Do you like the idea of growing your own, but struggle with the practicalities? There are lots of fruit and vegetables that will grow perfectly happily without the need for a great big plot of land and lots of expertise, but you may still have reservations. Perhaps you think your outdoor space is too small, or you simply aren’t crazy about having functional plastic plant pots on your patio!
With recent focus on things like food miles, organic produce and plant-based diets, it’s no wonder that we’re demanding innovative, space-saving products that allow us to have a go at growing our own produce, while also looking great in our gardens. Brands have woken up to this fact, and now it’s perfectly possible to make growing your own compact, stylish and effective.
We have an allotment where we can grow lots of crops, but it’s also really nice to be able to have some produce growing right outside the back door. Not having to jump in the car to pick things like herbs and salad is great, and the ease of access is also ideal for keeping the kids involved on a regular basis. We’ve just started a little grow your own project on our patio, using a few products from the Elho Green Basics range.
The Green Basics range is a great example of clever products, made to look great. The range includes stylish planters, trays and accessories, all developed with the input of plant experts to ensure they really work. All Elho products are sustainably manufactured in the Netherlands, and most of them are made from recycled materials. We found the products we tried to be robust and sturdy, while also being lightweight and easy to move around.
We started our planting with the Grow Table XXL.
At 75cm x 36cm, the Grow Table is ideal for small-scale patio grow-your-own and retails at around £32.29. The lid is sold separately at around £17.49 and in my opinion is a must-have, because it allows you to create a mini-greenhouse environment which is perfect for seed germination, as well as keep pests out. I particularly like the adjustable vents on the lid, which help you to regulate the temperature while still keeping birds and insects away from your crops.
As you can see, the Grow Table is a good height for kids to work at. It’s not so low that it’s tricky for adults either, and it also lend itself to a spot of sit-down gardening which is no bad thing!
We’ve decided to grow herbs and salad in our Grow Table. There’s plenty of room for a few different varieties.
The metal bar running across the middle of the table is there to make it more rigid and stable. There are pre-drilled drainage holes in the legs, and the whole thing feels really good quality. I love the matte black finish as it complements our contemporary planters perfectly, the product is also available in dark green and lime green.
Next we tried out the Grow Tray with lid and saucer.
The Grow Tray, lid and saucer are available in three sizes – ours is the medium 26cm size – with retail prices starting at £2.99 for a small tray. The range is all designed to be modular, so you can do clever things like nest smaller trays into one larger saucer for a really functional and compact solution. Again, there are three colours available.
If you’re seriously limited on space, these trays are ideal. You could easily tuck the small and medium sizes onto a garden wall, or indoors on a windowsill. They’re also a great size for getting really young children involved with the planting. I think the pop of colour on the tray is fab, and takes the product from functional to style statement.
After sowing some more salad seeds, it was time to get stuck into some larger-scale planting with the Moveable Garden.
This is such a great concept. The generous, deep planter has built-in wheels that allow you to move it around, so you can easily experiment with where it looks good, or move it to catch the sun at different times of day. It retails at around £44.99 and as with the Grow Table, the vented lid is sold separately. The size makes it ideal for growing larger crops that need a deeper root run; we’ve chosen chantenay carrots, rainbow beetroot and dwarf french beans.
I’ve written before about how easy it is to grow potatoes in bags, and while a bag is a perfectly good option, it doesn’t look very nice. The Green Basics Potato Pot, RRP £10.99, is a stylish alternative that also has a rather nifty design feature: there’s an inner section with gaps in, which you can lift out to check on the progress of your crop. Clever!
You only need a couple of seed potatoes for a pot this size. We’ve gone for a variety called ‘Shetland Black’; you can see from the picture that they look deceptively normal right now, but they produce spuds that have purple skins and a purple ring inside. A great fun one for kids to grow.
As you can see, we’ve been quite busy getting our latest grow-your-own project off the ground! The Elho products have proved to be really good quality with lots of practical features, and they look great too. It’s been just over a week since we planted all our seeds, and we’ve already got lots of lovely seedlings which are looking nice and healthy.
I’ll keep you updated on our plants’ progress, so look out for the next update when hopefully everything will be much bigger!
Have we inspired you to start your own stylish grow-your-own project?
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Elho provided the products for review purposes. All opinions and comments are honest and genuine.