Grow Your Own Crops In Pots by Kay McGuire

Grow Your Own Crops In Pots by Kay McGuire is a book we’re getting a lot from. The author McGuire is Kew-trained, so we’re putting our trust in her – and so far it’s all good!

Vegetable Wine Box - Grow Your Own Crops in Pots

Grow Your Own Crops In Pots is a book by Kay McGuire, covering something ideal for our inner-London lives – we rent, we don’t have a garden and we’re not about to join a waiting list for an allotment.

Having said that, we do have a back yard. Shaun picked up Grow Your Own Crops in Pots when The Book People came to his work and it’s been an interesting read. It breaks down over sixty fruit, herbs and vegetables and shows good ways to plant them – even in the smallest of spaces.

One thing we’ve done is to make an old wine box into a salad garden. Back in March one of our chairs in the garden broke, and now makes a handy wine box salad garden stand! It would never have occurred to us had we not had this book – and the wine box was sat in the shed doing nothing.

So, what to do? Get your wine box, drill some holes in the bottom, add soil and that’s it. Shaun also varnished it to keep it watertight as much as possible.

So look – this is how it started and this is what it’s like now – we’ve been eating salad every night this week fresh from the back yard.

H got some free seeds from Pizza Express and we’ve some mint growing there too – can’t wait to try it!

Were it not for Grow Your Own Crops in Pots we’d probably still be buying shop-bought salad – this way it involved minimal effort and the lettuce just keeps on growing. (n.b we bought lettuce from a garden centre, next year we’ll do it from scratch, okay?)

You can find Grow Your Own Crops in Pots here at Amazon

Getting Green Fingered

Kids Grow Wild

Warmer days are with us now (with plenty of rain of course), and although we’re later than usual we’ve been planting various seeds and things. As part of MoneySupermarket’s Kids Grow Wild challenge with BritMums we received some seeds for flowers, as well as a mini gardening kit for H which includes gloves, a watering can, a trowel and a fork – and a garden bag to keep them in. She loves having a ‘kit’ to do things and this makes her really enthusiastic when we try things like this as she’s got her own special things so gets properly stuck in.

Kids Grow Wild

So plenty of digging and planting and re-potting was done. Our seeds range from various flowers to radishes, to carrots, to peas, lavender (of course) and more pretty flowers. The majority of these were already growing, so Shaun picked up a large pot for H’s new project and they’re off!

H has always been quite picky about having dirty hands – if she falls over and gets muddy she’s more upset about that than having fallen, especially if it’s her hands – so gardening seems a good way for us to make her realise it’s okay to have mucky hands (plus having the gloves is a genius move, we hadn’t thought of that!). They set to work – Shaun put plenty of soil in the pot, and H added seeds, a few at a time.

Kids Grow Wild

A week later and it looks like this!

I was quite amazed how quickly radishes start – I bought a £1 tray from Tiger and some seeds, and within a week really big plants had appeared – so they were repotted today.

Last year in the garden we grew potatoes, carrots, peas and peppers – and had a failed attempt at courgettes. This year we’ll have peas and carrots again as well as some of the seeds you get in Pizza Express – I know there’s some mint in there, I can’t remember what else. Then there’s the radishes, and we’re going to try again with cress (how can you fail at cress? We managed). H is out there every night after nursery watering the plants and making sure they’re okay with daddy.

Kids Grow Wild

With the next week set to be sunny and rainy it’s good plant growing weather – so keep an eye on our instagram feed and you’ll see how we’re getting on! Also, Shaun bought a new book last week which uses old wine boxes instead of pots to plant in and it looks great too. Now there’s an idea, a little salad garden… that and when we’ve cleared H’s toy tubs they might make a good plant pot..

This post is an entry for BritMums’ #KidsGrowWild Challenge