Growing Different Kinds of Vegetables

Growing Different Kinds of Vegetables

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Beetroot

growing beetroot There are three principal types of beetroot: globe-rooted, long-rooted, and tankard, which is intermediate between the other two. Globe beet is favoured for early crops, and long-rooted and tankard for main-crop and storing.

Seed should be sown in April, May and June in groups of two or three, 6 to 8in. apart in drills 1 in. deep and 15in. apart. Later, the seedlings should be thinned to 6 to 8in. apart. Well-worked ground, manured for a previous crop and dressed with a good general or all-purpose fertiliser before sowing, is best. Keep well hoed, lift the roots from July to October when of the desired size for kitchen use, and store in sand or fine ashes in a shed or other sheltered place.

Varieties. These include Crimson Globe and Sutton’s Globe. A new variety said to be resistant to bolting is Boltardy.

 

Broad Beans

growing-broad-beans Sow the early long-pod varieties in November, or February to April, and the Windsor varieties in March or April, in rich, well-manured soil in drills 3in. deep and 2ft. apart, with the seeds 4 to 6in. apart in the drills. If more than one row is grown, leave 3ft. between the rows. The growing tips of the plants should be nipped out when a reasonable number of pods has formed. Water late crops well in dry weather, especially to prevent attack by blackfly on light soils. The taller varieties may require supporting with string which is strained between stakes placed at each end of the row.

Varieties. I like to grow such varieties as Exhibition Longpod, White Windsor, and Aquadulce Claudia (for autumn and early winter sowing). The Sutton is a dwarf variety.

 

Broccoli

growing-broccoli There is no real distinction between broccoli and cauliflower, both of which are grown for the close white heads (or the numerous purple or white shoots of the sprouting broccoli). However, in gardens the term broccoli is usually applied to the hardy autumn and spring kinds, and the term cauliflower reserved for the more delicate summer varieties. All are brassicas and have the same general requirements as other brassicas. There are numerous varieties of broccoli differing in the

time at which they produce their heads or curds, and in addition there are sprouting varieties which produce a succession of shoots in spring with white or purple flower buds in close clusters. These are cut as required and, when cooked, make very good eating.

Sow in March, April or May outdoors and transplant in May or June to good, rich, well-worked but firm soil. It is most important that the soil should be firm. Plant 3ft. apart in rows 3ft. apart. Feed during summer with small topdressings of a compound vegetable fertiliser. Draw a little soil around the stems in autumn to provide better anchorage. Break some leaves over the curds as they form to protect them from frost. Cut the curds as soon as they are well grown or pick shoots of sprouting kinds before the flower buds start to open.

Varieties. These include Calabrese (Italian Green Sprouting) (August — September); Veitch’s Self-Protecting Autumn (October — November); Early Purple Sprouting (January — February), Purple Sprouting (March); Knight’s Protecting and Leamington (April); Whitsuntide and Late Queen (May); and Midsummer (June).

 

Brussels Sprouts

brussels-sprouts These belong to the brassica family and have the same general requirements as other brassicas. Varieties are available to crop from September to February or later according to season.

Sow the seeds in February in a frame or cool greenhouse, or in March outdoors. Plant in April or May, 3ft. apart each way in good rich soil, which should be well-worked and, most important of all, firm. Feed occasionally in summer with small dressings of a compound fertiliser and water freely in dry weather. If the plants get very large, they should be individually staked. The sprouts are picked a few at a time, starting from the bottom of the stems, where they are most mature. The yellowing leaves can be removed at any time, but the tops of the plants should not be cut off until all the sprouts have been picked.

Varieties. These include Cambridge No. 1 and Cambridge No. 5, Exhibition, Early Button (exceptionally good) and Jade Cross (an Fl hybrid which crops heavily and early).

