Vegetables

 

Beans

Beans need to be planted in full sun
It will take 5 – 10 days to germinate
It will take 50 – 70 days to harvest
They are tender and cannot withstand frost because they are water consistently

Basic Care

Common Pests: leaf eating beetles, cutworms, whitefly, aphids
Beans are light feeders and their deep roots loosen the soil
Beans are a source of nitrogen for the soil while they are growing. Plant them next to spinach and sweetcorn which need the nitrogen from the beans.
Dig the bean plants into the soil once the harvesting is complete to increase the nitrogen levels. Heavy feeders can be planted afterwards.
Trellis the beans to promote their growth.
Beans will repel potato beetles so plant them with potatoes! You can also plant them with beetroot, sweetcorn, cabbage, lettuce and carrots.
Do not plant beans with onions!

Nutritional Value

Beans are rich in protein and carbohydrates

How to harvest

Beans can be harvested green and eaten fresh or they can be left to dry on the plant and used as dry beans.
The more you harvest, the more the plant produces so harvest them fresh for a larger dry crop, but be careful: Bean plants are tender at this stage so harvest them gently.

Saving Seed

Allow the selected beans to dry on the plant for about 6 weeks after the eating stage. If frost threatens the drying, dry them indoors.
Dried beans can be used for cooking but also for planting.
Store the seeds in a cool dry place. If you do so, the seeds will last for 3-6 years.

 

Beetroot

Beetroot needs to be planted in full sun
It will take 8 – 18 days to germinate
It will take 60 – 70 days to harvest
Beetroot is water consistently and can withstand light frost

Basic Care

Common Pests: cutworms, birds, slugs, snails.
Plant the beetroot with garlic chives to keep pests away. You can also plant it with cabbage, broccoli, onions, beans and lettuce.
Beetroot needs regular water. It will bolt if it does not get enough water or if it is too cold. In addition weeding is important.
The beetroot will need to be thinned out, and seedlings need to be transplanted.
Add the beetroot’s leaves to the compost heap.

Nutritional Value

The beetroot’s leaves and roots are edible
The roots are high in Vitamin C and the leaves high in Vitamin A

How to harvest

When the top emerges from the soil you should begin to harvest
As with carrots check the width of the beetroot with your finger in the soil around the beet.
Loosen the soil around the root and pull it from the soil gently
In wet climates remove it from the soil before the roots rot.
Beetroot can be stored for several months in a cool dark place separated by sand or straw. If the roots touch they will spoil.

Saving Seed

Like spinach, the beetroot will flower and seed in the second year. Leave 1 or 2 plants to grow tall and flower.
Let the plant dry out and harvest the dried flower clusters.
Store the seeds in a cool dry place. If you do so, the seed will last for 3-4 years.

 

Broccoli

Broccoli needs to be planted in full sun
It will take 10 – 12 days to germinate
It will take 150 Days to harvest

Basic Care

Common Pests: Snails love basil, so protect your seedlings
Plant the broccoli from December to February
Broccoli is a heavy feeder, so plant it with cover crops and legumes. You can also plant it with nasturtium, borage, onions and rosemary.
It is beautiful textured and has coloured leaves (similar to cabbage)

Nutritional Value

Broccoli is high in nutrition, because it contains vitamins, beta-carotene, potassium and iron.

 

 

Butternut

Gem Squash

Gem Squash & Butternut need to be planted in full sun
It will take 7 – 10 days to germinate
It will take 70 – 90 days to harvest
They will not tolerate frost and are heavy feeders

Basic Care

Common Problems: powdery mildew, a white fungus, grows on the squash. Decrease the mildew by avoiding overhead/leaf watering, and pruning off affected areas
Common Pests: Leaf eating beetles. Handpick them off or spray with home-made pesticide.
Plant with garlic chives, basil or nasturtium to deter pests. You can also plant them with onions, sweetcorn and beans.
Do not plant the squashes with potatoes.
The plant loves to climb so provide support for it to grow
Mulch only the young seedlings, because it becomes a living mulch as it grows

How to harvest

The squashes are ready to harvest when the skin is too hard to pierce it with fingernails. Then carefully cut them from the vine with a knife.
Leave 5cm stalk attached to the squash to avoid bacterial infection
Eat the squash as soon as possible if it is bruised or has no stem.
Leave the squash to sit in a cold dark room for a week or two for the skin to harden – this can last for 3-6 months

Saving Seed

Select one or two good matured squash to save seed from. Chop open the matured squash and scoop out the seeds. Wash them with warm water and then spread them out on a surface to dry.
Store the seeds in a cool dry place. If you do so, the seed will last for up to 4 years.

