Grow Your Own with Linda's

Growing your own fruit and vegetables has a raft of benefits; from improving personal well-being and mental health, to getting us closer to nature, aiding a healthier diet and the many environmental positives. Yet despite this, thousands of people across the UK don't have the space, the expertise or the know-how to start growing their own.

To celebrate 30 years of Linda McCartney’s, we’re pioneering the Grow Your Own With Linda’s initiative that aims to make growing accessible to people in inner-city locations up and down the country, inspired by Linda McCartney’s drive to make going vegetarian accessible all those years ago.

We will be arming the next generation with the skills and opportunity to grow their own, no matter what space they have available. Read on to discover how to #GYOwithLindas following our Grow Your Own Guide, penned by expert grower and gardener, Diarmuid Gavin.

A MESSAGE FROM THE McCARTNEYS & DIARMUID GAVIN

Enjoy growing your own fruit and vegetables with ‘GYO with Linda’s’. In 1991, Linda’s love of animals, the planet, food and family inspired a revolutionary new veggie food company. Today more than ever, its caring and sustainable values make us proud to be part of what she started. Plant-based food for planet earth, from our heart to your home.

Paul, Mary & Stella McCartney

Let’s banish the myth that growing food is difficult. It's so easy! You need a bit of commitment and then you simply follow some very basic principles. If you do....it's entirely achievable. The process of reconnecting with nature, going back to basics and having deliciously wholesome food as a by product is the real reason any one grows their own fruit and veg. I hope this guide provides you with a bit of inspiration to get yourself growing, no matter what space you have available!

Diarmuid

Think you haven’t got
enough space to grow?
Think again!

No garden? No problem! You don’t need loads of space, time, or “green fingers” to get growing.

You’d be amazed at what can be transformed into your very own oasis with some seeds of inspiration & a sprinkling of creativity.

Urban growing is on the rise, and container gardens can provide a happy home to lots of varieties of veg.

Between pots and planters, hanging baskets and window boxes, trellises and stepladders, you can transform the smallest of corners into a flourishing veg patch.

You don’t even need access to outside space - a sunlit corner indoors can provide a haven for plants to thrive.

Growing at home can provide us with an explosion of varieties and flavours, taking us on a journey through the seasons, and giving us some top quality (and tasty) veg to eat at the end. Dig in!

Diarmuid’s Tip:

“A ladder against a wall is a great way to make use of height when floor space is tight, perfect for stacking pots and hanging baskets.”

“Picking salad leaves from a window box is one of life’s little joys.”

What to grow, where

You can grow pretty much any type of veg, even in a very small space. It’s all about making sure you understand how the plant grows! Some plants take up very little space and will grow happily in a window box or table-top pot. Others need deeper containers as they love to root down, so check your space first and then choose your favourites to grow.


Starter crops

  • Salad leaves, spinach, lettuce, rocket, chard
  • Radish, spring onions, peas, beans, pea shoots, cress, garlic
  • Vine tomatoes, cucumber, courgette, onions
  • Beetroot, potatoes/baby potatoes, carrots/baby carrots, parsnips,
  • Herbs: mint, sage, chive, parsley, thyme, oregano, rosemary, coriander
  • Chillies

Diarmuid’s Tip:

“Multipurpose composts are great. Especially when coupled with plant feed. You can level up by investing in a good quality or specialist growing medium, like loam-based compost, farmyard manure or specially formulated veg compost”

“If growing in small pots, use compost designed for containers. It holds on to nutrients better and helps to retain water”

“Avoid compost containing peat and choose a more environmentally friendly option”

For windowsills

  • Lettuce
  • Rocket
  • Spinach
  • Chard
  • Spring onions
  • Pea shoots
  • Cress
  • Radish

For deep containers

  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Beetroot
  • Onions
  • Shallots

For balconies

  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Tomatoes

The above all grow vertically and love to climb, so position near a wall, or give them a trellis or even plant in a hanging basket so they can trail down!

  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Chive

These herbs will thrive on a balcony and provide a constant supply of flavour for your cooking.

Diarmuid’s Tip:

“Chillies love the heat of a house and the extended indoor season means you might get some red fruits. Notoriously slow to grow from seed, it’s best to buy an established plant (it’s not cheating, promise)”

For tabletops

  • Mint
  • Sage

The above are extremely easy and can be bought as small plants and planted out.

  • Parsley
  • Chives
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Coriander

The above are great from seed

  • Rosemary
  • Chilli

For best results buy the above as a small plant and plant out.