 

Cauliflower

growing-cauliflowers These need to be grown quickly in good, rich, well-manured soil. First sowings can be made in February, in a frame or greenhouse, to be followed by a further frame sowing in March and an outdoor sowing in April. An outdoor sowing can also be made in early September, the seedlings being transplanted to a frame at the end of October. In this they will spend the winter and will be planted out the following April for an early crop. Plant at least 2ft. apart in rows 2-1/2ft. Apart, water freely in dry weather and feed occasionally with small dressings of a general or all-purpose fertiliser. When curds start to form break in some inner leaves over them to keep them white. Cut as soon as well grown.

Varieties. These include All the Year Round, Snowball, Snow King (an F1 hybrid) and Veitch’s Autumn Giant.

 

Celeriac

This vegetable is closely allied to celery, but it is the bulbous growth between the roots and the leaf stems that is the serviceable part of the plant. It is often used as a substitute for celery for flavouring soups and stews, as well as a vegetable for use in its own right. Seeds and seedlings are treated in exactly the same way as those of celery. The soil must be well dug and well manured but no earthing-up is necessary. Plants are put outdoors early in May, 9in. apart in rows 1ft. apart. Subsequently, the only attention required is regular hoeing and liberal watering in dry weather. When mature in late summer, the plants can be lifted as required, or they can be left in the ground for the winter in warmer parts of the country. Elsewhere, the roots should be lifted before the frosts arrive and stored in an airy shed in sand.

 

Chicory

This vegetable is grown for the young growths, or ‘chicons’, which are blanched and either eaten cooked or raw. Seed is sown in early June in good, well-drained soil and drills 1/2in. deep and 15in. apart. The seedlings are thinned to 1ft. apart. The flowering stems are removed if any appear, and the roots lifted as required for forcing in autumn or winter. The tops should be cut off about 1in. above the crowns and the crowns should then be placed close together, right way up, in large pots or deep boxes with any fairly light soil such as old potting or seed soil. Five can be accommodated in a 9-in. Pot, the bottoms of the top roots being cut off. Another pot of the same size is inserted over the pot containing the plants. Forcing should be in complete darkness and in a temperature of 10 to 13°C (50 to 55° F). Cellars, sheds or the space under the staging in the greenhouse may be used.

Outdoors, chicory can be blanched where it is grown by covering each plant with an inverted flower pot, or by drawing soil up in a ridge along the rows as when earthing celery. Whatever method is used the blanched growths are broken off close to the crowns when about 9in. high.

Variety. Witloof de Brussels.

 

Chives

chives These are relatives of the onion and the leaves are used in salads and for flavouring. Any ordinary garden soil will serve for this plant which should be given a sunny position. Plant in March 8in. apart in rows 8in. apart. No subsequent attention beyond hoeing is required, and the plants can be left undisturbed for three or four years, after which they should be lifted, divided and replanted in February, March or early April.

 

Cress

Cress, usually grown for consumption with mustard is an easy crop to grow. Seeds can be sown in the open garden from April to the end of August and under glass during the rest of the year, provided a temperature of about 13°C (55° F) can be maintained. Make indoor sowings in shallow boxes filled with light soil and do not cover the seeds with soil — just cover the box with paper until germination takes place. As cress takes longer to mature than mustard, sow the former three days before the mustard if they are wanted for cutting at the same time.

Varieties. These include Curled and Plain.

 

Endive

A vegetable, like lettuce in appearance, endive is grown for use as a salad. Seed is sown in 1/2in. deep drills at intervals from April to mid-August in good, rich, well-dug soil and an open situation. The seedlings are thinned to 9in. apart. When the plants are well-grown each is covered with an inverted flower pot, the hole in the base being covered with a plate or piece of wood to exclude all light and blanch the leaves. This will take six weeks. Late-sown endive is best protected with a frame or cloches in autumn and for the last few weeks the glass can be white-washed to secure a sufficient measure of blanching.

