A thrifty tattoo artist has grown so many vegetables in his tiny patio that he hasn't bought any fruit or veg in supermarket for the last eight months. 

Alessandro Vitale, 29, from Walthamstow, has grown 30 different vegetables, including cabbage, carrots, garlic, fennel, leeks, cauliflower and broccoli.

He has also harvested 35kg of tomatoes from just six plants and 10kg of 17 different types of chilli.

He has been so successful in growing his greens that he has not bought a single fruit or veg from the supermarket since lockdown began in March.

And thanks to his Italian grandmother's secret recipes, he has turned lots of it into delicious pasta sauces to see him through winter.

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Green fingered Alessandro Vitale. Photo: SWNS

Alessandro said: "I really did have a good season. I actually managed to harvest celery for the first time ever.

"When I was a kid I used to help my grandpa out in the garden. I remember he would import chilli seeds from all over the world and he would have tonnes of plants.

"I couldn’t even go near when they were being harvested as I would have tears coming down my face.

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Alessandro Vitale as a child with his grandfather, who taught him how to garden. Photo: SWNS

"But since then this love of nature and gardening grew and it's just something I've always enjoyed as a hobby."

After moving to the UK from Italy six years ago, Alessandro spent the past few years growing chillis and herbs on bedroom and kitchen side windows.

He was finally blessed with a garden (although shared), when he moved into his flat in Walthamstow last year.

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Alessandro also grows mushrooms. Photo: SWNS

With permission from his neighbours, he set up a wall trellis for herbs to be grown out of the recycled water bottles and installed planters and a greenhouse.

Among the many delicious greens, Alessandro has grown spring onions, peppers and broad beans in his greenhouse. 

He also grows twelve different kinds of mint, and pineapple, banana and strawberry to make Kombutcha - a fermented type of tea.

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Baskets of fruit and veg. Photo: SWNS

Keen to be frugal and environmental, Alessandro's crops are 100 per cent organic, and he uses foraged wild nettle from a park for pest control, and homegrown Aloe Vera to make fertiliser.

He said: "When I moved into this property with my girlfriend, I was so excited to have actual outdoor space and made the most of it straight away.

"I use any vertical space available indoors or outdoors to use old water bottles to grow plants.

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Alessandro works a full-time job alongside tending to his garden. Photo: SWNS

"I work full-time 45 hours a week but as soon as I'm home I spend a couple of hours tending to the garden.

"My favourite thing to make with is jam and sauces from the chillis.

"I managed to harvest 35kg of tomatoes from just six plants over the summer. I used my grandma's recipes to create sauces.

"Since moving into this property, I haven't had to buy any tomatoes or chillis from the local market.

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The tiny patio where Alessandro grows all his fruit and veg. Photo: SWNS

"It was a bit of a trial and error with the others but by the end I had so much I was actually giving stuff away for free to my friends and neighbours.

"I put a sign outside my house saying they were free to take. It seemed like a nice surprise for them as I get different types of seeds from the internet, so it's probably produce they have never used before.

"For me, it's really important to be organic. I made my own organic pest control.

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The tattoo artist proudly holding up his harvested greens. Photo: SWNS

"My main goal is to help people create as many green spaces as possible because soil can absorb carbon from the air and reduce carbon emissions.

"Urban backyards and green areas help reduce carbon emission levels in cities which makes the air cleaner and healthier for its residents.

"It's also a great boost for mental health and happiness."

Alessandro now runs his own YouTube channel SpicyMoustache sharing urban gardening tips and encouraging others to create urban green spaces in the UK.