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Summer is upon us and there are plenty of vegetables to get sowing and planting. Find out which crops to get started on this season.

Beetroot

These colourful characters are an easy grow and a great veg to get started with.

Sun: Partial shade, full sun
Soil: Chalk, clay, loam or sand
Moisture: Moist but well-drained

Sow: March to July
Beetroot sown from June onwards can be used for storing in winter.

Rose-petal-salad-2

Tips:
• Before sowing, dig in a bucketful of organic matter and rake in some fertiliser.
• Sow at fortnightly intervals for a string of tasty roots
• If the plants aren’t growing strongly, apply some high nitrogen fertiliser like sulphate of ammonia.

Harvesting: Once the plants have reached the size of a golf ball, pull up alternate plants and leave the others to mature. When the remaining plants reach the size of a cricket ball, these can be harvested.

French beans

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A great one for the kids to get involved in, these delicious crops are another easy, productive choice.

Sun: Partial shade, full sun
Soil: Chalk, clay or loam
Moisture: Moist but well-drained

Sow indoors: April to July
Sow outdoors: from May (if temperatures are warm)
Plant: Late May to early June once the risk of frost has passed

Tips:
• If there is an unexpected cold period once planted, cover the crops or fleece until it warms up.
• Covering them with netting or fleece will also protect them from birds.

Harvesting: June to August.
When the pods reach 10cm long and snap easily, they are ready to be picked.

Runner beans

Tasty and versatile, once you grow your own runner beans, you’ll never go back to shop bought.

Sun: Full sun
Soil: Chalk, clay, sand or loam
Moisture: Moist but well-drained

Sow indoors: April to May
Sow outdoors: May to June
Plant: June to July

Viola-sandwiches

Tips:
• Before planting, fork in some well-rotted manure.
• A warm, sunny, sheltered spot is also a good position that will benefit pollinators which are crucial for the plants to set pods.

Harvest: July to October
When the pods are 15-20cm long they are ready to be harvested, before the beans inside are visible and begin to swell.
If you pick the beans regularly, it will encourage more growth for about eight weeks.

Brussels sprouts

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Grow your own ready for your Christmas dinner, get prepared and they’ll be ready for autumn or winter harvesting.

Sun: Full sun
Soil: Chalk, clay, loam, sand
Moisture: Moist but well-drained

Sow: February to April
Plant: May to June

Tips:
• In September, mound soil around the base of the plants to help with support.

Harvest: September to March
When harvesting, begin with the lowest sprouts, when they are firm and walnut sized.
Once the growing season is over, the sprout tops can then be harvested and eaten.

Cauliflower

By growing a range of varieties of cauliflower, you can have harvests of crops for a majority of the year.

Sun: Full sun
Moisture: Well-drained, fertile

Sow: February to May
Plant: March to August

Lavender-sprigs-in-lemon-drink

Tips:
• Before planting, dig in organic matter and rake in fertiliser to aid growth and firm the soil by treading in before planting.
• Once the plants are growing well, apply some high nitrogen fertiliser to further boost growth.

Harvest: May to March
Be sure to cut once the heads are firm, otherwise it will be too late when the florets begin to spread.

Cucumber

Lavender-sprigs-in-lemon-drink

Cultivating cucumbers requires care and attention, but you’ll reap the rewards when you’re harvesting your summer crops.

Sun: Full sun
Soil: Loam
Moisture: Moist but well-drained

Sow indoors: February to March in heated greenhouse or April in unheated greenhouse
Plant: June, under cloches or fleece

Tips:
• The sideshoots can either be left to trail along the ground or trained up netting.
• You can grow cucumbers in growbags, carefully watered to keep the soil evenly moist.

Harvest: July to October
Using a sharp knife, cut the fruits when they reach 15-20cm.

Kale

There are many types of kale that are a colourful addition to a winter vegetable garden, so they’re tasty, nutritious and attractive.

Sun: Partial shade, full sun
Soil: Chalk, clay, loam, sand
Moisture: Moist but well-drained

Sow: March to June
Plant: April to June when they have 5 of 6 true leaves.

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Tips:
• Feeding in spring will improve the results.

Harvest: September to March
Begin to remove young leaves in autumn.
After the main crown is harvested, sideshoots are formed which are ready for use from February to May when they are around 10-15cm long.

Lettuce

Lavender-sprigs-in-lemon-drink

A staple in a fresh salad, lettuce is so easy to grow and if you sow and grow different varieties through the year, you can have access to lettuce all year round.