Diarmuid’s Tip:

“Multipurpose composts are great. Especially when coupled with plant feed. You can level up by investing in a good quality or specialist growing medium, like loam-based compost, farmyard manure or specially formulated veg compost”

“If growing in small pots, use compost designed for containers. It holds on to nutrients better and helps to retain water”

“Avoid compost containing peat and choose a more environmentally friendly option”

For windowsills

  • Lettuce
  • Rocket
  • Spinach
  • Chard
  • Spring onions
  • Pea shoots
  • Cress
  • Radish

For deep containers

  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Beetroot
  • Onions
  • Shallots

For balconies

  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Tomatoes

The above all grow vertically and love to climb, so position near a wall, or give them a trellis or even plant in a hanging basket so they can trail down!

  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Chive

These herbs will thrive on a balcony and provide a constant supply of flavour for your cooking.

For tabletops

  • Mint
  • Sage

The above are extremely easy and can be bought as small plants and planted out.

  • Parsley
  • Chives
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Coriander

The above are great from seed

  • Rosemary
  • Chilli

For best results buy the above as a small plant and plant out.

Diarmuid’s Tip:

“Multipurpose composts are great. Especially when coupled with plant feed. You can level up by investing in a good quality or specialist growing medium, like loam-based compost, farmyard manure or specially formulated veg compost”

“If growing in small pots, use compost designed for containers. It holds on to nutrients better and helps to retain water”

“Avoid compost containing peat and choose a more environmentally friendly option”

Growing doesn’t cost
the earth

You don’t need anything fancy to get going. Just some containers that will hold compost and seeds, and you’re good to grow! We live in the age of a quick fix and generation click, but at what cost? We have heaps of planting options at our disposal and all kinds of things can be upcycled, from throwaway household items and kitchen utensils, to biscuit tins and jam jars. Even welly boots, bike baskets and long-forgotten buckets can be repurposed. As long as it can hold the soil and you can add holes for drainage, there’s no limit. Get creative!

If you buy a pack of seeds, you’ll often get a lot in one bag, so why not share the cost (and joy) with friends? Or even dry out seeds from seeding crops and keep them for next year. Growing your own fruit and veg doesn’t need to burn a hole in your pocket.

Diarmuid’s Tip:

“Just remember to have something underneath to catch the water, like a saucer or tray.”

“Charity shops are great for finding treasure, and splashes of paint will transform items for a cheery colourful addition to your space.”

Nurturing your nature

Mary McCartney

The two most important jobs as seedling caretaker are watering and weeding.

  • Keep your pots moist
  • Never let your pots dry out, or become soggy
  • Watering little and often is key
  • Plants love consistency. Sporadic watering = stress!
  • Good quality compost holds on to water for longer

Diarmuid’s Tip:

“Dedicate a few minutes to watering most days - maybe as you’re boiling the kettle, or during a phone call.”

  • Weeding generally isn’t too much of a problem in pots
  • Always keep an eye out for any trespassers taking the goodness from your crops
  • Pull out any suspect plants that appear

Diarmuid’s Tip:

“Sowing seeds in straight lines and marking will help you spot the difference between your budding seedlings and unwanted weeds.”

Keeping your growing going

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

Want to find out how to get involved in your local Grow Your Own with Linda’s Garden? Get in touch with our brilliant partners who have brought this all to life for the latest clubs, workshops, classes, volunteering spots and more!

London

A regenerated space between the Paulet Estate and local arts centre The Remakery in Brixton.

There’s an orchard, herb garden, vegetable planters and lots more (with lots to get involved with!) - come and try your hand helping out, or relax and enjoy the peace of a little oasis in the city.

Come and visit:

51 Lilford Road, Vassal, Brixton, London, SE5 9HY

Get in touch:

info@urbangrowth.london

Find out more:

urbangrowth.london

Liverpool - Croxteth

Based at the La Salle Hotel School project, a hospitality training college being established in Croxteth, the garden serves as the Kitchen Garden for the project, which will teach students how to grow and prepare the produce.

Working in collaboration with their local horticultural college Myerscough, you can find out more about supporting or enrolling on courses below.

Come and visit:

The La Salle Hotel School, 83 Carr Lane East, Croxteth, Liverpool, L11 4SF

Get in touch:

Gerry Proctor, proctorgerry@hotmail.com

Find out more:

www.lasallehotelschool.co.uk

Liverpool - St Michael

Based at St Michael in the City close to the centre of Liverpool, this garden has been transformed in partnership with the Faiths4Change team from a previously disused piece of land next to the church into a variety of fruit & veg for the local community.

Come and visit:

St Michael In The City, Upper Pitt Street, Liverpool, L1 5BD

Get in touch:

Annie Merry,
annie@faiths4change.org.uk

Find out more:

www.faiths4change.org.uk