Planting and sowing your own Vegetables can be a cost-effective and nutritious way to introduce new items into your garden and your diet.
As we all know, vegetables have many health benefits! But what most people do not know, is that growing your own vegetables will transform your outdoor space! The mix of bright colours contrasting with the green leaves will create a garden that your neighbours envy.
Below is a short guide to which vegetables to can grow at different times throughout the year. Take a look and become a veg expert.
Before you begin to plant, it is important to have soil that is well prepared and suitable for the growth of vegetables and fruit. At Gravel Master, we supply top quality Vegetable and Fruit Soil which is nutrient-rich and full of the needed goodness for optimum growth.
It has been specially mixed and screened to provide a soil that is ready-to-use in either beds and borders or veg plots. If you have any further questions about this product, please call us on 0330 058 50 68 to receive specialist advice on all of our products.
- Summer Cabbage: You can begin to sow cabbage indoors in January/ February, ready to be moved outside in March/ April. Depending on soil conditions and the weather, the Cabbage will be ready to harvest between July- October.
- Broad Beans: Sow indoors in January, or outdoors in February. You can plant out seedlings by April time and they should be ready for harvesting from June-September.
- Cucumber: Sow indoors (ideally in a heated greenhouse) from late February. These can be sown outdoors from May and will be ready to harvest in July.
- Tomatoes: If you plan to grow tomatoes in a greenhouse, you can sow them indoors from February onward. These should be ready to harvest in July.
- Garlic & Shallots: These can be planted as long as the soil is light. Light soil takes less time and lower temperatures to warm up than heavy soil. Garlic will be ready to harvest in June/ July/ August and Shallots will be ready in July/ August when the foliage starts to turn yellow.
- Peas: Peas can be planted from February through to June in guttering with drilled in drainage holes and placed in greenhouses and will take approx 11-13 weeks before they are ready to be picked. Depending upon the month they are planted, harvesting peas can continue up until October.
- Asparagus: Can be grown from seed but for best results plant 1 year old dormant plants. Male plants produce more and better spears, so many modern cultivars are all-male. Female plants are noticeable because they produce orange-red berries. Asparagus will not be ready to harvest for the first 2 years but spears can be harvested in the third year from mid-April for approximately 6 weeks.
- Strawberries: Cold-stored Strawberries can be planted in runners. You may need to cover with netting or wire mesh to protect from birds and small animals, or fleecing if the nights are a little frosty. A liquid potash feed, such as tomato feed, will enhance growth. These will be ready to harvest from June until September.
- Light soil areas: Weather and temperature depending, carrots, parsnips, turnips, beetroot and spinach can be planted outdoors. Carrots are ready to harvest as soon as they are big enough to use, leaving them will sacrifice flavour, harvest parsnips when foliage turns yellow and starts to die down in Autumn, turnips are ready for harvest from mid-October when they are around the same size as a golf ball, beetroot is also at its best at golf ball size from July to October and spinach should be ready to pick from June.
- Cauliflower: Main sowing period is between March and May but early (January/ February) or late sowing (autumn) is achievable under glass, in glasshouses or coldframes. Harvest when the heads are firm, once the florets start to separate it is too late.
- Lettuce (outdoors): Can be sown from April until September in direct sunlight in moisture retentive soil. Early or late sowings may need some protection against colder spells, such as cloches, plastic tunnels or fleecing. Sow in in rows fortnightly to ensure a continuous crop from May to November.
- Leeks (outdoors): Sow into a seedbed away from your main vegetable plot for transplantation later in the season and water during long, dry spells. Sow in free draining, well composted soil in a sunny location. These should be ready to harvest from August.
- Spring Onions (outdoors): Sow as seeds rather than sets in a sunny spot in soil with good drainage and incorporate well rotted organic matter or compost and a light sprinkling of a general plant food to keep the crop well fed throughout the summer. Spring onions can be harvested from August to October.
- Celery (indoors): Sow in seed trays, modules or pots of moist compost and transfer when large enough to handle it or when several leaves appear towards the end of May/ early June when temperature are higher. Water regularly through warm, dry weather and should be ready to harvest between August and October before frosts start to hit.