 

Cabbage

Needs to be planted in full sun
It will take 10 – 14 days to germinate
It will take 90 days to harvest
Is a heavy feeder if planted in rich soil
Prefers cooler weather

Basic Care

Common Pests: Birds, slugs, snails, aphids , cutworm, caterpillar & cabbage moth.
Deter the pests by planting the cabbage among other herbs like oregano, sage, thyme and coriander.
Plant it with onions and nasturtium to keep away the pests.
Cabbage is a heavy feeder. Plant it after beans, peas or a cover crop and compost well to achieve the best results.
Add a liquid fertiliser during every three weeks for the best results.
Although cabbage is a heavy feeder, too much nitrogen causes the cabbage head to split. Fertilise it with a balanced fertiliser.
Do not plant cabbage with tomato or pepper!

How to Harvest Harvest the heads when they are firm all the way through when you squeeze them.
Cut the heads with a knife at the lowest point possible.
Leave the roots in the ground if you want it to re-grow next season, otherwise just pull the whole plant out.
Saving Seed Leave 1 or 2 plants over winter to go to seed – cabbage only produces seed after the second year. A tall flower stalk with yellow flowers will grow.
Pods will grow from the stalk. Let the flowers and pods dry out, pick the pods and separate the seeds from the pods.
Store the seeds in a cool dry place. The seeds will then last for up to 5 years.

 

Carrots

Carrots need to be planted in full sun
It will take 14 – 21 days to germinate
It will take 60 – 80 days to harvest
Carrots are water consistently

Basic Care

Plant with chives/onions to deter the carrot worm. You can also plant them with tomatoes and lettuce.
Mulch the carrots well to keep them free of weeds.
Add the carrot leaves to the compost after harvesting.
Carrots are a light feeder and need to be thinned out if crowded.
The carrot tops may emerge from the soil too early, so cover them with soil to prevent bitterness.
Carrots do not like too much nitrogen so do not plant them next too of after beans. Also do not plant them with cabbage or cauliflower.

Nutritional Value

Carrots provide Vitamin A which keeps eyes and skin healthy and helps to protect against infections.
The carrots’ roots and leaves are edible.
Carrots are more nutritious when being cooked than raw.

How to harvest

Use your finger to check how wide the carrot is and harvest it when it is the desired size.
Loosen the soil around the carrots and then pull it out, but be sure that you pull out the biggest first.
The carrots’ leaves can be added to salads/soups or put back into the garden.

Saving Seed

Leave 1 or 2 plants to grow tall and to flower.
Let the flower dry out and then shake out the seed into a bowl.
Store the seeds in a cool dry place. The seeds will then last for 3-6 years.

 

Green Pepper

Green pepper needs to be planted in full sun
It will take 10 – 18 days to germinate
It will take 60 – 70 days to harvest
It is water consistently and does not tolerate frost

Basic Care

Common Pests: Cutworms, caterpillars, aphids
If you leave them on the plant, they will turn yellow and then red.
Mulch them to save water and trellis them to support their growth.
Green Peppers are medium feeders and like to be planted with onion and basil.
Don’t plant the green peppers with or after potatoes, tomatoes or eggplant!
Shade them with a twig or leaves until they are well established.

Nutritional Value

The longer the peppers stay on the plant the higher is the vitamin C content.
How to harvest Harvest the green peppers once they have reached the desired size.
Harvest them by cutting the stem 1cm from the pepper with a scissor or a knife. The more peppers you harvest the more will grow, so pick them regularly.
Do not store them with apples or strawberries.

Saving Seed

Choose one or two of the best peppers to save seed from.
Cut them open and scrape out the seed.
Dry the seed for storage. It is dry enough when it will slide across paper/a plate or when it breaks when being folded.
Store the seeds in a cool dry place. If you do so, the seed will last for up to 3-5 years.

 

Lettuce

Needs to be planted in full sun or partial shade
It will take 7-10 days to germinate
It will take 50-60 days to harvest

Basic Care

Common pests: Slugs and snails.
Shade the lettuce in summer: Tip squash can shade tender lettuce leaves.
Sow it in spring and in late summer/autumn
Lettuce is a medium feeder.
You can plant it with onions, basil, beans, tomatoes, carrots, beetroot or squash.

How to harvest

Harvest the whole head or individual leaves by pulling them out or cutting them off with a knife or a scissor.

 

Onions

Onions need to be planted in full sun or partial shade
It will take 10-14 days to germinate
It will take 150 days to harvest

Basic Care

Onions deter the pests from cabbage, carrot and spinach in the garden. They also like to be planted with tomatoes, lettuce and beetroot.
Flowers will grwo in as the onien ripens.
Use them in soups, stews and salads
Plant the onions from February to March

 

Peas

Peas need to be planted in full sun
It will take 7-14 days to germinate
It will take 80 days to harvest
Peas ware water consistently

Basic Care

Common Pests: Cutworms, caterpillars, aphids.
Mulch them to save water and trellis them to support their growth.
The peas can withstand shade well.
Don’t plant the peas with onion.
Peas like to be planted with beans and sweetcorn.

