Experts at Gardening Express have shared their top tips for green-fingered families to grow fresh food, saving money on their supermarket shop.
Growing vegetables from seeds can help you cut down on spending in the long term, with fresh herbs and fruit prices rising in the shops.
Expert advice includes planting potatoes for a kitchen staple, growing many tomatoes and peppers to add to any meal.
Chris Bonnett from Gardening Express said: “Growing produce at home can save quite a lot of money over a month or two and it’s a great activity for the whole family.
“You don’t necessarily need a big, sprawling garden to grow your own veggies either. You can easily grow some of these staples indoors, on sills and in kitchens.
“Some of the easiest to get started and get growing are spuds, strawberries and tomatoes.”
Here are the top seven fruits and vegetables to grow in your garden and save some money on your weekly grocery shop, according to experts at Gardening Express.
These fast-growing seeds can go from planting to harvest within a week’s time.
All you need to do to get them growing is to sprinkle seeds over the surface of a pot or sow in the ground in either a block or row close together.
Keep the soil moist and the plant in the shade, as it doesn’t like the heat.
Investing in growing your own salad leaf seeds can save you lots of money, as salads can be expensive in the supermarkets and they can go out of date quickly.
They can grow fast from the smallest patch and in small containers. To grow them into delicious salad leaves, sow the seeds evenly all over the surface of a trough or tub of compost in a cool, semi-shady place.
This crop can also be good on windowsills indoors from autumn to spring and make sure you snip the leaves when they are big enough.
Fresh herbs can spice up the most bland meals but they can cost you a lot to buy fresh each time and are tough to keep fresh long enough to get your money’s worth.
Basil, chives, parsley and sage will grow well in a sunny window box or in a plant pot by the window, and oregano, thyme, mint and rosemary will all grow well indoors and outdoors in the garden.
Peppers are better planted between April and June and they grow best in well-drained, moist soil. You need to place the seeds in soil and put them in an area with good sunlight.
A greenhouse or kitchen windowsill will do to get them started, then they will need to be moved outside as the summer heats up. Using canes for support, the plant will keep them supported.
This delicious fruit often puts new gardeners off, but they are much easier to grow than you think and are very expensive to buy at the supermarket.
Plant them in water-retaining soil in June, when the weather is warm, then place a net over the plant when they start to grow to protect them from the birds.
For anyone who wants to grow garlic outdoors, they must start thinking about it as early as possible as they are best planted before spring is in full swing.
Find a spacious sunny area with soil and plant the individual cloves, pointed-end up, so that the tip is just covered. Space them about 15cm apart.
Tomatoes are perfect for smaller gardens or even balconies, as they don’t need much space to grow. Sow the seeds in small pots filled with seed compost, then cover each pot with a clear plastic bag and put them on a bright windowsill.
When the flowers begin to open, transfer them to nine-inch pots or growing bags, or plant them outside in a warm, sunny spot 45cm to 60cm apart.