Sun: Partial shade or full sun
Soil: Chalk, clay, loam, sand
Moisture: Moist but well-drained

Sow: March to September, with early and late sowings protect using cloches or fleece.
Plant: March to September

Tips:
• For a summer or autumn crop, sow outdoors between late March and late July.
• For an early winter crop, sow outdoors in early August, covering the plants with cloches.
• For spring crops, sow in September or October in a cold greenhouse or outdoors under a cloche.
• Water early in the morning when the soil is dry.

Harvest: May to November
When the firm heart of the lettuce has formed, or it looks big enough to eat, it is ready to harvest by cutting rather than pulling.

Marrow

In a relatively short space of time, you can have a large crop if you care for these easy vegetables which can then be roasted, steamed or stuffed to provide flavour to your delicious dishes.

Sun: Full sun
Soil: Chalk, clay, loam, sand
Moisture: Moist but well-drained

Sow: April to June
Plant: May to June

Lavender-sprigs-in-lemon-drink

Tips:
• If you’re short on space, you can buy young plants to plant outdoors straight away rather than growing from seed.
• You can grow marrows in growbags or containers.

Harvest: July to October
Harvest them when they are needed, or if you’re growing for show take off the developing fruit and leave the one plant so all the energy goes into ripening one single marrow.

Pak choi

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Perfect in salads and stir-fries, these leaves or full-grown heads are commonly used in Oriental cooked dishes.

Sun: Full sun or partial shade
Soil:  Well-drained, fertile soil

Sow: April to August

Tips:
• Earlier and later sowings can be made under cloches or horticultural fleece in milder areas.

Harvest: May to August
Baby leaves will be ready for harvest in 30 days after sowing, or between 45 and 75 days as semi-mature to full-size heads.

Peas

The taste of eating freshly picked peas is magic, and they’re so easy to grow and get the kids involved too. Growing them up pergolas or trellises looks stunning too.

Sun: Full sun
Soil: Well-drained soil

Sow: February to June

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Tips:
• You will need to provide some support for the plants to grow upwards, so add trellis, canes or netting nearby for them to twine themselves around.

Harvest: June to October
When the pods are well-filled, they are ready to harvest. By picking regularly, it will encourage plants to produce more pods.

Pumpkins

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Prepare for autumn where you can make a spooky, spiced pumpkin soup for Halloween, using your own homegrown veg.

Sun: Full sun
Soil: Moist but well-drained soil

Sow: April to May
Plant: May to June

Tips:
• Pumpkins are best grown from seed indoors, but they can be sown outdoors later in a sheltered position.
• When sowing outdoors, cover with a cloche, jars or plastic.
• Feed them once every 10-14 days with a high potash liquid fertiliser once the first fruits start to swell.

Harvest: September to October
Once the fruit is matured and coloured, they are ready to harvest with caution to protect from any early frosts.

Rocket

A lovely addition to a salad to provide a bit of peppery flavour, it is rich in vitamin C and potassium and is an easy grow for your garden.

Sun: Full sun
Soil: Moist but well-drained

Sow: April to September

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Tips:
• Plants will need shade in hot weather to stop the leaves from becoming tough and unpleasant.

Harvest: June to December
Begin harvesting from 4 weeks after sowing. By picking regularly, the growth will stay young and tasty.

Swede

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These hardy vegetables are the perfect veg for winter; boiled, roasted, steamed, or mashed with a little bit of nutmeg is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Sun: Full sun
Soil: Happy in heavier soils, moist, but well-drained

Sow: May to June

Tips:
• These are long-term crops that can take up to 6 months to mature, but they’ll be worth the wait.
• Keep them moist and watered, because dryness at the roots can lead to a bitter taste.

Harvest: September to December
Lift the roots once they are large enough to be used.

Turnips

A popular crop to grow in gardens, this root veg are easy to care for and will provide you with delicious cream root vegetables that have a red, purple or green tinge to use in your meals.

Sun: Full sun
Soil: Moisture retentive

Sow: April to August

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Tips:
• Early turnips are to be sown in February to June, whilst maincrop turnips are to be sown from July to August.
• Water well during dry weather so the roots don’t become woody.

Harvest: March to December
Early turnips – between May and September when the turnip is the size of a golf ball if it’s for eating raw, or the size of a tennis ball for cooking.
Maincrop – from October onwards when they are the size of a golf ball.

Click here to download

Spring is on its way, see my post on spring pollinators:

Or check out my Pinterest board for more ideas:

spring pollinators
Spring pollinators
Pinterest
Pinterest Board


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