02 Jun How to grow vegetables in the garden
This guide will show you how to grow most vegetables in your garden.
How to grow aubergine
- Aubergines need to be sown early to ensure that they make the most of the short summers we have in the UK.
- Vegetable seed subscribers will receive Aubergine Black Beauty in January
- Fill pots with seed compost and lightly firm the surface. Place up to seven seeds on the surface of the soil, spacing them evenly.
- Cover seeds with a fine layer of compost or vermiculite.
- Seeds should germinate in 14-21 days.
- Transplant seedlings to their own pots when the first true leaves appear.
- Remove the main tip of the aubergine plant once it is 30-40cm tall, to encourage branching. Tie stems to canes. Encourage flowering by feeding weekly with a high potash tomato fertiliser.
- Encourage fruit to set by tapping the flowers to release the pollen or spraying lightly with tepid water. If plants are growing indoors, open windows to encourage bumble bees to pollinate the flowers.
How to harvest Aubergine
- Black beauty aubergine should produce two to three fruits per plant.
- Pick when the fruits are still shiny. If they are dull it suggests seeds have begun to form and the fruits are past their best.
How to grow Brussels Sprouts
- Whether you love them or hate them, Brussels Sprouts are better after the frosts have got them than they are from the supermarket. Consider growing them next year so you can serve homegrown Brussels Sprouts for Christmas Dinner.
- Sow from early-March to early-April, under cloche of cleece 13mm deep.
- Thin seedlings to 7.5cm (3in) apart. When clubroot is a problem raise the pots.
- From mid May to early June, when the young plants are 10-15cm high and have seven true leaves, transplant to their growing positions, leaving 60cm between plants and 75cm between rows.
- Protect from strong winds and make sure it’s sunny.
- Any garden soil in full sun is suitable. Add up to two bucketfuls of well-rotted manure per square metre, and before planting or sowing add 150g per square metre of Grow more or other general purpose fertiliser.
- Water every 10-14 days in periods of dry weather. Plants benefit from a top-dressing of high nitrogen fertiliser such as dried poultry manure pellets at 150g per square metre in July.
- Harvest when walnut sized after first frost. If growing for Christmas leave on the plant until needed.
How to grow broad beans:
- Now that autumn is properly upon us, this is the time to be sowing peas and beans to make sure you get a head start on your spring kitchen garden next year.
Vegetable seed subscribers will receive broad bean aquadulce seeds in the next couple of days.
- This hardy broad bean is perfect for overwintering and should survive even the toughest of frosts.
- Sow November or February to April.
- Sow seeds 5-7.5cm deep and 15-23cm (6-9in) apart. In open ground, sow in single rows 45cm apart or double rows 23cm apart with 60cm (2ft) between each double row. In raised beds all rows can be spaced 23cm apart.
- Remove weeds as soon as they appear.
- Use strings attached to sturdy stakes inserted at 1.2m intervals to support the beans when they get tall.
- Keep well watered.
- Harvest beans young.
How to grow carrots for harvesting in winter:
- Carrots can be eaten most of the year round, but if you are planning on growing carrots for eating in the winter you need to take care to select the correct variety.
- Eskimo is one of the hardiest carrot varieties around, and is hardy down to -10C, making it perfect for growing in the UK, with its unpredictable winters.
- Direct sow carrot seeds outdoors from May to July for Christmas crops.
- Specific autumn sowing carrot varieties can be sown as late as October under cloches for an early crop in spring.
- Grow Carrots in a weed free, sunny position in fertile, light, well drained soil.
- Sow carrot seeds thinly at a depth of 1cm in drills 30cm apart. Germination will take 10 to 20 days.
- When large enough to handle, thin out the seedlings within each row to 10cm apart.
- Where space is limited, growing carrots in containers will also produce a worthwhile crop.
How to grow parsnips:
- Parsnips are a very hardy crop and can survive unpredictable British winters. They can be sown from early spring for pulling up the following winter.
- Sow three seeds at 15cm intervals, 13mm (0.5in) deep in rows 30cm (12in) apart.
- Sowing can be made from February through to early May. If sowing early warm the soil before sowing with cloches or black plastic.
How to grow cayenne chillies
- Cayenne pepper generally rates at 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville Units – the upper end of the medium heat range.
