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Get your family growing. Nutritious foods that are easy to grow at home

How can you encourage your kids to take a bigger interest in the vegetables and greens you put on the dinner table?

Grow it yourself!

Here’s our top tips on how to grow our favourite vegetables and greens at home. It’s easy, you don’t need much space and it’s a great way to introduce your family to mother nature’s bounty.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a nutrient rich superfood, which help to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Don’t throw out any over ripe tomatoes in your fridge! You can use them to grow your own.

Simply cut them into 1/4-inch-thick slices and place them in a circle on a bed of soil in a small potting container. Sprinkle more soil over your slices so that they are just barely covered.

Now gently water your pot, leaving it just moist but not too wet. Shoots should start to appear within 7 to 14 days. These can be replanted in your garden or in other pots as they grow bigger. Plant two seedling shoots per pot.

Potatoes

This nutrient packed favourite provides a variety of vitamins and minerals that ward off disease, improve bone health and even help with your blood pressure.

Growing potatoes in a sack doesn’t require a garden, you can do it on a balcony or in small concreted yard.

Just buy a growing sack (available in most good hardware stores in spring), some compost and fertiliser. Take some old potatoes that have started growing roots and place them on a 6-8inch layer of good quality compost. Then cover with a further 4inch layer of compost and fertiliser.

As the plants grow and shoots emerge above the surface, add more compost to the potato growing sacks to cover the shoots and then repeat as needed until the compost is about 2in below the top of the bag. An occasional heavy watering is better than little and often as this does not get down far enough and encourages shallow rooting.

You can harvest when the shoots have flowered and are fully open.

Spinach

Spinach is a low calorie super food, rich in nutrients, which can lower the risk of developing cancer and asthma.

Some of the smaller varieties of spinach, such as ‘Baby’s Leaf’ and ‘Melody’ are particularly suited to container growing from seeds indoors on your window ledge.

Sow seeds in pots one inch apart. Use a mix of soil and compost to aid in water retention and place in full sun. When sprouts are 2 inches tall, separate them out so they have more growing room (you may need to add more pots). You should be able to harvest after 40-45 days.

Spinach needs consistent moisture, so be sure to water frequently.