Grow your own and enjoy the fruits of your labour

Love the idea of growing your own produce but think you need acres of land and fancy equipment? Think again! Here at Pentland Plants, we believe anyone can have a go, no matter how limited their garden size, budget, or previous gardening experience.

That’s why our team has compiled a list of some of our favourite easy-to-grow options to suit everyone. The best thing about growing your own? It’s a fun, delicious and sustainable way to help the planet – no food miles, no plastic packaging, just wholesome, homegrown goodness.

So roll up your sleeves, get stuck in, and you’ll soon be enjoying the fruits of your labour!

Grow herbs on a window sill

No garden? No problem! If you’ve got a window sill, you can get growing. Early spring is a good time to consider growing herbs such as basil, coriander, chives and parsley from seeds. Simply fill pots with seed compost and sprinkle a few seeds into each one. Cover with a loose layer of compost, lightly water and after a few weeks you should see the first leaves developing. Once grown, you can snip off a few leaves as and when you’d like to add a little extra flavour to your favourite dishes.

Grow lettuce in a planter

Crisp, summer salads, right on your doorstep – it’s easier than you think. There are many leafy varieties that grow well in a planter and many ‘cut and come again’ lettuces that will allow you to just pick a few leaves as and when you need them without pulling up the whole plant so you can enjoy them throughout the whole summer. Start the seeds off indoors or sow direct outside later in the spring once the soil has warmed up. Remember, don’t plant them too close as you’ll need to give them adequate room to grow and flourish.

Grow tomatoes in a greenhouse

Homegrown tomatoes are packed full of flavour – you’ll notice the difference from the first bite. Tomato seeds can be sown from February onwards in 9-10cm pots of moist compost. Water well and cover with a sprinkling of compost, then store in a propagator until the seeds have germinated. (Alternatively, a warm windowsill will do the trick!) When the seedlings have grown to around 2-3cm in height, it’s time to transplant them very carefully, holding the seedlings only by the leaves, into their own 9-10cm pot filled with multi-purpose compost. Once the plants are about 15-20cm tall they can be transplanted into large pots or grow bags. Cordon varieties will need supported with canes or string and the side shoots removed as they grow tall. Bush and trailing varieties which need no supporting or side shoot removal. Don’t forget to feed with tomato fertiliser and water regularly to prevent splitting.

Grow potatoes in a vegetable patch

Potatoes have got to be one of the most versatile vegetables to cook, so do the groundwork and you’ll be enjoying them for many, many mealtimes. Start by selecting ‘seed potatoes’ and chit them to encourage shoots to grow. To do this, simply place them in an old egg carton with the end that has the most eyes facing up. Store them in a cool, light spot for about six weeks when shoots of about 1-2cm should be visible. Next, ensure your soil is rich by digging in plenty of garden compost and potato fertiliser, then plant the potatoes with the shoots facing upwards. Water them regularly and ‘earth up’ by adding soil to cover the shoots as they emerge. If you’re short on space, potatoes can also grow brilliantly in large containers where they’ll require no earthing up, making them a really easy and low maintenance option. If you’d like more information how to grow potatoes, pick up a leaflet in store.

Top three reasons to give it a go and grow your own

Need a little extra encouragement? We asked a few of our team members what they loved most about growing their own at home:

Susie, Garden Centre Supervisor: ‘Growing your own food, cooking it, and seeing your family and friends’ faces when they taste it – you just can’t beat it!’

Tiina, Garden Centre Manager: ‘It’s so important that children understand where their food comes from, and my kids love getting involved and getting muddy! They’re always so fascinated to see their little seedlings grow into something tasty.’

Alie, Plant Area Supervisor: ‘There’s no denying it, when you’ve grown something from seed and nurtured it right through to harvesting, it tastes 100% better than a shop-bought equivalent.’

Pop into Pentland Plants and chat to any of our team if you have questions about growing your own, or head over to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages and join the conversation.

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Review us on Trip Advisor

Happy customers are important to us and we are always looking for ways to improve. Equally, we are delighted to hear positive feedback - it's a real boost to all of the team here at Pentland Plants. If you have a moment, and could leave a review on our Trip Advisor page, we'd really appreciate it.

 

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The Big Garden Bird Watch 2020

Will you be taking part in the Big Garden Bird Watch this month? Order your pack now from the RSPB website! We've just re-stocked our bird food area and have a fantastic range of goodies to help attract feathered friends to your garden! 
#BigGardenBirdWatch
 is a great way for the whole family to connect with nature; in today's #BlogRSPB Scotland share their top tips for getting your kids involved! http://bit.ly/2tYppmc

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NEW for 2020: Vegan Afternoon Tea

Vegan Afternoon Tea at Pentland Plants


We are delighted to now offer vegan afternoon tea at Cafe Panola.

This delicious freshly prepared homemade treat includes:
- 2 rounds of sandwiches with vegan cheese Carrot chutney and lemon & oregano humous with roasted vegetables
- Fruit scone served with jam and vegan cream
- Meringue and fresh fruit
- A selection vegan cakes, including 2 of the following:
Chocolate cake, lemon cake, ginger tiffin , oaty apple tray bake and banana and walnut cake

We have delicious vegan scones and cakes to add to our sweet treats and we always have homemade vegan soups available every day.

We are proud to source local Scottish produce for the food that we serve at our cafe. All of our dishes and home baking are freshly prepared on site in our cafe kitchen by our talented chefs. Afternoon tea is available every day from 2pm - 4pm and there's no need to book!

To keep up to date with our latest specials and cafe offering, please follow or Facebook and Instagram accounts: @pentlandplants

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Help us support Make 2nds Count

£1 from EVERY sale of our beautiful home grown Poinsettia Princettias will be donated to Make 2nds Count this December.

Make 2nds Count is dedicated to making women and men living with Secondary Breast Cancer count. They fund medical research that will contribute to advancing an increased quality of life for patients. Also known as metastatic breast cancer their community programme supports patients and families affected by this incurable disease.

We grow over 50k Poinsettias every Christmas in our nursery. Our stunning Poinsettia Princettia varieties are available now at the garden centre and come in various shades of pink and white. 

Please help us support this brilliant charity, and follow their Facebook page too for the latest news and local events! Make 2nds Count.

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Where to find us

Pentland Plants Garden Centre
Pentland Mains
Loanhead
Midlothian
EH20 9QG

0131 440 0895
info@pentlandplants.co.uk 

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Opening hours

Monday - 9am to 5pm
Tuesday - 9am to 5pm
Wednesday - 9am to 5pm
Thursday - 9am to 5pm
Friday - 9am to 5pm

Saturday - 9am - 5pm
Sunday - 10am - 5pm

Christmas Opening Hours:
Closed: Christmas day, Boxing day and New Year's Day

May - June

Open late till 6pm weekdays

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