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8th July 2019

Grow To Eat: Essential Tips For A SW Friendly Garden

Anyone on the Slimming World (SW) way of eating knows that at least a third of your plate needs to be filled up with speed foods, these being fruit and veg. Of course, you can purchase these from the supermarket, but when increasing the amount of fruit and veg you eat it’s vital that you also make sure that it’s of the best quality, and doesn’t have too many nasty fertilisers and pesticides as well. Something you can do by growing ( at least some) your own food to eat at home. A topic you can read all about in my post below. 

Potatoes 

OK, so potatoes aren’t speed vegetables, but they are free and as someone with some experience of SW knows they are essential for bulking up meals, feeling full, and getting plenty of fibre. In fact, SW chips or wedges made in the oven or the air fryer are super simple and taste just as good as the real thing. Something that makes you feel as if you are having a treat when, in reality, you’re not endangering your weight loss. 

Picture source

Of course, as they are such a great SW option, it certainly makes sense to grow your own potatoes, but a lot of people can be put off from this. The main reason being that it can seem like a lot of work. After all, you have to turn the soil, plant the potatoes, and then dig them up when they are ready,  all things that can be hard on your back. 

Happily, there is a much easier way of growing potatoes that you can use, and it’s to plant them in tubs. Yes, by using containers, you negate a great deal of the hard shovelling and digging directly into the ground. You can even cut holes in the side of the tubs toward the bottom so you can easily remove the potatoes once they are ready! No digging required! This being something that makes growing your own potatoes for delicious SW recipes much easier! 

Carrots 

Another crop that you can grow much more easily in pots rather than directly into the ground are carrots. Of course, carrots make a great side dish for any meal you are serving up on SW, and they can be chopped fine and added to ragu sauce for extra flavour and sweetness without syns as well. 

SW friendly garden - home grown carrots

Image here

Growing carrots in pots can make it much easier. 

The trick to growing carrots in tubs is making sure that the container you pick is large enough, anything over 12 inches long should be fine. Also, be sure that they get at least 8 hours of sun a day as well. If you want the best crop, that is! 

Citrus fruit 

Now, many citrus fruits are speed fruits, although you do need to be careful of them if you are going for the SP version. Of course, if you live in the UK, you may think that you can’t grow citrus at home, because we just don’t get enough sun. This isn’t necessarily the case, though. 

citrus fruit

Picture

In fact, you certainly can grow things like lemons, oranges, and mandarins in the UK, if you use the hydroponics kits that sites like nutriculture.co.uk sell. The reason being that using a nutrient solution rather than planting in the soil it will allow you much better control of all the things your citrus trees need to thrive. 

The best news here is that you can expect full-size fruits and not the micro kind, and even maximize your crop by using a hydroponic method. Something that means you will have a garden full of delicious fruits for a syn free snack, or to be used in recipes like the duck and orange salad featured on pinchofnom.com which is only 0.5 syns on Slimming World! 

Strawberries 

I know it is hard to believe, but SW is a way of eating that allows you to have all sorts of delicious items with absolutely no guilt. One of the best of these is the simple pleasure of a ripe strawberry, something that is delicious on its own, cut up over cereal, or even combined with a Muller Light and meringue as a great way to quench a sugar craving. 


Sadly, strawberries, just like any soft fruit, can be pretty expensive at the supermarket, something that can mean we don’t get as many as we’d like. Of course, if we grow our own in the garden, we can have an almost endless supply during summer at a fraction of the cost, and so creating a strawberry patch is definitely a good idea. 

In fact, as avogel.co.uk suggests, any patch of land in your garden that gets a fair bit of sunlight will do for growing strawberries, although you can get a more abundant crop by growing them in either tiered pots, or vertical containers. Just remember that while you will need to water them regularly, too much can be a bad thing. Oh, and be sure to pick the flowers on the plant when they come out as this will lead to juice fruits later on as well. 

Salad 

Another SW staple, especially in the summer is a nice salad, something that you can add other free food to like this potato and bacon one here

The good news about growing salad is that it’s another pretty easy crop to get your head around. In fact, plenty of salad leaves can be cut for use and then will continue to grow, something that will give you a constant supply! 


Tomatoes 

Lastly, tomatoes are one of the best fruits to have on a SW diet, as not only can they be used raw in salads, and sandwiches, but they can also be cooked up and made into some pretty delicious pasta sauces for an entirely syn free meal. 

Happily, tomatoes are super easy to grow at home too. In fact, as you can see from the post at growfruitandveg.co.uk, you don’t even need any garden space to produce them as they can be planted in pots on windowsills. The key thing being that you move them around to get as much sunlight as possible. 

Of course, with them being on the window sill, they are much easier to tend and harvest as well. Something that means whether you want them to ensure your plate is a third full with speed food, or you just want a syn free snack on the go, they are an excellent addition to a SW friendly garden, indoors, or out. 

This is a collaborative post.

Garden Update – Weeded the Raised Bed

Well, I didn’t manage to do an hour every day last week as I planned to do, I managed to do an hour for 3 of the 7 days.
Last Tuesday while out shopping my knee gave way and I’ve been in pain ever since. I went out Tuesday and did some more to the borders because I was able to sit down and do it but on Wednesday it involved a lot of standing and I was in a lot of pain after the hour so I decided to rest my leg for the rest of the week.
I weeded the raised bed on Wednesday before the pain got too bad, which I was happy about. It’s one of my favourite parts of the garden.
I’m hoping to get out today for an hour because whilst it’s still not 100%, it’s not as painful as it was.

Weeded the Raised Bed

raised bed before weeding
Raised bed before weeding

I love my raised bed and I wasn’t happy to see the weeds trying to take over it!
I didn’t manage to do the border at the front, that’s a job for another day. Maybe today!

weeded the raised bed - raised bed after weeding
Raised bed after weeding
weeding the raised bed - raised bed after weeding
Raised bed after weeding

I was happy to see that one of the plants is flowering. I have no idea what plant it is, but the flowers are pretty 🙂

one of the plants in the raised bed is flowering

I had a visit from a little frog while I was weeding 🙂

little frog

More Border Work

I told Ant I needed to go to B&Q to get more stones for the borders. He informed me that I didn’t actually need to go because last year he’d bought 4 bags of stones for the borders just before he hurt his leg so I didn’t have to spend more money. Not spending money makes him happy!

The borders look much better with more stones on.

Tackled The Water Cress

A few years ago we bought a bag of water cress from tesco but instead of eating it, we chucked it in the pond.

It’s safe to say the blinking stuff took over so last week I pulled it all out and we can now see the water in the pond again!
We’re planning on making the pond bigger later this year because it needs redoing as it keeps losing water and the stream we had isn’t very good now so a complete redesign is needed. Until then we’re just leaving it as it is because there are still lots of tadpoles swimming around 🙂

pond before
This used to be a stream!
pond full of water cress
Water cress that has gone to seed
There is actually a pond beneath the water cress!

Top Of The Garden = Nightmare!

In my previous post I mentioned that the top of the garden is now so overgrown we can’t get up there.

I took this video today to show you the full extent of the nightmare!

You can see the bramble that’s trying to spread down the garden, the huge butterfly bush that I thought I’d killed when we moved house, the greenhouse and the shed behind it, but what you can’t see is the other shed that’s up there!

I think we’re probably going to have to burn all the garden rubbish when we cut it all down, the bramble is going to be especially hard to get rid off if we don’t burn it.

I was plannng on starting at the patio end and working my way up the garden but after seeing the top of the garden, I think we need to tackle that first.

Wish me luck – I know I’m going to get covered in scratches trying to defeat that bramble!

For more garden posts, click here

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