Grow vegetables like garlic, onions and broad beans

Alan Titchmarsh shares tip for growing vegetables

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Chris Bonnett is the founder of Gardening Express

As the cost of living continues to rise, households are on the lookout for ways to save cash on their monthly food expenses. Cash-strapped families could look to family favourite vegetables, salad and herbs they can grow themselves rather than heading to the supermarket. Believe it or not, you can grow lots of food yourself even during the colder, dark months and if you’re growing it yourself, it saves that expense at the supermarket.

The latest ONS data show the cost of staples like onions, potatoes and apples have all risen considerably over the last 18 months. So how do you go about growing your own food during the autumn and winter months?

The key is knowing the crops which will thrive despite the chiller conditions – and having a very sunny windowsill that acts as a greenhouse. If you’re successful, you’ll have a bountiful crop to start enjoying next year, reducing how much you’re spending in your food shop.

The crops you should be planting now

Garlic

Garlic loves a cold snap so plant out now ready for a tasty harvest next year. It’s best to plant in pots in well drained soil.

Onions

Plant these now and you’ll be eating these onions in early summer. These are a low maintenance vegetable to grow – a little bit of weeding is pretty much all you’ll need to do. Do plant in a well-drained, sunny spot. Onions do not thrive in waterlogged soil.

Broad Beans

These can be sowed now but they will need protection from really cold weather. Try using fleece or cloches. These will be ready to harvest early next year and make a great veg for beginners to plant.

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Spring cabbages

These need planting in November and will only need protective fleece if the temperature is extremely low. Do cover them with a net or frame – spring cabbages are a tasty meal for hungry birds and wildlife during the winter.

Lettuce

This is a great salad vegetable to grow from a windowsill. You’ll only need to pick what you want to eat rather than buying a whole lettuce from the supermarket, saving money and food waste. And it’ll taste delicious.

Herbs

Herbs will thrive in a sunny windowsill throughout the chilly months. Plant favourites like parsley, basil, dill and chives. You’ll have fresh herbs for any dishes you’re cooking – and you’ll enjoy the lovely aroma they produce.

Peppers

You can grow these from the seeds you’d normally throw away when you cut up a pepper. Place them on a damp kitchen towel in a warm or sunny part of your house and let them sprout. It takes around three weeks for them to germinate. You can do the same with chillies.

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