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Get Growing Your 5 A Day



Is There A Reason For The Choice Of Fruit & Vegetables?
Yes. Crops were selected for their general popularity and suitability to growing in raised beds or containers (for example Sprouts need a firm ground to anchor them and so they would not be ideal in our loose compost beds). In addition the return on space used has been considered, so maincrop potatoes and onions, which are plentifully and relatively cheaply available in the shops are excluded, as are leeks, which can take not far off a year to mature. Consideration was also given to ease of growing and for this reason, the slightly tricky cauliflower has been excluded.

Do I Have to Follow the Whole Plan?
Absolutely not! The plan is intended as a guide only. The really important thing is to grow what you like to eat. You can substitute different crops as you prefer and take on as much of the plan as your space allows - from one Planter up to all 42. To achieve the maximum yields you will need to choose varieties that have proven high-cropping records, however you may prefer to concentrate on more unusual varieties or even include a few flowers - marigolds are great companion plants for adding colour and doing a great job of keeping many pests at bay.

Does the Plan Provide An Even Harvest throughout The Year?
The British weather is the driver here - we can only grow what our climate permits. The warmer and sunnier weather of the summer gives us a far broader choice than the winter. Following principles of self sufficiency will lead you by necessity down the path of preserving - saving some of the glut of the summer months to liven up the winter diet. Have a go at making jams and chutneys and fill your freezer with pasta sauces and soups.

How Far Apart Should I Grow My Plants?
The Planner shows how many of each plant should be grown in each Planter. In general the plants should be evenly spaced within the Planter to give the maximum room for each plant. Germination rates vary for each type of seed but you’d be very lucky to get 100% so it's always worth sowing more seeds than the number of plants you want to end up with. If you are sowing direct into the Planter than you can 'thin out' and throw some seedlings away if more than enough germinate.

Is My Harvest Guaranteed?
To get the maximum crop you need to choose high yielding varieties of seed and your garden should ideally be in a sunny, sheltered spot. Plus try and spend a little time in your garden every day - checking for pests, fertilizing and watering etc and read up on how to best care for your plants. However pretty much the biggest influence is the weather - out of all our control!