- Marrow (indoors): Marrows are easy to grow from seed and can start from as early as April in composted pots indoors before being moved outdoors in May or June when temperatures are generally above 18°C. Marrows can be harvested in the summer when they are still quite small or in the autumn once the skin has thickened and turned colour.
- Sweetcorn: For best results, sow in nutrient rich, well draining soil is a very sunny spot which is sheltered from strong winds. Cover with cloches or clear plastic to keep warm for 2 weeks until the corn has grown to touch the top. Sweetcorn is usually ready to harvest in August and September when the silks have turned a chocolate brown colour.
- Courgette: Sow a small amount of seeds in a planting pocket and cover with a cloche, jars or clear plastic for at least 2 weeks. Courgettes will be ready to harvest from July through to October and if picked regularly while small will ensure a long cropping period.
- Sprouting broccoli: Sow seeds thinly in separated seed beds in a shallow drill and cover will soil and water well. A succession of sowing time (from as early as May) will produce a long cropping period. Harvest when the spears are well formed but before flower buds start to open.
- Radish: Sow oriental varieties in June in a sunny position in well composted and nutrient rich soil. Keep the soil moist and apply a liquid feed occasionally to improve growth and flavour. Harvest summer varieties when young to ensure they remain succulent or leave winter varieties in the ground to be dug up as require. Lift and store in November.
- Runner Beans: Sow seeds in a warm and sunny but sheltered position in well composted soil with plenty of moisture. Runner beans can be sown from the end of May but sowing in July leads to a late autumnal crop. Harvest regularly before the seeds start to show through the sides of the pods for a continuous, best flavoured crop.
- Chicory: For best results, sow thinly in rows in an open, sunny position in fertile and free draining soil. Water generously in dry conditions. To harvest, cut heads from late summer until October and protect plants overwintered outdoors with a cloche or fleece.
- Fennel: One of the last chances of the year to sow fennel seeds outdoors while temperatures are still warm. Dig a hole big enough to accommodate the rootball and fill back in with a mixture of the excavated soil and organic matter, the crown of leaves should be at soil level. Harvest when they are at the size of a small tennis ball by cutting the fennel below the bulb at the soil line.
- Chard: To ensure a tasty autumn harvest, sow your last crop of chard now. Sow thinly in shallow drills, cover with soil and water well. Sow at regular intervals for a crop that continues into winter. Chard can also be grown in pots and is a wonderful colourful addition to the garden or containers and pots. Young chard leaves re very flavourful and fully-formed leaves should be ready to harvest after 10-12 weeks.
- Spring cabbages: Spring cabbages planted earlier in the year are now ready for planting outdoors. Cover them with horticultural fleece or netting to deter birds.
- ‘Hi Keeper’ Onions: These are the best variety of onions to plant in the autumn for a spring crop.
- ‘White Lisbon’ and ‘Performer’ Spring Onions: Sow these winter hardy spring onions for an early spring crop.
- ‘Snowball’ Cauliflower: A hardy all year round cauliflower variety, sow this cauliflower type in autumn in coldframes to protect them over winter to harvest in early spring. These can be harvested when still small, approximately 5cm, or left to mature to sizes around the 15cm mark.
- ‘Avola’ Peas: Easy to grow and delicious to eat, this hardy early pea variety has a compact growth habit so is best fit for growing in small garden areas or containers. You should be able to harvest these peas from June the following year.
- Herbs: Basil, dill, parsley and chives are household favourites and are easily grown in greenhouses or in containers on a bright windowsill. Great seasonings when cooking and smell delicious!
- Rhubarb Crowns: Plant dormant rhubarb crown into prepared ground with well rotted manure, leaving just the tip of the crown visible above the soil. Do not harvest after the first year and only remove a few stems in the second year and no more than 1 third to a half from then on to ensure that it remains active in growth.
- Raspberries: If you are thinking of growing your own raspberries, now is the time to plant raspberry canes as these are dormant, just ensure that soil is not frozen or water logged. Raspberry canes will need to be grown in rows (if you have the room) along a post and wire or, for smaller spaces, in containers with a single post.
Have you tried growing any of the above or have some favourites of your own? We love receiving customer photographs and ideas, send us a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will feature it on our social media pages. For more information on any of our products call our wonderful Sales Team on 0330 058 5068!