If you are looking to start growing your own vegetables now is a great time to give it a go.
There are several quick growing crops that can be grown in containers or grow bags and will be ready to eat within a few short weeks. Container grown vegetables are easy to maintain but need to be well watered in hot weather.
Lettuce/salad leaves, rocket, spinach, chard and cress
All can be sown individually in pots or together in a container for an instant mixed salad. The seeds will germinate in 7-14 days and will be ready to pick a week or so after if you want baby salad leaves. For larger leaves, wait a little longer. Perfect for summer salads or sandwiches!
Carrots can easily be grown in containers. Seeds are available in globe or short varieties which are perfect for pots. One sown, the seeds will take approximately 14-21 days to germinate. You can harvest them as baby carrots or leave until larger depending on the dishes you intend to use them for.
Beetroot is often grown just for its leaves, which can be added to mixed salad leaves. You can also leave the beetroot to develop. Beetroot seeds are known as clusters because there are three seeds together. They germinate in 7-14 days and the leaves are ready within another 10-14 days. The beetroot takes another 3-4 weeks to develop depending on the size you prefer.
Spring onions and radishes
Once sown, seeds germinate within 7-14 days and the spring onions and radishes will be ready to eat in about three weeks.
After planting, the seeds will start to germinate in about a week. Once the seedlings start growing you will usually need to support them with a trellis or wigwam. Flowers will appear in about 3-4 weeks and the pea pods will appear where the flowers drop.
You can pick the pods early before peas develop inside (i.e. mange tout) or leave them for a couple of weeks longer to allow peas to develop. Peas are best eaten within 24 hours of picking for maximum vitamin benefits but can also be frozen without pre-blanching.
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