Let’s not beat about the bush, healthy living can be expensive. Even when I am taking advantage of the offers available at my supermarket, it is often cheaper to purchase ready meals, frozen or processed food when feeding the family. Still, with obesity on the rise, it is crucial that you try your hardest to have your five portions of fruit and vegetables daily.
The TruggyWug gives you and your family the opportunity to grow your own fruit and vegetables. This not only ensures healthy, tasty meals but also allows you to show your children where their food comes from. We give you a list of everyday vegetables you can grow in our backyard:
1. Sweet potato
You do need to buy an organic potato from your local supermarket to start this or you can buy sweet potato slips from local garden centre but where’s the fun in that? Cut the potato in half and place both halves in a casserole dish with two inches of water before setting it by the window. Over the next few weeks, you potato will sprout little baby plants, ignore these and keep the water level constant.
In four weeks, your sweet potato should have the slips on now. The tuber should be a pinky/purple colour and some will have roots already – snap these off at the point where it joins the sweet potato and you have your tubular. Slip these into the TruggyWug (if frosty weather, obviously keep them indoors) and watch them grow!
Carrots such as Thumbelina, Short n Sweet and Little Fingers are ideal for growing in the TruggyWug. Be aware that carrots can come in other shapes and colours – they can even be purple at times!
These are easy to grow. Simply sprinkle seed about a centimetre below the surface, cover and water them. When the greens are about 2” tall, thin these out so they are spaced about 1” apart and continue watching them grow. When they are ready, simply harvest them before starting all over again – perfect!
Asparagus seems to be one of the more expensive vegetables to buy but is really easy to grow. The hardy plant does not need a lot of attention or care; they simply need enough space to grow. As they grow upwards they can be grown in relatively shallow planters but they do need a wide diameter of space.
These need to be planted in the garden only when you are sure that the danger of frost has truly passed. As the British weather can often be unreliable, if there is frost once they have been planted, simply place an overturned pot on them to protect them from frost damage. For the best results, it is better to start with a healthy plant rather than seeds.
Make sure you plant this at least 8 inches deep in order to let the roots grow. The soil around cucumbers needs to be watered once a day, sometimes more, to make sure the soil doesn’t become dry.
These hardy plants are easy and can be planted in cold weather, often surviving snow and freezing temperatures. When you plant these, make sure they are spaced two inches below the surface and that there are four to five inches between each plant to allow them to spread properly – you should see sprouts in as little as 7-14 days. Make sure the plants are watered twice a week, giving the top inch of soil a chance to become dry between watering.
As the peas start to grow, you may need to add a trellis or bamboo shoot to the TruggyWug to ensure train them and allow even sunlight exposure. If left unattended the vines will clump up and fight for the most sunny spot.
Peppers are easy to grow directly in soil as long as they are put in a hot, sunny space. The plants need at least 30cm of good quality compost. Once the peppers are approximately 20cm high you need to pinch out the growing tips to encourage growth.
As the plants are growing, you need to stake and tie off the plants as the peppers will be heavy and will start to pull the plant down. Ensure you regularly water the plants and start using a liquid fertiliser once the first pepper shows.
Onions can be grown in containers of any size including tiny terracotta pots so they are great for growing in TruggyWug’s. It is important to read the fine print before planting onions as they have different daylight requirements; some need short day (10-12 hours of daylight) or long day (14-16 hours of daylight).
Ensure the onion has at least 10 inches of soil and 3 inches of space to grow successfully. The soil needs to be kept moist to encourage growth so ensure to water it consistently as they may look healthy even when they are not. Spreading mulch across the soil to help retain the moisture but always keep an eye on it.
Standing at 2’ 7” high, the TruggyWug is protected against rot and fungal decay –something we give a 10 year guarantee on. The additive we choose to add throughout the pressure treatment process gives an oak like neutral finish that will suit any style of garden.