How to harvest

Harvest the peas once they swell.
You can harvest a few immature peas to encourage the growth, and then harvest twice a week.
The more you harvest the more will grow, so pick them regularly.

Saving Seed

Choose one or two of the best plants to save seed from.
Allow the pods to dry on the plant towards the end of the growing period.
Open the peas and take out seed. Then dry the seed for storage.
Store the seeds in a cool dry place. The seed will then last up for to 3-5 years.

 

Spinach

Needs to be planted in full sun
It will take 12 days to germinate
It will take the spinach 60 – 80 days to harvest
Is hardy – can withstand some water storage

Basic Care

Common Pests: Leaf eating bugs, snails & slugs.
Spinach seed is actually a cluster of seeds, so more than one plant will grow from each site. Transplant out the additional seedlings once four or more true leaves have formed.
Mulch around the base of the plant to retain moisture and keep the plant warm in cooler months.
Plant it with Beans - they will give the nitrogen the spinach needs. You can also plant it with broccoli, beetroot, onions, cabbage and beans.

Nutritional Value

High in Vitamin A & C, high in Iron.
Contains Potassium which is good for strong bones.
Cooking with Parsley helps the body to absorb the iron in spinach.

How to harvest

Cut off the 3 biggest outer leaves with a knife/scissors.
Leave the rest of the plant to grow.
This method stops the plant from going to seed.
If harvested like explained before this spinach will grow for up to 18 months.
Leave to bolt when you want it to seed.

Saving Seed

Leave 1 or 2 plants to grow tall and to flower.
Harvest the seed when the flowers on the plants begin to dry out.
Once the plant has dried out the clusters of seed will fall out of the place where the flowers once were.
Store the seeds in a cool dry place. If you do so, the seeds will last for up to 4 years.

 

Sweetcorn

Sweetcorn needs to be planted in full sun
It will take 5-7 days to germinate
It will take 60-80 days to harvest
Sweetcorn is water consistently

Basic Care

Common Pests: Cutworms, caterpillars, aphids.
Sweetcorn is water consistently and needs to be watered well in dry weather.
Sow the sweetcorn in blocks rather than in one line for an optimal pollination.
Don’t plant it with tomatoes!
Sweetcorn is a heavy feeder. It is good to plant it after beans or peas or with beans and peas.

How to harvest

Start testing the sweetcorn when the tassel turns brown.
Press a kernel into the corn with your fingernail: Ripe sweetcorn will have a creamy liquid, while unripe sweetcorn will be watery.
To harvest the sweetcorn, ben the corn towards the ground and twist it.

Saving Seed

Dry the seed on the stalk, or if the weather is not warm enough, in a cool dry location.
The seed should be ready 4-6 weeks after the eating stage.
Once the seed is dry separate the kernels and store them in a cool dry place.
Store the seeds in a cool dry place. The seed will then last for up to 3-5 years.

 

Tomato

Tomatoes need to be planted in full sun
It will take 4-7 days to germinate
It will take 65 – 85 Days to harvest
Tomatoes are water consistently – water them at least once a day during hot months

Basic Care

Common Pests: whitefly, aphids, cutworms, as well as many diseases.
Tomatoes are very heavy feeders and love to grow vertically, so provide support structures for them to climb.
Tomatoes like root watering not leaf/overhead watering. Keep them well watered, and add mulch to retain the water.
Do not plant them with cabbage, broccoli or potatoes!
Plant with basil, marigolds, lettuce onion and beans, and especially with carrots to get the nutrients needed to grow.
Plant tomatoes in a different part of the garden each season to avoid pests and diseases.

Nutritional Value

Tomatoes contain high levels of antioxidants and are a good source of Vitamin C and E
How to harvest Leave the tomatoes to ripen on the plant and harvest when they’re red.
Watch for pest damage as the tomatoes start to ripen.
If pests are a problem harvest the tomatoes just as they begin to change colour and let them ripen indoors on a sunny windowsill.

Saving Seed

Choose two or more good tomatoes to save seed from. Cut them open to scrape out the seeds.
Press out the seeds onto a sheet of newspaper. Allow them to dry for two or more weeks. Then scrape the seed off to store, or store and plant the newspaper in the spring! Sometimes gardeners plant half a tomato in the ground and mark the space to find there seedlings there in the spring.
Store the seeds in a cool dry place. The seed will then last for 1-2 years.