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vegetable A-Z





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For some reason, most people call this brocolli... not sure why. We found it very easy to grow, and after cutting the heads of calabrese, second and third etc smaller heads appeared. really easy - apart from fighting off the caterpillars

sowing time: Feb - April

sow either in modules in an unheated propagator in the unheated greenhouse - plant out in May-June

harvest: Jun - Sep

pest slugs caterpillars


do best on sandier stone free soil. I chose a carrot fly resistant variety, such as maestro, and also try to plant next to garlic or onions,, to deter the beasties.

sowing time Mar - Jun

harvest Aug - Dec

pests: carrot fly, slugs (can eat the roots when larger)

recipes: artichoke and carrot soup


often described as a difficult vegetable to grow, we have found them easy. There are winter types, summer types - we grow the variety 'all year round'

sowing time Jan - Jun

harvest: Jun - Oct

pests: slugs caterpillars

chilli pepper

I have grown a number of different varieties..but jalapeno is my favourite - as they are good for using in chili con carne but also mild enough for chilli poppers

sowing time: Feb - Apr

Sow in a propagator or on a windowsill

harvest: Jul - Oct


such an easy veg to grow. I prefer the variety 'defender' as it seems to work, and gives standard green fruit. Packet will always tell you to leave 24" between plants.. and it's true - they grow huge, but they are attractive plants too. Usually a glut plant - but you can freeze courgette slices for casseroles etc and they make excellent pasta sauce and chutney. At some point you should end up with a courgette dominated fridge... but we all enjoy having too much of a good thing don't we!

Sow Apr - May plant out after danger of frost has passed

harvest Jul - Oct

recipes: chicken and courgette noodle soup,

courgette fritters

courgette and sorrel soup,

courgette and stilton soup




a cucumber really, harvested small for pickling. For outdoor growing, apparently easy to grow and heavy cropping, but I have yet to find out as the slugs have eaten the plants every time I have tried before!

sowing time: Apr - May

Sow in individual pots in a popagator or greenhouse, plant out in May, outdoors.


jerusalem artichoke

nothing to do with globe artichokes, or Jerusalem, the jerusalem artichoke is a really great veg to grow - because its just so easy. Once you have a bed with them in, you will have trouble getting rid of them if you wanted to, and if you want them - any that are left will come back next year.

They deserve a place in the ornamental garden, with their small sunflower flowers, but do grow to about 8ft tall, so be aware. Once the leaves have died down - cut stems to about 2ft high and dig as required

plant: Feb - Apr

harvest: Nov - Mar

recipes: artichoke and carrot soup



invaluable in casseroles and stews. Good as a veg in its own right.

sowing time: Mar - Apr

plant out Jun - Jul

harvest: Nov - Feb

sow direct into a seed bed or in pots. In my experience - the pot grown ones get a big head start - but the outdoor seed bed ones catch up in the end. I do both. Lots of different ways to plant, but what I do is to dib holes 5" deep, 8" apart, in rows 12" apart. Drop each plant into hole, only trimming the roots a bit if they are very long (pot grown ones do this more than seed bed) and fill the hole with water to settle in.



sowing time Feb - May

harvest Sep - Mar

Never grown parsnips before - and given my general failure to grow anything sown directly into the ground, have decided to follow in my Granddad's footsteps and sow them in toilet roll tubes first, in the greenhouse, then plant them out, tube and all in the veg bed. Found some dug up - now know it is the jackdaws - as I caught them at it! I think they were after the cardboard for nest material. Declared toilet roll growing a failure - germination was certainly better but the rolls being dug up not so good. Next year I will try planting in long modules.. but for this year I am depending on the direct sowings.






sowing time: Mar- Jun

sow every 2 weeks for continuous supply. I have never had much luck growing outdoors - the seeds get eaten before they get anywhere.. and so start them off in pots indoors.

harvest: Jun - Oct

pests: slugs and snails, pea and bean weevil, pea leaf miner, mice


sowing time: May - Jun

In 2006 we grew 'atlantic giant' and did grow a giant - 105 pounds! and there was a smaller one on the same plant of about 70 pounds. Quite by accident, we did everything right - I sowed the seeds late, planted the plants on the site of an old compost heap, the weather was wet and sunny we hardly did a thing! - But in hindsight, whilst a lot of fun to grow a beast and wave the photo around, its not terribly practical to grow giants.. as although pumpkins keep very well, once you cut into them, the clock is running, and the pressure is on to eat/process it all. Much better to have several smaller pumpkins, and store them - and then be able to eat more as roasted chunks etc. So have grown the smaller varieties.

Best way to freeze pumpkin is: first cook it down in very little water until its a pulp, strain and then pack in boxes ready for use.

harvest: Sep - Oct


pasta with roast pumpkin, pine nuts and goats cheese, pumpkin cake pumpkin scones, pumpkin pie,

pumpkin pieless

purple sprouting broccoli

a great veg for that 'hungry gap', keep cutting the heads as will then be cut and come again.

sowing time May - July

sow in modules and plant out when large enough to handle.

variety 'rudolph' is early harvesting

harvest: Oct - Feb

recipes: PSB fritters



red cabbage

sowing time Mar - May or Aug

havest: Aug - Oct or Jun

I like to braise this slowly with onions, brown sugar, vinegar and spices - freezes well this way.


rocket (wild)

sowing time: May - Jul

sow directly into soil, water during dry periods to avoid bolting

harvest: Jun - Oct



This year I am growing a winter hardy variety

Sow April - Jun

Harvest Nov - Feb



vegetable spagetti

I love vegetable spagetti. It's novalty value alone is worth it, but also its an easy vegetable to grow, keeps well once harvested and tastes lovely! It's a member of the squash family, with spagetti like strands making up the flesh.

sowing time: April-May

care: plant out after danger of frosts, and the plants are big enough to fend off the slugs. These are climbers, so a trellis or similar is handy.

harvest: August until first frosts.

cooking: either place whole inthe oven, or boil - time depending on how large it is, but until outer flesh is a little soft. Cut open, remove seeds, then folk out strands.





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