English Country Gardener

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Growing Vegetables in 2015

There is nothing quiet like growing your own vegetables and eating them. We recently started an annual vegetable competition with my Dad on who can grow the best vegetables. Lets just say that i had to rescue some of Dads seedlings as they were a little prolific. I think he has a heavy hand and doesn’t realise that there are spacing suggestions for a reason!

Growing veggies is great fun for kids, they will get so much from growing their own food.

 

This is my first year of choosing my own veggies to grow and I’m really exited. So first things first consult the best (well easiest to read and filled with great pictures) book “Grow Your Own Veg” by Carol Klein. So I’ve made a list of all the different typse of vegetables I want to grow and tootled off to my nearest garden centre, Hill Top Garden Centre. They had quite a selection of seeds so I rooted around to find the ones I wanted/ Carol Klein suggested I grow. I got most of the ones I wanted but I couldn’t find them all so I went for the next best things (well next best sounding names).

Once home I egarly got out my brand new seed box I got for christmas and put all my seeds in order of when im going to sow them. This is my order: This will hopefully give you an idea when some of your vegetables need to be sown and wether you can grow them straight into the ground or in seed trays.

 January to February Sowing Inside or March for Outside
Leek – Musselburgh

An ageless favourite that produces thick, medium lenght tender stems with broad leaves. A very hardy and reliable variety that prefers rich well drained soil.

Sow in rows outside at 20cm apart. Harvest October to March.

Chives

A classic favourite, sow indoors anytime. It is a hardy perennial. You can get different types such as garlic chives or scottish giant chives but these seeds are just the bog standard chives. I love to grow these in a pot that I can keep year after year.

Sow thinly!

Tomato – Money Maker

Relied on to produce a heavy crop of delicious medium size fruits. Jan to may for cropping in a greenhouse, which I will do or you can grow outside in April to May.

Harvey July to September

Tomato – Sweet Million F1 Hybrid

Perfect for containers. They produce lots of small round, richly coloured fruits and it doesn’t matter if its grown outside or in. We shall soon put that to the test!

Harvest July – September in a geenhouse or August to september for outside grown ones.

February to March Sowing Inside or March to April for Outside
 Brussel Sprout – Evesham Special

A traditional variety that produces lots of sprouts. The thing that interested me was that it says “large tasty buttons” I hope so! Sprouts aren’t really a favourite of mine and Dad and I always struggled to grow them. Well this is the year to try again!

Sow outside 15 cm apart. Harvest September to December, harvest from the bottom of the stem upwards.

Spinach – America

I love growing spinach because its so easy and you constantly keep harvesting it. Not to mention it is good for you. Sow directly outside. It is a great intermedia vegetable, so you can grow inbetween rows. Sow from February to June. You need 30cm apart for each plant. Prefers moist fertile soil.

Pepper – Sweet California Wonder

Sow directly inside (can’t be grown outside) February to April. Ideally 45cm apart, I tend to plant one per pot. Prefers fertile soil. Im praying I don’t get all green ones if I do then we will be making a lot of green pepper chuckney! Harvest July to October.

Broad Bean – The Sutton

Sow directly outside February to November at 15cm apart. Harvest June to September pick regularly while beans are young and tender.

March to May Sowing Inside or May for Outside

This is the best time of year for sowing vegetables and its usually the time when we go “oh **** I have forgotten to plant my vegetable seeds”. Its also the time when our gardens are coming to life and we are all spending more and more time outside.

Sweet Corn – Incredible F1 Hybrid

I chose this because of the name, a bit naughty really. I will probably sow directly in May outside, but you can start them off indoors in March. The description describes this sweet corn as “sugary enhanced” variety producing long sweet cobs. Its resistant to rust and particually good if we get a wet summer. Prefers well drained fertile soil in full sun.

Sow in rows of 40cm apart and someone once told me to grow them in square blocks. Harvest August to September.

Carrot – Chantenay Red Cored 2

Its a main crop variety that is high yielding with crunchy flesh and a small core. Just be weary of the dreaded Carrot Root Fly. Prefers light stone free soil that has not been recently manured. You can harvest it June to November.

Beetroot – Boltardy

A bolt resistant variety (really as the name does not suggest this) ideal for early sowing. Produces great flavour, quality and texture. Prefers fertile soil. Harvest June to October. If you want the small baby beets harvest when they are the size of a golf ball.

Pumpkin – Jack O’Lantern

I have never had much luck growing pumpkins so this year I am going to give it another go. I will not give up I will have the biggest pumpkin ever! Prefers rich well drained soil. Sow directly into the ground in May. Harvest September to November.

Lettuce – Mixed salad leaves and all year around variety.

Sow directly outside March to August. Another great intermedia crop, can grow inbetween rows. Harvest April to October.

Broccoli – Early Purple Sprouting

Sow this direct into the soil March to May. This is one vegetable I have never tried to grow so it shall be interesting. Harvest March to April the following year.

Picture of Ying Yang Seeds

Picture of Ying Yang Seeds

May to June Sowing Outside
French Bean – Sultana

Yes I might have chosen this again for its name but the main attraction of this variety is that it is supposed to produce tasty, stringless beans! Sow 20cm apart and they will need supports! Harvest August to September.

French Bean (Dwarf) – Ying Yang

Yes I did choose these because they look awsome! Very exited about these! The plants do produce tender and tasty green beans that are great for steaming and cooking. This is definetly a seed for kids!! Sow outside directly May to June and harvest August to September.

 

Give sowing vegetables a go. If you haven’t got space try growing peppers and or herbs inside?

Potatoes, onions and garlic are not on my list as I haven’t sorted out my sets yet.

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