as much as I can get out of my plants. It’s not enough for my pots to be pretty, they need to do something too. As a result, you’re more likely to find herbs than hydrangeas on my windowsill.

But beyond supermarket-bought basil and a couple of chillies, I’ve been stumped for how to grow edible plants in the pots and boxes I can fit in my flat and tiny garden. Most growing guides are for people with allotments and vegetable patches.

So I was thrilled at the release of The Urban Kitchen Gardener, a new book by urban agriculture advocate Tom Moggach.

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PLANT PLANTS: an urban gardening manifesto

This cheeky graffiti brightens my walks to and from university. This morning, as my garden lay neglected under a layer of frost, it felt like a call to arms.

So here is the East End Gardener’s urban gardening manifesto…

Anyone can be an urban gardener

You don’t need to be a horticulturalist with acres of land and shelves full of plant encyclopaedias. Thanks to the internet, and wonderful blogs like ours, anyone can learn how to look after plants.

Everyone has the right to a green space

We want allotments, community gardens, parks, green rooftops and urban farms for all. Seek them out, fight for more and use the ones you have.

There’s no space too small

The Pothole Gardener proves that even the tiniest crack in the concrete can be home to nature. Think creatively and make the most of your balconies, window sills and rooftops.

Eat home grown

It’s good for you and good for the environment. Try eating something home grown every day, whether it’s spuds from a community allotment or basil clipped from our windowsill herb box.

And above all, PLANT PLANTS!

By Hannah Bass

How to harvest your Halloween pumpkins

If you had the foresight to grow your own Halloween pumpkins, the East End Gardener has some tips for harvesting.

You should leave the pumpkins on the plant for as long as possible (although you have permission to pick some tonight for Jack O’Lanterns). You’ll know that the fruit is mature when the stem starts to crack and the skin feels hard. The best test is to give them a tap: if it makes a hollow sound then it’s ready to be picked.

Use a sharp knife to cut the fruit, leaving a long stalk. If you want to eat your pumpkins (and not just carve silly faces into them), leave them in the sun for about 10 days or indoors for4 days to fully ripen.

If you have a glut even bigger than our crowd, you’ll be pleased to hear that pumpkins can be kept for up to six months, so long as you store them in a cool, dry place. So you can enjoy pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup and pumpkin bread all the way through winter.

By Hannah Bass