Gardening: Spring into herb growing season

With spring just around the corner and growing conditions improving every day, it’s the perfect time to add to your kitchen larder by growing your own herbs and salad vegetables, even if you don’t have a garden of your own.

Herbs and salad vegetables are brilliant for window boxes, and are very easy to look after. What could be better and more convenient than having your own delicious fresh herb collection and salad immediately to hand? Growing your own also gives you assurance that no nasty chemicals or pesticides have anywhere near your plants, or your dinner plate.

Duncan Cuthill, horticultural manager at Dobbies Garden World Edinburgh, offers some top tips for success.

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He says: “Herbs thrive in pots on window sills. Home-grown herbs and salad taste fantastic and are really easy to grow – it’s so rewarding, and cost effective. Choose cut-and-come-again varieties which can be harvested over a long period, this will give you a continuous supply throughout the year.

“Choose containers which are wide and deep enough to accommodate the plants you want to grow – mint and basil are easy ones to start with. A selection of different-sized pots look great grouped together.

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“Arrange your plants in the containers, making sure lower growing plants are placed around the edges. Lettuce and tomatoes work well in the smallest of spaces, including hanging baskets, containers or grow bags. Raised beds are a really great space-saving solution.

“Once you’ve planted up, put the pots in a sunny spot, near the kitchen door or an outdoor kitchen area so you always have them close to hand. Herbs and salad veg like to be watered regularly, especially in the summer, and add a liquid feed to your watering can once a week.”

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• For more advice head to Dobbies Garden World Edinburgh, which offers customers simple and inspiring garden advice. Dobbies’ Garden Grow-How talks will take place every Saturday and Sunday between 11am and 2pm and will cover a wide range of gardening topics.