Grow your own and enjoy the fruits of your labour

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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.

From Holland, with love
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Where to find us

Pentland Plants Garden Centre
Pentland Mains
Loanhead
Midlothian
EH20 9QG

0131 440 0895
shop@pentlandplants.co.uk 

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Monday - 9am to 5pm
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Wednesday - 9am to 5pm
Thursday - 9am to 5pm
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COVID-19 UPDATE

Following the recent announcement we have decided to close the garden centre to the public until we are clear if we are allowed to open. 

The absolute priority is the safety and welfare of our staff and our customers and that really is our main concern and I’d like to thank every single one of you for your custom and support over the many years we’ve been in business.  I know we can all come through this and be stronger!

We are still doing home deliveries however and you are now able to browse our current stock on our new products page to see what we have then simply email us at shop@pentlandplants.co.uk to place your order.

Carolyn Spray and all the team at Pentland

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