Below are a list of my favorite tips for growing your vegetables. I wish I had known all these when I was first starting my garden plot!
They need a rich soil or feeding.
Remember they are a sun loving plant so they will only do well if not shaded out.
Water once a week, (or twice in drought) but water heavily and deeply to encourage root growth.
If saving seeds, remember that tomatoes cross-pollinate readily, so saved seeds will not usually be true to type if growing a mixture of varieties.
These guys LOVE water.
Once you have fruit setting, I water with a drip feeder almost continuously.
Experiment with different varieties as characteristics vary wildly.
One of the easiest, quickest produce types to grow.
Don’t waste space growing them in their own rows, rather use them as row markers to grown while other seeds are germinating and sprouting.
Unless you like them particularly hot (and stringy too sometimes) avoid growing in the full summer, here I tend to plant them after Oct 1st
Seedlings are far easier to grow than seeds, although once established very easy to grow.
Earth up or use tubes to extend the white portion as they grow.
Another plant that
is easier to grow from seedlings in my experience, as they need lots of protection from pests.
Cover over with a net as soon as you start seeing butterflies.
As soon as sweetcorn is picked the sugars start turning to starch. This is one that is certainly better if cooked straight from the garden!
The most difficult part of growing carrots from seed is separating the seeds, they are so tiny. Be prepared to have some patience, and don’t worry if a few seeds fall into one space, just thin and eat as baby carrots as they grow.
I like to use a big dibber and make a deep carrot shape hole in the ground, then fill with compost, and plant my seed into that. The root will take the shape of the form you have made!
Cover with plastic bottles when starting seedlings to keep the birds from eating the seeds.
Protect the same as peas.
Check your variety, some will require something to climb, other bush varieties will not.
I highly recommend the no dig method of growing potatoes.
Simply layer your ground with a generous coating of compost and plant into that. Your tubers will form in the compost and not require the back-breaking digging traditionally required to remove them.
You can use the potatoes that ‘go over’ from your kitchen, in place of buying seed potatoes.
Garlic gives you the opportunity to be planting something when everything else is already overwintering or farrow. Another ridiculously easy crop.
Also the easiest plant in the world to seed save, just select the best size cloves from your best size bulbs as next year’s seed stock.
You can use supermarket garlic as your first set of seeds!
Another very easy crop much like radish.
If your family isn’t into turnips, and they don’t get the best press, then harvest them when they are the size of golf balls, and bake them whole.
My secret here is this; Beetroot is way better than you remember it! We have it sliced fine and raw in salads, and diced and baked as a dinner vegetable, everyone loves it, and it’s another exceptionally easy to grow crop.
OK, Courgette is so crazily productive, its actually hilarious! We grow 5 plants a year and that produces more than my family can eat, even with saving some by making chutneys, dehydrating and freezing. We even sell them when in season from our mini roadside farm shop, and we never run out.
Pick them before they get too big or they become stringy and unpalatable. About the size of a whiteboard marker.
You can string, chop and freeze these without blanching which is a bonus.
Another very easy to grow crop, but pick and pod while still small, when the individual beans are the size of your fingernails, not your thumbnails as they are so much more tender. Larger beans tend to develop a chewy shell.
These can be dehydrated easily for simple storage.
Susceptible to the same pests as cabbage, but as they don’t form heads the damage is less devastating so these can be protected by vigilant pest picking.