With vegetarianism and clean eating on the rise, it's no wonder that one of the most popular garden trends right now is learning how to grow your own food. Fruit trees and veggie beds can add a touch of colour to the perfect summer garden too – and what better accompaniments for barbecued burgers than home-grown tomatoes and lettuce?
Not sure where to begin? Our veggie garden inspiration will have you growing like a pro in no time.
Plan your garden
Choosing the right spot for your planters is about more than just feng shui: it could mean the difference between a glut and a tiny harvest. Check what direction your garden faces, as south-facing plots get more sunlight than those pointing towards the north. Mediterranean veggies such as tomatoes, courgettes and peppers love basking in the sun, while leafy varieties like kale and lettuce prefer a bit of shade.
Build your patch
Raised planters don't take long to build and they're much easier on your back when it's time to weed and harvest. They're also a lifesaver if your back garden has stony or shallow earth, as you can pick which type of soil you want to fill them with. Some plants (like blueberries) love acidic soils, while others (such as carrots) grow best in fine, sandy dirt.
Decide what to grow
Some plants and herbs are trickier to grow than others, so if it's your first time growing veg it's worth sticking to the basics while you find your feet. Get started with some salad leaves, spring onions and radishes to garnish summer dishes. Tomatoes grow quickly and cherry varieties can be planted in hanging baskets for a pretty (and yummy) alternative to flowers. Potatoes, peas and mint are hassle-free when it comes to cultivating, and they even work well together as a tasty side dish.
Sow your seeds
Even shade-loving plants benefit from bright sunlight as seedlings, so keep pots in the sun until the seeds start to sprout. Alternatively, plant your seeds in empty egg shells and pop them in the ground once the tiny heads poke up through the soil. The shell will naturally decompose, giving your soil a calcium kick and saving you money on plastic starter pots.