To start growing your own vegetables can be a daunting task with possibly the only time we see vegetables are when they are on our dinner plate- or shock horror someone elses plate.

Below are some of the vegetables I will be growing this year. A wise old gardener once told me, only grow what you will eat. Now it is also satisfying to grow some of the rarer varieties aswell.

Potatoes require very little maintenance. They can be grown in space-saving patio tubs, raised beds, or the traditional earthed-up rows. "Early" and "Late" varieties are ready after about 75 and 90 days respectively; maincrops take 135 to 160 days.
Planting is possible at any time your soil is workable (meaning not water saturated or ice-bound), and warm enough for weed shoots. There should be sufficient time for plants to reach maturity before winter frosts.

Leaf Lettuce:
If you are looking for easy-care lettuce, it's best to avoid head lettuces.
Leaf lettuces are a great choice in cooler or temperate climates. Lettuce is a fairly hardy and thrives when the average daily temperature is between 60 and 70°F.
It should be planted in early spring or late summer. Lettuce likes sun but will tolerate some shade.
Sow the seeds thickly in rows of well-drained soil, and cover with a fine potting soil, tamping down after covering. Water well.
Keep them well watered in hot weather and apply organic fertilizer every month, giving them an occasional feed with an organic liquid fertilizer.
Mulching with compost or pea-straw will help conserve water, control weeds and feed your soil.
You can cut the lettuce leaves as they are growing, trimming away just what you want to eat, and leaving the core, which will prolong the growing life of the plant.
You can also plant spinach or Swiss Chard, both equally as easy to grow from seed with high yields.
When the leaves are big enough to use, pick from the outside making sure you leave at least 5 or 6 stalks in the centre for the plant to continue growing.

Beets do best when planted in loose soil. They can be planted throughout spring and summer.
Take your seeds and soak them overnight.
Sow directly in the soil, about half an each deep and 10 to 12 inches apart. Cover lightly with soil and water them in.
Feed with a liquid organic fertilizer at about 4 or 5 weeks
Pull your beets about 8 to 10 weeks after planting, when they have grown to about 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Don't allow them to grow too big, as they will become tough and woody.
Planting a second crop about two weeks later will provide you with a continuous supply.
If your soil is a little too acid, add lime to your soil a couple of weeks before planting.

Leeks and Spring Onions

Leeks and spring onions grow in very similar conditions.
You can grow in seed raising mix or seed directly where they are to grow. If you grow seeds in punnets you can transplant seedlings when they are about 8 inches tall into well prepared beds.
If your soil is acidic, you may want to add a little lime.
Give them plenty of water. Mulching helps keeping the soil most and to keep the weeds down.
Apply organic fertilizer every few weeks.
Harvest when leeks are about one inch thick, and spring onions are harvested when they are big enough.


Your best bet is to plant onion sets (miniature onions) rather than onion seeds to begin with. They are easy for younger children to handle and need almost no maintenance apart from initial weeding. Plant radishes together with the onions to mark out the rows, as they sprout faster. Onions like to be planted early on in the season, but there are also varieties which can be planted in late summer or early autumn for a winter or spring crop.


Carrots tend to be pest free and need little attention. Carrots are rich in vitamin A, antioxidants, carotene and dietary. Dig a hole less than an inch deep and plant a couple of seeds in each, and leave several inches in between holes. Thin out in stages to 4-6in (10-15cm) apart. Keep the soil moist but remember to water the carrots less as they begin to reach maturity


For the most part doesn’t need a lot of special care, broccoli is easily grown vegetable that gives the best return for the space it occupies and is cropped when other green vegetables are in short supply. One row of 15ft (4.5m) will accommodate six plants to give self-sufficiency for a family of four. Sow broccoli seed in spring in a seed bed ½in (1.25cm) deep and transplant when the seedlings are about 4in (10cm) tall 2ft (60cm) apart each way


The large woody turnips of old have mainly been replaced now with modern hybrid varieties and smaller Japanese white varieties that are delicious grated raw into a salad or as a welcome side dish, leaving the swedes to take over in the stew department.
Although it is nothing like a cabbage turnips are a member of the brassica family so club root will be a problem if you have this on your plot.
They are a fast crop, being ready in just five to eight weeks from sowing to harvesting at the size of a golf ball or a little larger. As they grow on they become less tender and flavoursome so successional sowing every two ensures a constant supply of young and sweet turnips can be provided.