3 things you can do about the vegetable & salad shortage

02 February 2017 | Posted in Food by The Marshalls Family

The price of courgettes is at an all-time high and tomatoes, peppers and aubergines are all likely to be affected too.

Corgette plant in raised bed

A perfect storm of low light levels, cold temperatures and flooding has played havoc with vegetable production in the Mediterranean and experts have warned that if the weather does not improve in the coming weeks the problem could continue into April and possibly beyond.

With 50% of our vegetables and 90% of our fruit imported from other countries, bad weather elsewhere has a direct impact on the availability of our fruit and salad staples.

Take back control – grow your own supplies

Shortages on supermarket shelves are always worrying especially when those shortages are essential staples like fruit and vegetables which we depend on for our health.

As a supplier of fruit & vegetable plants, trees and seed to the British public since 1948 we are passionate about the seasons and the food you grow for your family and friends.

Here's some varieties you can grow yourself now and have ready to eat in a short time frame so you can carry on eating essential food whether the supermarket shelves are empty or not.

Tomato Montello sowing

Tip 1 - have salads in just 11 days – grow mighty micro-leaves

Grow micro-leaf salad varieties like cress, broccoli and radish and you can have greens in as little time as a fortnight, even sooner with some varieties. With just a light windowsill, cotton wool, a tray and a lid you can be harvesting healthy salads with no limited stock to worry about. Here are some varieties to look out for:

Mustard Red Frills

Kale Red Russian

Rocket Victoria

Tip 2 - Prepare salads in just 21-45 days - cut and come again lettuce varieties

Grow salads that keep giving. Many salad leaf varieties re-grow when you give them a hair-cut. Like hair, they grow back again so you can depend on constant supplies. Sow into windowsill sized trays filled with compost and sow in lines to make harvesting with scissors easier. Keep warm, indoors in a conservatory or windowsill. Seeds of basil, beetroot, and spinach or use some of our blended mixtures Bright and Spicy Mix or Baby Leaf Mix which are perfect for this.

In as little as a 21 days cut off the leaves with some scissors near to the base. Harvest as you require or harvest in one go, wash, dry and store in a sealed poly bag in the salad drawer of your fridge. In a couple of weeks you're able to harvest again. – a 60cm row will give enough leaves to fill a bag of salad that you buy from the supermarket. Usually you can cut each row 4 times before the plants are exhausted. Each packet of seeds will give approx. 4 x60cm rows.

Tip 3 - Grow vital vegetables, 365 days of the year

Have a dependable supply of your own 12 months of the year by growing salad varieties you can enjoy from January to December. In spring enjoy the fresh, crisp leaves of lettuce Salad Bowl, come summertime tuck into tomato Shirley and Moneymaker, aubergines and cucumber Mini Munch.

In autumn have handsome harvests of your own of lettuce Cos and summer cabbages. Best of all have the salads and wholesome greens you want in wintertime by growing hardy red lettuces and winter cabbage.

You can’t provide everything you need by growing your own but our 3 tips above make a real impact by saving you money at the supermarket, ensuring a supply of healthy food and all whilst getting you out-doors and doing some gentle exercise.

Visit marshalls-seeds.co.uk for a huge range of salads you can grow yourself for limitless supplies.

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