Grow your own: gardening expert and food writer, Mark Diacono gives us his top tips.

Cook, grower, photographer and author Mark Diacono enjoyed a long association with River Cottage where he lead the garden team. Here he shares his advice on how to introduce some edible goodies to your garden.

Mark’s top ten tips for growing your own food:

Start small and keep it simple – your confidence will grow. Mint is almost indestructible, and many herbs virtually grow themselves 

Consider alternative methods. Growing staple maincrops in lines like a farmer would do is fine if that is how you want to grow it, but that’s not the whole story. 

Flavour is king – grow what you will enjoy eating and you are more likely to get excited about the gardening. 

Consider unbuyables such as the mulberry that you can’t buy in the shops. 

Plant a fruit tree – fruit is expensive to buy and often more easy to grow than most veg. 

Try newcomers, a species you have never heard of before, and your garden might become all the richer for it. 

Think of the bees and plant with pollinators in mind – the country’s vast network of gardens and allotments can make a crucial difference to the health of these insects. 

Grow some brilliant perennials, buy them once and they keep coming back every year, that’s a big deal too. 

Take advantage of climate change to grow delicious food usually sourced from overseas – almonds, peaches and apricots among them, will do well given shelter and sun. 

Get inspired by other gardens, from allotments to rooftop and container gardens. Visit open gardens such as the beautiful Tresillian House in Cornwall and discover a combination of styles that suits you best. 

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