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Gardening: Growing your own fruit and veg? You don’t even need a garden

© ShutterstockPak choi is quite easy to grow in Scotland
Pak choi is quite easy to grow in Scotland

If you love a stir fry or like a bit of a crunch in the greens in your salad, then one of the easiest ways to get what you want is by growing oriental greens. There are a huge number of these and some, such as Pak Choi, are now very familiar.

What most of them have in common is that they can be grown from seed in late summer to provide lots of tasty leaves throughout autumn and beyond. In fact they often grow better at this time of the year when there’s less chance of them bolting.

If you don’t know where to start, then try an oriental salad leaf mix containing things such as red mustard and Mizuna, which looks a bit like rocket and can be eaten raw, steamed or stir-fried.

Pak choi relishes growing in cool conditions and will be happy in most kinds of soil so long as it never dries out, but like all members of the brassica family it needs protection from slugs and butterflies, so grow it under net and surrounded by gravel if you want to keep it safe from predators.

You might also want to grow Welsh onion, which despite its name, is actually native to China and Japan. This is virtually evergreen and will provide you with an alternative to chives for most of the year. It can be sown right up until September, so deserves a place in the veg patch or polytunnel if you have one.

If your strawberry plants are two years old or more, then root runners from them now so that you’ll have mature plants to replace your existing stock when it runs out of steam. Strawberries are best replaced every four years, so planning ahead and making new plants now will mean that you are never short of berries in summers yet to come.

To grow runners, fill small pots with compost, place the runners on top at the point where new leaves are emerging, and peg them down. Once the new plants have rooted, sever them from the host plant and grow them on.

Strawberries don’t need to grow in the ground.

They can live quite happily in pots as long as they are kept fed and watered and in fact if your vegetable garden is not in the sunniest part of the garden, then growing strawberries in pots on the patio is one of the best ways to provide the fruits with the sun that they will need to ripen.