 

French Beans

growing-french-beans The ground should be well prepared by digging, the addition of rotted manure or compost, and a good sprinkling of a general or all-purpose fertiliser a week or so before sowing. Sow in late April and early May, 1in. deep in drills 18in. apart, spacing the seeds singly 6in. apart in the drills. Gather the beans regularly as soon as they attain usable size, and do not allow any to mature and produce seed as this checks further cropping. Early crops can be produced by sowing in January or February, five or six seeds in a 6 or 7-in. pot in John Innes No. 1 Potting Compost and keeping in a greenhouse or frame in which a temperature of 13 to 18°C (55 to 65° F) is maintained. Only two-thirds fill the pots at first and then top dress with more John Innes compost as the plants grow.

Climbing French beans are grown in exactly the same way except that the rows should be at least 3ft. apart, and pea sticks should be stuck in firmly along the rows for support. There is a purple-podded variety of good flavour (named Purple Podded) which cooks green and is easy to grow. It also crops well; bean sticks are needed for support.

Varieties. Varieties of dwarf French bean include The Prince, an early forcing variety; Masterpiece, main-crop; and Canadian Wonder, a late variety. In addition to the climbing French bean already referred to, a good variety is Tender and True.

 

Garlic

A well-drained, rather light, but reasonably rich soil, and an open, sunny position should be chosen. The bulbs are planted in February 2in. deep and 6in. apart in rows 8in. apart. Beyond regular hoeing, no further attention is required until July or August, when the bulbs are lifted and stored in a cool, airy place. They are often tied in small bunches and suspended from a nail or beam in a shed.

 

Leeks

growing-leeks A deep, rich, well -manured soil is necessary to produce the best results. Seed should be sown in January in a warm greenhouse for an early crop, or outdoors in March in rows 1ft. apart. Seedlings raised under glass must be pricked out into boxes as soon as they can be handled and any required for exhibition may have a further move singly into small pots. Hardening-off should be completed in time for planting in May. Outdoor-sown leeks are usually planted in June. In both cases the plants should be 8 or 9in. apart in rows about 18in. apart. Hoe frequently during the summer and water freely in dry weather. As growth proceeds the stems must be earthed-up to ensure blanching.

An alternative method is to plant in holes bored with a stout bar so that only the tips of the leaves show above the rim, but this is not suitable for exhibition purposes. A third method, suitable where small leeks are preferred, is to thin the outdoor-sown leeks in their seed bed instead of transplanting them. Then soil is gradually drawn up around them to blanch the stems.

Varieties. These include Musselburgh, The Lyon and Holborn Model.

 

Mustard

Outdoor sowings can be made at intervals from early April until the end of August in an open border. The seeds may either be covered with light soil or with mats or boards until germinated. Indoor sowings should be made on the surface of shallow boxes filled with light soil and covered with a sheet of paper (until germination occurs), and, provided a temperature of 13°C (55° F) or thereabouts can be maintained, can be made at practically any time of the year. Mustard is ready more quickly than cress, and the cress should therefore be sown three days in advance if these two crops are required simultaneously.

Varieties. Brown and White.

 

Parsley

grow-parsley For a continuous supply three sowings should be made annually, one in early March, a second towards the end of May, and a third in August. The position should be open and the soil reasonably good and well dug. The seed should be sown in drills 1/4in. deep and 1ft. apart or as an edging to a bed. Thin the seedlings to 6in., and gather the leaves a few at a time so that the plants are not weakened unduly. Some seedlings from August sowings can be transferred in October to a frame for winter use, or alternatively plants may be covered where they grow with clothes.

Varieties. These include Imperial and Perennial Moss Curled.

 

Parsnip

growing-parsnips This vegetable needs deeply-worked soil that is in good condition but has not been freshly manured. A general or all-purpose fertiliser should be scattered over the ground at the rate of 4oz. per square yard before sowing. The seed is then sown in March, April or early May, in drills 1in. deep and 18in. apart. The seeds are dropped in, two or three at a time, 6in. apart and later thinned to one at each cluster. If they are being grown for exhibition, a little more space should be allowed. Parsnips are hardy and can be left in the ground all winter, to be lifted as required, but it is usually convenient to lift some roots in November and bury them in sand or peat in a shed or sheltered place as it may be difficult to dig parsnips when the ground is frozen.

