From your windowsill
No space? No problem. Your windowsill is just the right place to grow herbs, salads, microgreens (mini salad leaves!) and more, to brighten up your home and your meals. You don’t even need a flower pot to start – old food tubs can do the trick. Dig In: grow your own grub from the BBC is full of tips and tricks for making the most of small growing spaces, including windowsills. And why not try the easiest and quickest type of home-grown food – seed sprouts – this guide from Vertical Veg will get you started.
From your garden
If you’re lucky enough to have your own outdoor space, the possibilities are endless. Learning from those around you is the best way to build up knowledge, so try asking neighbours what they do, or try joining community growing sessions. You can find some great resources and info from our friends at Incredible Edible Bristol, including lots of helpful videos they made during lockdown.
Take on an allotment
While it’s true that there are long waiting lists in some parts of the city, there are vacant plots still to be found. Take a look at the Council’s Allotment Finder to see what’s available near you. Visit the Allotment Finder website, call 0117 922 3719 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember allotments are big! Taking a portion of a plot, or sharing a larger plot with friends can be a great way to make growing more manageable and fun.
Sara of Incredible Edible Bristol recommends Garden Organic for beginner’s growing advice.
Watch our webinar with Sara on Growing Food at Home for lots of useful advice.
Ready to start but not sure what to grow? Firstly, choose things you like to eat! Then find out what to sow when, and think about your space. Head to our Activities page for useful resources you can print or read online.
Where to find what you need.
Seeds: You can get seeds for free from the veg you buy. Alternatively, veg seeds are available widely in local hardware shops and online. Some good ones include:
Pots: Grow in anything you have to hand. You can start your seedlings off in used food containers or cut the top off milk cartons. You could try growing herbs in old yoghurt pots, or growing salad in ice cream tubs. The only thing to remember is that you might need drainage, so make some small holes in the bottom and place the pot on a plate to catch water.
Compost: Sometimes you’ll be able to find free or cheap compost on Facebook marketplace, Gumtree or Freecycle, or ask around your community.
In Bristol, as well as the big DIY stores, we have several really good independent garden centres that sell compost and a whole lot more, such as Riverside Garden Centre in Southville, The Garden Shop in Henleaze (tel 0117 962 0418), Brackenwood Plant and Garden Centre in Abbots Leigh and Almondsbury Garden Centre.
So you’ve got a good idea how to make it happen.
Have a look at some practical ACTIVITIES you can read online or print out, so you can put these changes into practice at home.
Want to be kept up to date with Bristol’s Good Food movement? Join Bristol Food Network’s mailing list.