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How much food can you realistically grow in a flat?

16 replies 5.2K views
Over the past few weeks, I've managed to do a lot.  I've binged on lots of Netflix/Prime/Apple TV shows, read books, written up a business plan, and revised my ultra marathon plan, to improve my half marathon times!  When this lock down ends, I will be more productive.

Even my recycling is now more organised, so onto the next chapter - what can I realistically grow in my flat/is it worth it?


  • -taff-taff Forumite
    11.6K posts
    10,000 Posts Seventh Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
    have you got a balcony?
  • newlywednewlywed Forumite
    7.6K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Herbs and lettuce/rocket on the window ledge inside?
    working on clearing the clutter
  • DireEmblemDireEmblem Forumite
    353 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts
    I have a large window ledge in the Kitchen, well lets say the window itself is a metre wide, so I could hang baskets outside that.
    I also have a utility room that is mostly empty, it houses the boiler and washing machine, although that has a small window.
  • twopennytwopenny Forumite
    148 posts
    Tenth Anniversary 100 Posts Photogenic Combo Breaker
    Utility room is probably a non starter unless you want to try mushrooms or rhubarb :-)
    If you can organise a window box and use a decent compost like John Innes 2 which will hold water you could grow Tumbling Tom tomatoes. Small sweet ones on short trailing stems. Add some Basil if it's not too windy or keep that inside and you have ingredients for salsa. Easier than that would be chives, you can get garlic chives too which are great for salads or scrambled eggs. Lovely flowers too.
    What you will have to watch with a window box or baskets is that when you water the soilly water doesn't drip onto windowsils bellow. Also if it's likely to dry out quickly moisture retentive chrystals to add to the compost. Remember to use some liquid plant food after the first 6 weeks.
    Looking at Google Images should give you some ideas on what containers would be safe to put outside a window. Others are bound to have done it.

    The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well

  • RASRAS Forumite
    28.5K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts
    Ok, the utility room is useful for getting seeds started, particularly in winter. Find some peas, even the ones sold for marrowfat peas. If you can find a ready meal container that had sauce under a perforated strainer with other ingredients above, great, if not choose a tray. Germinate the peas by soaking in water (2 days) and grow in a cm of compost or vermiculite in the window. Harvest for pea shoots 4 times and jettison.

    Then learn about sprouting other seeds like alfalfa in jars, although they need rinsing twice a day. A lot depends on which way your window faces. Where is the sun at midday?

    Also check out cut and come again salads and microgreens.

    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • -taff-taff Forumite
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    What do you like eating that's expensive but could be grown by you?
  • silverwhistlesilverwhistle Forumite
    3K posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts
    What -taff said. You aren't growing calories, you are growing flavour and freshness. For example you might be able to grow a chilli and nothing like taking a fresh one off the plant when you're cook something spicy.
  • skogarskogar Forumite
    195 posts
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Not tried growing it from seed yet but a pot of basil in the kitchen or suitable selection of herbs makes a big difference when you are cooking. I normally buy a basil plant from the supermarket about now and find it lasts till about October. This year I'm hoping to grow my own - will see if the seeds germinate.
  • MoneySeeker1MoneySeeker1 Forumite
    648 posts
    500 Posts Name Dropper First Anniversary
    Two books to check out (if you can find them):
    "Self sufficiency in a flat" by Joy O.I. Spoczynska
    "Year-round indoor salad gardening" - Peter Burke

    Bird held prisoner in a cage by politicians still.

  • Andrea9876Andrea9876 Forumite
    6 posts
    Ninth Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    MoneySaving Newbie
    You can grow loads of herbs in pots including mint, basil, coriander, oregani, rosemary and parsley. Also chilli's and mushrooms as others have said.I am going to try growing chilli's from seeds harvested from the supermarket chilli'sI have after watching Gardner's World at the weekend. In the 1970s I remember an aunt successfully grew an aubergine in a pot. I think it was a craze at the time. I am going to try tomatoes indoors and see what happens as they like a greenhouse and I have previously grown them in a pot outside. I understand they don't really like rain. And there's always cress! 
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