Varieties. These include Hollow Crown, Tender and True and The Student.

 

Peas

growing-peas Peas require a good rich and well-manured and well-dug soil, and the ground should be prepared during autumn or winter. Make the first outdoor sowings as early in March as soil and weather will permit. Sowing can commence in February, with the protection of cloches. Subsequently, sowing may be continued every fortnight or so until early June to provide a succession. Seed may either be sown in drills 2in. deep or in shallow flat-bottomed trenches about 2in. deep, scooped out with a spade, in which case two or three lines of seed may be sown in each trench. Space the seeds 2 or 3in. apart.

There are many varieties of peas, and these may be classified in various ways: as early, second-early and main-crop; as tall, medium and dwarf, and as round-seeded or wrinkle-seeded (marrow-fat). The round-seeded peas are hardier, but the wrinkle-seeded peas are sweeter. Dwarf peas need not be supported though they are better for a few short, bushy sticks. Medium and tall peas must always be supported with pea-sticks (usually hazel branches) or netting. Early peas take about 12 weeks from sowing to first gathering; second-early peas 14 weeks; main-crop peas 16 weeks or more.

Successive rows of peas should be spaced roughly according to the height of the peas; 2-ft. tall peas in rows 2ft. apart; 4-ft. tall peas in rows 4ft. apart, and so on. Picking should be done a little at a time as the pods fill up; it is the lower pods that fill first.

Varieties. These include Kelvedon Wonder and Little Marvel (earlies), Onward and Phenomenon (second-early) and Lord Chancellor and Senator (main-crop).

 

Radish

growing-radishes The seed of this salad crop is sown thinly in drills 1/2in. deep and about 5 or 6in. apart in good rich soil or as a catch-crop in celery trenches. Sowings can be made every fortnight from March to mid-August and winter radishes, such as Black Spanish, can be sown in a heated frame or greenhouse in early autumn. All radishes need to grow fast if they are to be crisp and mild-flavoured. They should be watered freely in dry weather.

Varieties. These include French Breakfast, Icicle, Red White-tipped and Black Spanish.

 

Savoy

This is the cabbage that has the very wrinkled, hard leaves, and it is grown in exactly the same way as autumn or winter cabbage. There are varieties to cover the period from autumn to spring, those which mature late being particularly valuable.

Varieties. These include Best of All (September), Autumn Green (October — November), Winter King (November — December), Omskirk late (January — March), Omega (February — April) and Rearguard (December — April).

 

Seakale

This vegetable is grown for its young shoots which must be blanched in complete darkness. It can be raised from seed sown in April outdoors, but a better method is to grow it from root cuttings 6 to 8in. long, planted the right way up in March in well-dug and well-manured soil. Drop the cuttings into dibber holes sufficiently deep to allow the tops of the cuttings to be 1/2in. beneath the surface. Space them 1ft. apart in rows 18in. apart. Keep them well hoed during the summer and lift the plants in November. Trim off the side roots, tie up in bundles and lay in sand in a sheltered place to provide cuttings for re-planting the next spring. The crowns can also be laid in sand and potted a few at a time, bringing them into a warm greenhouse or shed to force into growth. They should be kept in complete darkness throughout this forcing.

Variety. Lily White.

 

Shallots

shallots A deeply-dug and well-drained soil is essential for shallots but manure should not be used just before planting. The ideal is a sunny spot that has been well-manured for a previous crop. The bulbs are planted 8in. apart in rows 1ft. apart in February or early March. Frequent hoeing is practically the only aftercare required. In June a little of the soil should be removed from around the bulbs to assist in ripening. As soon as the foliage dies down the bulbs should be lifted, dried and stored in an airy, cool but frost-proof place. This vegetable can be increased by division of the bulb clusters (cloves) and by seed sown thinly in drills 8in. apart in March.

