Easy veg to grow indoors: Part Two
Last week it was tomatoes, lettuce, chillies and radishes. This week there's four more. Feast your eyes on this blog to get more inspiration for easy veg to grow indoors!
Gorgeous green beans
If you're after a vegetable which keeps quickly replenishing what you eat then French beans or runner beans are for you. You'll get plenty from one plant and two plants will be ideal for a family of four, depending on how much veg you plan
to eat of course!
Plant one seed per pot and keep it damp and on a sunny windowsill. As the bean plants grow they'll need support and something to climb up like a wooden cane.
Tip 1: Constantly pick the beans to keep them coming back all summer long.
Tip 2: Don't let runner beans get too big as they become tough to chew. Pick them before they get chance, but keep an eye on them. One day they'll be the right size - about 20cm or eight inches long, the next they could be a foot long!
Tasty ways to use beans
Add French beans or runner beans to a stir-fry for a crunchy filling meal, or have them steamed then bathed in gravy with your Sunday roast.
Short on space? Try dwarf runner bean Hestia.
You don't need much space when it comes to growing potatoes. You can even grow them indoors! All you need is a few potatoes and a potato bag - or strong shopping bag with a few small holes in the sides - or sack, or cardboard box, with a little compost in. Place a few potatoes in and pour compost over them to just cover them. Whenever potato shoots appear, cover them with compost. Keep the compost moist but not waterlogged.
Tip: keep the bag of potatoes and compost in a warm, sunny place and keep the soil damp. When you've nearly reached the top of the bag with compost, let the plants flower and die back. Tip the contents out and enjoy some delicious home grown potatoes!
Tasty ways to use potatoes
Try boiled potatoes with a little butter and lots of home-grown mint. You can slice potatoes and put them in the oven, sprinkle mixed herbs over and a drizzle of groundnut, rapeseed or coconut oil.
Ginger is a root often used in stir-fries and curries. It's quite hot! It's also a bit of a favourite with in-home gardeners as it can be easy and rewarding to grow. You can start with a fresh piece of living ginger root which will have buds on. Ginger grows horizontally under the soil so you'll need a wide, shallow pot. Soaking your root in warm water overnight helps prepare it for planting, then you can cover the root with soil. Keep it moist, and wait for shoots to start emerging in two to three weeks.
You can harvest the whole plant or just cut off what you need. Mature ginger root will be ready in around 10 to 12 months, or you can pick milder baby ginger after around four to six months.
Tasty ways to use ginger
Chop some into your homemade curry or prawn and ginger noodles. You can even whizz it up with spices, garlic and oil to make a mouth-watering curry paste. A slice of ginger in hot water makes a subtle warming drink.
First decide which type you want to grow. The easiest ones for indoors are oyster, white button and shiitake. You can grow these types in sawdust from untreated wood, or straw. You can even grow them in waste coffee grounds. Instead of planting seeds mushrooms are grown from mushroom spawn, sawdust mixed with mushroom 'roots' which look like a mass of threads.
You'll need to sterilise straw or sawdust to stop any microorganisms lurking within it from taking over your lovely mushroom growth. Simply place the straw or sawdust in a microwavable bowl and dampen it with water. Heat for two minutes or until the water boils off. If you're using coffee grounds you won't need to do this process because they've already been sterilised through brewing. You're now ready for some mushroom making!
Place your straw or sawdust in a shallow tray, mixing-in the mushroom spawn. Leave the tray in a warm, dark area like an airing cupboard or drawer. After about two weeks you'll see white fuzz which means it's ready to move to a cooler dark place, like under the stairs. Keep them moist and cool - not hot. Three weeks from now you'll have some little mushrooms.
Tasty ways to use mushrooms
You can use mushrooms as a hearty substitute for meat, like instead of a beef burger. Why not try Rogan mushrooms, a veggie twist on the famous lamb dish? Or simply fry some garlic with mushrooms, spinach and a squish of lemon for a tasty accompaniment to steak.
What are you waiting for?
Think how convenient hand picking your vegetables when you need them can be. Need some green beans to go with your roast? Simply pull some fresh from the plant. Want to make some moreish tomato pasta sauce? Pluck a few tomatoes from the stalks. So clear some space on your windowsill, get your gardening gloves on and get growing some healthy home-grown produce!
Check out some other useful blogs:
See how to use your home-grown sweet potatoes: Try this breakfast trend: Sweet Potato Toast
Learn how to stay healthy while gardening: Growing Pains