Courgettes and marrows are technically the same fruit, however marrows are left on the plant to grow for longer. They are a prolific cropper and you will always end up with more than you can eat. They are also easy to grow and look after, making them perfect for a beginner. (more…)
Leeks are a winter staple. They are hardy plants and require very little attention apart from watering in dry weather. They do however, like a sheltered spot with well-drained soil. (more…)
No vegetable plot is complete without runner beans. They are probably the most productive vegetable you can grow and you will often give them away. Because they are so productive, they require humus-rich soil, and it is often a good idea to build a bean trench.
Brussels Sprouts is a hardy slow growing vegetable that belongs to the brassica family. It is a staple vegetable throughout winter and tastes even better when the plant has been exposed to a frost.
Sweetcorn is an easy crop to grow and loves long hot summers. Sweetcorn is wind pollinated, so you will need to grow it in blocks and traditionally each plant produces one or two cobs. (more…)
Sweet potatoes are traditionally growing in warm climates, but hardier varieties are now becoming available in the UK and can be grown quite easily as long as they are grown in a warm sheltered spot.
Garlic is a must have vegetable and is simple to grow. There are two types of garlic; hardneck and softneck. Hardneck varieties produce a flower spike which can be eaten, while softneck varieties don’t and tend to store longer. Bulbs that are planted in the autumn have time to develop than spring planted bulbs and this allows them to produce an extensive root system and you are more likely to get a better harvest. (more…)
Plums are one of the great unexplored parts of the fruit world. In the past there were many different varieties, all with different flavours and textures, but now all knowledge of such fruit seems to have been lost. At most, one or two varieties surface occasionally in shops, but few people seem to know of the treasury of delights that could be available. Fortunately, many of the old varieties are available from specialist nurseries, and anyone who takes the trouble to search them out is really in for a treat.
Onions can be grown in two ways; from seed or onion sets. Onion sets are small onions that can be planted out in autumn (over wintering onions) or in spring. If possible, purchase onions sets that have been heat-treated as this will stop them running to seed. (more…)
Cobnuts or hazelnuts are not very large nuts, but they are sweet, tasty and easy to crack. The trees are easy to grow and have the advantage of producing catkins or tassels of male flowers from midwinter to early spring. The female flowers are inconspicuous red tufts. Fortunately, both types are wind pollinated, which compensates for the lack of pollinating inserts so early in the year. There are several self-fertile varieties, so it is not necessary to grow more than one if you are short on space. They are perfect for providing shade in which to sit plants as well as to grow shade-loving plants. They are really a large bush, rather than a tree, growing to no more than about 4m/13ft high, which makes them suitable for a small garden, unlike many of the other nut trees. (more…)