How to ‘grow your own’ in London
Mon 04 May 2020
Paul Bennett, Director
It will come as no surprise that there has been renewed interest in two outdoor aspects: homes with outdoor space and growing edible produce at home.
Rightmove has reported that the number of searches for rental properties with private gardens has risen during the lockdown – 16% higher during the first few weeks of the restriction period when compared to the average seen in January and February this year, and up 26% on the same weeks in 2019.
In tandem, seed manufacturers have reported a substantial rise in sales during lockdown as people start to grow their own food, while The Royal Horticultural Society said there has been an increase in visits to its website.
In London, outdoor space comes in all shapes and sizes but growing your own fruit and vegetables is always possible, whether you have 1 square meter or 1 acre. Here are some ideas for those who are discovering their green fingers and would like to become more self sufficient:-
If you have a balcony: lettuce, spinach, carrots, salad onions, beetroot and radishes will thrive in window boxes, while strawberries will flourish in hanging baskets placed in a sheltered, sunny spot. You could use a grow bag for tomatoes and train climbers, such as beans and cucamelons, up a willow obelisk. Be sure to use specific container compost with good water retaining properties.
If you have a courtyard, patio or roof terrace: the ability to fill bigger, deeper containers opens up possibilities. There are many varieties of apple, pear, blueberry, cherry and plum that grow well in pots, while today’s purpose-built potato planters look remarkably attractive and yield amazing crops. Just remember to water pots daily – at dawn or dusk ideally - during dry spells.
If you have beds: ground-level or raised beds can be utilised to grow a variety of crops throughout the year. Broccoli, cabbage, kale, sprouts and more exotic leaves like bok choy all suit the London climate, as do butternut squash, pumpkin and courgettes. You can also use canes and supporting frames to grow soft fruits, including raspberries, loganberries and blueberries.
If you have a doorstep: you can still grow edibles even if your outside space is extremely limited. Herbs – including sage, mint, rosemary, chives and thyme - can be grown in pots kept by the back door and picked fresh when required in recipes.
If you have a windowsill: a garden isn’t actually a necessity for gardening. A bright inside windowsill is perfect for chilli plants, lettuce and microgreens (watercress, pea shoots, rocket and mizuna).
If you are looking for a new home with more outside space, please contact Behr & Butchoff. We have properties for sale and to let with space to grow your own and enjoy the great outdoors.