Easy plants to grow at home (by Charly)

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Sustainability starts at home, so growing whatever produce you can seems like a great place to start. You don’t need to spend hours digging in the garden, or have a garden at all for that matter. Growing your own greens is simple and effective.

Plants you can grow in your kitchen

When looking for low-maintenance plants, herbs are a great place to start. You can grow them in a pot, or sink-garden in your kitchen. Most herbs don’t like constantly wet soil so it is best to let the soil dry out before watering again. This makes them low-maintenance as they don’t require constant watering. For best results, place your plants on a south-facing windowsill or anywhere that they will get lots of light.

Some of my personal favourites are:

    Basil

  • If you enjoy cooking, fresh Basil is a great herb to have to hand in the Kitchen. It’s great in salads, pasta and homemade pizza.
  • With Basil, you can either plant seeds in potting soil or buy a small plant from your local supermarket or garden centre. Basil plants tend to last several weeks when potted in the kitchen so you may want to plant seeds every few weeks to keep a constant supply. Alternatively, you can transfer your plant to the garden for a longer harvest.
  • Before I had my own Basil plant, I would buy a few sprigs of fresh Basil from the supermarket every time I wanted to make a pizza or a salad. Not only was this one extra item to remember on the shopping list, but the cut basil would also only last a day or two in the fridge, leading to waste. With a Basil plant, it’s always fresh, I don’t have to plan ahead and there’s no waste!
 
 

Fresh basil is my key ingredient to homemade pizza - even if the pineapple is controversial!

2. Mint

When buying a Mint plant, you may notice that there are lots of different varieties. This might feel overwhelming, but as long as they smell sufficiently minty, they should do the job. I currently have Mojito Mint, Moroccan Mint and Mentha Spicata (English Lamb Mint). They look a little bit different but all deliver on taste!

Anyone that has grown mint in their garden before has probably noticed that it has a tendency to spread very quickly. The benefit of growing Mint in a pot in your kitchen is that you don’t have to worry about controlling it.

Mint can be used in summer drinks like mojito’s and iced teas or to make fresh mint tea which is known to soothe the stomach. Much like Basil, fresh mint purchased from the supermarket doesn’t last very long in the fridge, so a Mint plant is great for reducing waste and more unnecessary plastic packaging.


My go-to Summer drink using Fresh Mint:
  • Ice cubes
  • A splash of elderflower cordial
  • Half a glass of apple juice
  • Half a glass of lemonade (or soda water for a less sweet version)
  • Several mint leaves (torn into pieces to get the minty flavour)
 

Mint is great to have on hand for drinks

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3. Rosemary

  • Rosemary is a must-have in my house for meat and vegetable roasts alike but also because it smells so good. Rosemary plants can be found at most garden centres or big supermarkets.
  • This herb is particularly hardy as it can tolerate hot, dry climates in the Summer as well as cooler temperatures in the winter - as long as there is still strong light. Like Basil and Mint, Rosemary prefers its soil on the dry side rather than soaking wet, so be sure not to overwater the plant.
  • While a Rosemary plant will happily thrive on a kitchen windowsill, it can always be transferred to a larger pot or flower bed for outside growing.
 

These are just three of my favourites, but the same rules apply to most herbs and are generally easy to grow. They are useful to have to hand for those spontaneous home cooked meals and could make your weekly food shop that tiny bit more sustainable - not to mention the satisfaction of cooking with something that you have grown yourself!

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