Growing veggies all-year-round

If you think you’ve missed out on growing your own veggies this year, then think again.

There is still time to grow some salad crops this summer and you can either buy plants while they are in stock or sow seeds.

If you’d like to sow your own then you can still sow lettuce, beetroot and radishes.

There are also winter cropping veggies that can be planted now too.

If you’re planning on growing organically, then here’s how to get the most from your patch.

The perfect vegetable plot has a fertile, well-drained and moisture retentive soil and is in a flat, sheltered, but sunny position.

Most gardeners do not have these ideal conditions but still manage to grow excellent vegetables by making the most of their site.

Shade isn’t good for vegetable growth but some crops including lettuce, chard, beetroot and kohl rabi can cope with light shade.

Veggies do not like a wet site, this would be better for a pond or bog garden.

Improve heavy soils gradually by adding low fertile organic material regularly.

Protect exposed sites with permanent or temporary windbreaks – such as hedges fences or netting. Protect individual crops with barriers, cloches or other covers when plants are young.

Vegetables such as potatoes, which are planted in the late winter/early spring, and marrows help to suppress weeds with their foliage cover.

Select veggies to suit the space you have available. Even quite small areas can be productive. Research the vegetables you would like to grow, so that you can maximise the space available to you.

Include an area for making leaf mould and compost when planning your site as these are important for any organic plot.

Vegetables can also do well in raised beds. Container grown vegetables are increasingly popular for people who only have a patio or balcony. Some vegetables prefer to be grown in pots such as chillies and aubergines.

Throughout the year keep records in a journal on yields, pest and diseases, weather conditions and what grew well and where.

Just remember not to plant the same family of plants in the same spot within the next three years to reduce the risk of soil borne pest and diseases. This is called crop rotation.

With a bit of forward planning it is possible to harvest vegetables every month of the year and to have a completely organic plot.