 

Spinach

growing-spinach Two types of spinach are commonly grown, the Summer Spinach or Round-Seeded and the Winter Spinach or Prickly-Seeded. Both are cultivated solely for their leaves, which are picked a few at a time as they reach sufficient size. Sowings should be made about once a fortnight from mid-March to mid-July of round-seeded spinach, and a further sowing in mid-August of prickly-seeded spinach. Sow in well-dug and manured ground in sun or partial shade, in drills 1in. deep and 1 ft. apart. The plants should be kept well-watered in dry weather as, if allowed to get dry, spinach soon runs to seed and becomes useless. Thin to 3in. and gather leaves as soon as they are of usable size.

In a category of its own is New Zealand spinach, a vegetable with rather a trailing habit and thick, fleshy leaves which it produces in abundance during the summer months. The seed is sown under glass in mid-April or in May outdoors. Seedlings raised under glass should not be planted out until danger of frost has passed. It will grow in hot, dry soils which other spinach would not succeed in.

Varieties. These include the following — Summer Spinach: Long-standing Round, Monarch Longstanding and Victoria. Winter Spinach: Longstanding Prickly.

 

Spinach Beet

A form of beetroot grown for its leaves, which are picked and used like spinach. The seed is sown in early April, and again in early August, in good soil and an open situation in drills 1in. deep and 18in. apart. The young plants are thinned to 9in. and the leaves picked as required.

 

Sweet Corn

growing-sweet-corn The partly-ripened cobs of this vegetable, a favourite of mine, are cooked and eaten. The seeds are sown singly 1/8in. deep in light soil in well-drained pots in a temperature of 13 to 16°C. (55 to 60° F.) in late April or early May. The seedlings are hardened-off and planted out of doors in June in good well-manured soil and a sunny situation. Space the plants 15in. apart in rows 3ft. apart, but making short rows to produce blocks of plants rather than long single rows, as in blocks the female flowers which produce the cobs are more effectively fertilised by pollen from the flowers or ‘tassels’. Alternatively, the seeds can be sown two or three together at a similar spacing outdoors in early May where the plants are to mature, thinning the seedlings to one at each station. Make sure they have plenty of water in dry weather. The cobs are gathered when the seeds emit a milky juice if punctured with the finger nail or the point of a knife — from early August right through to the end of October.

Varieties. These include Golden Bantam and John Innes Hybrid.

 

Turnips

growing-turnips To be good, turnips must be grown quickly and without check in rich, well-worked soil. The seed is sown successionally from March to July in shallow drills 12 to 15in. apart and the seedlings are thinned to 4 to 6in. apart. They should be fed occasionally with small topdressings of a general or all-purpose fertiliser, and should be kept well hoed. When of reasonable size they can be pulled; if required for winter use they should be pulled in October and stored in sand or peat in a shed or cellar. Turnip tops for use as ‘greens’ in spring are produced by sowing a hardy variety in early September and leaving unthinned.

Varieties. These include Early Snowball, Early Six Weeks and Golden Ball.

 

Vegetable Marrows

Marrows The seeds should be sown singly in small pots in a temperature of 16 to 18°C (60 to 65° F) during April. It is also possible to sow outside where the plants are to grow, but this should not be attempted before the middle of May. Rich loamy soil or old turves mixed with a little well-rotted manure make the best compost and this may either be built up into a heap, or a wide trench excavated and filled with the compost, leaving the surface a little below ground level so that water can be flooded round the growing plants during dry weather. Plant early in June and pinch the ends of the long trailing growths occasionally to encourage the formation of laterals. If these become too plentiful they can be thinned out to allow the strongest branches more room. There are also bush marrows which need no pinching or thinning. Water freely at all times and feed with weak liquid manure as soon as the first marrows start to swell. The marrows should be cut for use while still young and tender.

Varieties. These include the following —  Trailing: Long Green, Long White and Table Dainty. Bush: Courgette, Green Bush, White Bush and Superlative.

03. December 2010 by admin
Categories: Gardening Ideas, Vegetable Gardening | Tags: | Comments Off on Growing Different Kinds of Vegetables

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