A green-fingered guide to gardening (National Allotment Week!)

Happy Allotment week to all the green fingered gardeners! If you enjoy getting your hands a little dirty and growing your own organic produce, now is the time to do so. But what if you’re not really into all of that gardening faff? Well, we’re here to convince you to give it a go. There’s nothing to lose. In fact, you might actually gain a few things in the process…

Growing your own plants can be a bit of a daunting task. I mean, how do you know which plants to grow, when to water them, what environment they will thrive in; it’s almost like having a little green pet! But don’t fret, we here at The Cheeky Panda have curated a guide to help you with the first steps of starting your very own home-grown garden.

Location, Location, Location

First things first, how much free space do you have? You might be dreaming of a beautiful and bountiful orchard full of luscious apple trees but, if you only have a small space…that won’t really work out. But that’s not a bad thing. If you only have indoor space available, you can always plant dwarf versions of a species, for example dwarf citrus fruits or fig trees. Terraces and windowsills are also a brilliant location for growing nutrient dense microgreens as they tend to be quite sunny areas. For small outdoor spaces you can even use hanging pots to grow things like strawberries. The green gardening world really is your oyster, so get creative with your spaces!

It’s feeding time

Right, so now you know where to place your plant, the next thing is feeding it. And we don’t mean with a full course meal, we’re talking about the soil. Depending on the fruit or veggie you decide to grow, you will also need to consider the soil type. You’ll need lighter soil for any hanging plants or plants growing in the shade and medium weight potting soil for plants that are exposed to sunlight. There are also 6 main types of outdoor soil: chalky, clay, loamy, peaty, sandy and silty. Depending on your plant’s nutrient and water needs, the soil type will change.

This is also a good opportunity to level up your sustainability game by using your own compost! Those cardboard tubes you have laying around from The Cheeky Panda toilet rolls, throw them in your compost and give your growing plant new life!

Time is of the essence

We’ve focused a lot on the fruit and veggies but now the spotlight is on you. How much time are you willing to spend on your crops? You’ll have to be honest with yourself here. If you just want something easy to grow, you’ll want to grow a low maintenance plant, such as blackberries or honeyberries. Those are plants that pretty much do their own thing and they thrive in both sunny and shady areas. If you’re up for a bit of a challenge, you’ll want to choose something a bit more high maintenance, such as some grape vines or watermelons. Regardless of whether you’re a low or high maintenance gardener, you’ll want to schedule time for looking after your crops. You know what they say, a little water a day keeps deaths doors at bay! Well, that’s what they say in the plant world anyway.

It’s all about you!

While all of this advice is good and well, you’ll get the most out of planting fruit and veg that you actually like eating! There’s no point going through the process of growing cucumbers if you’re not particularly fond of them, or growing lemons if you're not a fan of sour things. The fun of growing your own crops is not just in the growing, but in the eating! Knowing that you can enjoy the fruit of your labour (get it?) is a feeling like no other.

So, why not start growing something new this allotment week. You’ll be surprised what you can grow in just a few months!

Are you planning on growing anything this week? Let us know down below.


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