If ever there was a time to grow more food, it’s now. You can ‘eat your greens’, save money on food and join a collective effort to increase our food resilience and decrease our environmental footprint. It sounds simple, and we know it can be hard work and take a bit of know-how and planning, so we include tips, inspiration and links for support to suit your growing needs. Use these with more detailed guidance in the ‘Resources’ mentioned below:
- Healthy soil is essential to growing any food successfully and maximising its nutritional value.
- Check that your growing space, or container, has optimal conditions for growth.
- Crops need consistent water, not just when it rains. So consider water catchment right from the start.
- New to growing? Keep it simple; follow Grow 6 for seasonal tips and tricks to get you growing whatever your setting year-round.
- With some growing experience, try intercropping (growing quick crops in the gaps) to maximise the use of your space.
- Grow ‘multi croppers’ that can keep cropping over several months, such as purple sprouting broccoli, peas, courgettes, cut-and-come-again lettuce, kale, and autumn fruiting raspberries.
- Stagger your sowing to prolong your harvest and avoid a glut.
- Extend the growing season by warming your soil up from early March to try early sowings in late March. An old shower door, or pane of glass will do.
- Do the same in the autumn months to protect tender outdoor crops such as lettuce and leafy herbs.
- Plan carefully for winter growing- it’s easy to miss the ‘window’ for sowing and planting winter crops when you are busy in the summer.
- Choose your seed carefully, and remember sowing times in Scotland may be a 2-4 weeks behind those written on the packet.
- If you are growing in the community and want to grow more food, why not evaluate other spaces to grow in your area?
- More detailed growing guidance in the Resources mentioned below.
Growing more of what we eat and eating more of what we grow, Nancy Mqueen makes the case for protected growing.
Scottish 'know-how' for Scottish weather
Could you use some help? The enquiry service supports groups looking to get started and grow more food in their community. Reach out to us with your questions and share your growing solutions too.