Happy New Year to you all - we hope that you’ve had a wonderful festive period!
If, like us, you indulged in one too many mince pies or got involved with a few too many cheese boards, now is the time to try your hardest to shed those extra few pounds! Obtaining a healthy lifestyle can sound a little complicated to begin with. Recipes seem to have an endless list of exotic ingredients and it might seem like you need to dedicate an entire day to cooking healthy! However, the Hill’s team have been looking at how to make healthy eating a little simpler (and cheaper!) The answer? Grow yourself healthy!
We’ve devised a list of things that you can grow in your vegetable patch or allotment – all of which are healthy, nutritional, but most importantly, delicious!
- Sow: April – September
- Harvest: June – December
Carefully sow rocket seeds thinly in a row and cover with soil and water in with a watering can until the soil is drenched. Make sure you keep the soil moist and give the plants some shade, as the weather gets hotter - this will prevent the leaves form becoming tough and unpalatable.
Harvest from four weeks after sowing. Regular picking keeps growth young, tender and tasty. The crop will grow back quicker if you pick a few leaves from plants over the whole row than if you pick lots of leaves from one or two plants because this weakens the growth.
- Plant: All year round
- Harvest: July – September
Plant in moist, acidic soil in a sunny and sheltered spot. In order for blueberries to produce a good crop the PH level needs to be 5.5 or lower. If your soil is higher than this, you can lower the pH by adding sulphur chips.
Fruits start to ripen from mid-summer, once they change colour (from green to dusty blue), they can be harvested. Not all of the fruit will ripen at the same time so pick at it several times to enjoy lots of delicious crop.
- Plant: October – Feb
- Harvest: June – August
Garlic grows well in a sunny, fertile site. Before planting, add some general-purpose fertilizer (please see individual packs or instructions).
Break up the garlic bulbs and plant the individual cloves just below the soil surface, roughly 15cm apart. Birds love garlic so prevent them from destroying your crop by covering the rows with horticultural fleece.
- Sow: March - May & August – September
- Harvest: All year round
Sow spinach seeds under cover in late winter and plant out in early spring, or if you’d prefer, you can sow directly into the soil from the spring using cloches for protection. Thin the seedlings to about 7.5cm apart when they are large enough to handle and keep them well watered during dry periods. A few weeks after thinning, harvest the leaves by simply cutting them from the stem.