January begins with new promises and resolutions for the year. One of the most popular new year’s resolutions is to eat more healthily, especially if you enjoyed lots of selection boxes and chocolate coins over the festive season.
It can be hard to break out of a habit of eating sweets and chocolate but you can stay true to your new year’s resolutions as the year goes on by taking charge of your meals and growing your own fruit and vegetables.
Throughout the months, there are so many different kinds of fruit and vegetables you can grow to enjoy. So for February, pick out the seeds to grow this month and start sowing.
While you’re working hard bringing your plants to life, you can plan salads and lunches to make with your produce. You can even plan a special meal using everything from your harvest when it’s ready for picking.
Grow a selection of edibles that will pair well together on a plate such as leafy greens, herbs like basil and oregano and sweet tomatoes. If you’re growing tomatoes, for example, make sure you sow them indoors.
The end of the month is the best time to start growing tomatoes but you can start gathering everything you need now. When you are ready, fill some plastic peat pots with soil and using the spray nozzle on a watering can, lightly water the tray.
Sow two to three seeds in each pot, about one quarter of an inch into the soil, and pat the soil over. Transfer the tray to a mini green house.
Use a spray bottle to mist the seeds for the next week until the sprouts start to show. When the sprouts are 10 – 15cm tall, you can then transfer the plants to a larger pot.
You can transfer the tomatoes outdoors to continue growing when the weather gets warmer, but if you have space, aim to keep them indoors.
If you can’t wait several months before digging into your own crop, practise making salads and soups with good-quality tomatoes from the supermarket or green grocers. When your own tomatoes are ready, you’ll notice a huge difference in the taste, and you’ll want to keep on planting tomatoes every year!
Don’t forget to mark your seeds with seed markers. Use wooden craft sticks to label each plant.
Either write the name on the stick or, whip out your best felt tip pens, and draw the plant on the end of the stick.