- It is named after the city of Cayenne in French Guiana. It is used in a large number of cuisines including Indian, Szechuan cuisine and Thai. Of course the dried ground variety is ubiquitous, but did you know it is also used in Sriracha sauce?
- Monthly chilli seed subscribers will receive cayenne chilli pepper seeds this month.
- You should sow your chilli seeds in midwinter as they have notoriously long germination times, which can be as long as 45 days in some varieties.
- Sow: Indoors November – March
- Sow in 9cm wide pots filled with seedling compost 5mm deep. Water in.
- Cover with clear plastic and leave on windowsill keeping moist but ensuring it is not so wet that seeds rot.
- Plant out when frost risk has passed. Harvest when fruits are red or green.
How to grow Spring Onion White Lisbon:
- For some last minute autumn planting Spring Onion White Lisbon is a wonderful crop to grow. It is hardy so will survive frosts, and will provide you with a crop 6-8 weeks after sowing. Or, you can leave some in the ground for picking when the stems have swelled further in the spring.
- This variety is slender so does not require thinning after sowing.
- Sow Outdoors: August-October thinly 1cm deep in rows 15cm apart directly into the harvest location.
- Keep soil moist at all times.
- Harvest: February-May
How to grow tomatoes from seed
- Growing tomatoes from seed allows gardeners to grow far more varieties than they would if they only bought plants. Tomato tigerella is one of those varieties and is being sent to monthly vegetable seed subscribers this month.
- It produces stripey fruit that ripen from green, to red in late summer. It is an English developed variety and can be grown outside.
- Sow seeds in compost filled posts 5mm-1cm deep and cover with compost.
- Prick out when seedlings are 3-5cm high being careful not to bruise the stem.
- Grow on in own pot until 15cm tall.
- Plant out after hardening off, after removing the lower truss, up to the second set of leaves. If planting out in a bed dig a 30cm deep hole and fill with compost and slow releasing plant food, such as chicken manure pellets.
- Stake and tie in stems to provide support as the plant grows.
- Remove side shoots and fertilise once a fortnight after first fruit set.
- How to harvest tomatoes
- Pick tomatoes when fully red all over.
- Remove all fruit by the first frosts and ripen in a drawer with a ripe banana.
- How to grow salsify
- Now is a good time to be getting some root vegetables in to ensure you have something to pick through the autumn and winter.
- One great option that can be sown now is salsify, which is grown for its long, tapered, carrot-like white root which is tender when harvested young.
- Monthly vegetable seed subscribers will receive salsify seeds in the post this month
- Plant salsify in full sun 15cm apart. To ensure even spacing plant two seeds per station, and thin when seed germinates.
- Seed germination can take up to 21 days so be patient and ensure the area is well watered.
- Keep beds weed free. As these are slow growers they can be overwhelmed by weeds so keep on top of them.
- Mulch planting beds with 30-60cm of straw if harvest is planned after the onset of freezing weather.
How to grow red cabbage:
- Sow in April/May in a seed bed, 1cm deep.
- Transplant in late June/July into final position.
- Before planting cabbages, make sure the soil is well pressed by shuffling along the surface on your heels, then rake it flat.
- You should not grow cabbages in the same soil that you grew them (or other brassicas) the previous year.
- Harvest as needed.
How to grow Peas Douce Provence
- If you want your peas to be ready in spring next year now is the time to think about sowing your peas. Monthly Vegetable Seed Club Monthly Subscribers will receive Pea Douce
- Provence seeds this month, ready for sowing now.
- Pea Douce Provence is a very versatile pea variety. It grows to about 3ft and does not require support. The peas are simply delicious and very sweet(it is a French variety).
- The variety can be sown for over wintering in Nov and then again from February-July for summer cropping. It is a sturdy variety that requires little support.
- Sow 5 cm deep in a drill filled with rich compost. Cover with leaf mould or compost and then cover the row with chicken wire or a cloche to prevent damage from pests.
- Sow them in a length of gutter pipe filled with rich compost inside. Once they’re an inch or two tall,
- put them out with an extendable mini polytonal to protect them until they’ve settled in.
- In a mild spell in the winter, I remove this, but install some sort of wind break on the windward side.