Growing Vegetables: A Bumper Harvest
Spend some quality time with the kids, cut down your weekly food shopping bill and live a little more self-sufficiently; growing your own vegetables is an exceptional experience and one which should not be restricted to experienced allotment owners. Even if you only have a small amount of outdoor space, it’s possible to grow your favourite veggies to use in delicious dishes for your family throughout the year.
Growing vegetables with the family is a great way to educate kids about where their food comes from, and teaches valuable life lessons which could prove helpful as they grow older. Even a novice can make a good go of growing veggies, and we’ve compiled a list of tips to help the first timers.
Pick a Sunny Spot
Most vegetables thrive when they receive at least five hours of sunlight a day. So let this be a factor when you’re deciding where to start your vegetable patch – as it will give you the greatest chance of a successful harvest.
Plant in Triangles
Vegetable roots require plenty of nutrients from the earth, so it’s vital they are planted accordingly – ensuring each crop has sufficient room to get maximum goodness from the soil. Planting in rows can stifle this because it is easy to sow the plants too close together in this formation. Planting in triangles should grant the roots sufficient space to absorb the nutrients from the ground.
Wear Protective Footwear
If you’re treating the land or digging up root vegetables, you may require a spade. This is probably a job for the older heads in the family gardening team, but it is still vital that you protect your feet with good quality boots or shoes.
Rotate Your Crops
If your ambitions are sizeable, there’s plenty of scope to grow a vast array of different veggies throughout the year. In fact, not a month goes by when there is not a different vegetable which can be sowed or harvested.
We’ve put together this brief cheat guide to help you select which veg to grow throughout the year – explaining when to sow, plant out and harvest. If any of those three terms confused you, here’s a brief description of each:
Sow – Placing seeds into the ground.
Plant Out – Placing a living plant into the ground.
Harvest – Removing the vegetables from the ground or the plant.
|Cauliflower||February-May & October-December||May-March|
|Cabbage||February-September||May & July-August & November-March|
|Onion||February-March||March-April & September-November||June-September|
Eat Your Rewards
Is there greater incentive to grow vegetables than to use them in a delicious stew, casserole or Sunday roast? The root vegetables that can be harvested in the colder months are particularly enjoyable when popped straight into a great winter warmer recipe.
Five Easy to Grow Veggies
Don’t know where to start with your vegetable patch? These five vegetables are easy to grow, and great to add to a whole host of delicious dishes and recipes.
A staple of the Great British diet, potatoes are simple to grow and even give off clear signals when they’re ready to be harvested. The easiest way to grow a good crop of spuds is to plant them in March to April in a potato sack partially filled with compost. As the green shoots peer above the top of the compost, simply add another layer – and continue to do so until the sack is full. Then just make sure they’re watered. When the foliage of the potatoes starts to turn yellow and die, your spuds are ready to be plucked from the ground.
Peas are very simple to grow, and the main thing they need is physical support for their stems so they can grow strong. Simply pop them in the ground in spring and they’ll be ready to harvest in a couple of months. If you’ve grown used to the frozen kind, you’ll be surprised how delicious fresh peas can be.
Onions and Garlic
Endlessly useful when added to a host of different recipes – onions and garlic cloves are absolute must-have items in a well-stocked kitchen. Luckily they require very little work, growing direct from individual onion bulbs and garlic cloves when planted in well-drained soil. Then, like with potatoes, you just wait until the foliage starts to turn yellow, and pluck them from the ground.
Slightly more of an acquired taste, beetroot may divide opinions around the dinner table but it’s a super easy and fun root vegetable to grow. Simply sow direct into moist ground between March and April – then wait a couple of months and it’ll be time to pluck up your bright purple veggies.
Fancy growing your own back garden veggies? The Capital Gardens team can help. To get your vegetable patch started, why not visit our seeds and bulbs page? Alternatively, give us a call on 0208 348 5054 and we’d love to discuss your ideas.