Harvesting Fruit and Vegetables

fruit and vegetable gardeningToday we continue your month by month growing and harvesting guide.

April

This is the month where you’ll be in between growing seasons, but you may have a few late growing chards and some early salad crops. You can plant loads of things, especially if March is a bit too cold to plant everything. Try sowing beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, chard, leeks, spinach, beet spinach, cauliflower, lettuces and radishes. You can plant carrots, but cover them to keep carrot fly away from them. You can take onions and shallots from your greenhouse, ready to plant into your garden, and you can also plant potatoes. It’s also time to plant your asparagus, ready for harvesting at the end of May.

If you have a greenhouse, you can grow your cucumbers and tomatoes if you’ve not already done so, and celery. You can also sow French beans and sweetcorn outside under cover. Plant strawberry plants and pollinate peaches and nectarines.

May

There is a lot to harvest this month – you should have salad crops, kale, radish, spring onions, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and asparagus. There is plenty to plant, too –  French beans, runner beans, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, salad crops(in succession, once you harvest one plant another), spring onions, turnips, peas and rocket leaves. You can plant sweetcorn, courgettes and marrows under cover, and you can take your aubergines, peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers from the greenhouse ready for planting in the garden.

June

Lots of salad crops will be ready –  things like carrots, lettuce, spring onions, radishes, salad leaves, early potatoes, beetroots and summer spinach. Early root vegetables like turnips and parsnips may also be coming up. You can also sow loads of vegetables, but at this time of the year, you can sow things in quick succession so that you can have a constant supply of vegetables at their absolute best. Try broccoli, kale, peas, carrots, turnips, swedes, chicory, sweetcorn, squash, cucumber, marrows, beetroot, French beans, endive and radishes.

July

Basically, in July, you can harvest the vast majority of things that you planted in May and June. July is a rich month for harvesting and you’ll still have plenty of food. There is a lot that you can plant, too – try spring cabbage, chicory, lettuce, peas, beetroot, carrots and radishes. You can also properly plant leeks, broccoli and cabbages if they’ve been started in small pots.

August

Again, you can harvest the vast majority of fruit and vegetables that you’ve already planted. August is yet another rich harvest month and you should still be getting plenty of salad, peas, beets and tomatoes. You can still plant radishes, tomatoes, cabbages and kale, and you should be looking at planting hardy spring onions for the winter, as well as a few hardy cabbage varieties. Harvest fruit that’s ripe and ready to eat.

September

Yet another rich harvest month, but once you harvest this month, your plot will definitely look emptier and will begin to thin out. Most of your fruit will be ready, as will your potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, beets, carrots, cabbages, onions, tomatoes etc.

October

The last of the potatoes will be coming out now. You can also pick carrots and cabbages, although they will do okay staying in the ground, and you should pick all beans. If tomatoes are green, you can pick them and make green tomato chutneys, or you can ripen them up indoors.

Prune your fruit bushes and if you want to, plant broad beans, although they will probably do better in the spring. If you have chance, plant garlic.

November

You can now begin to harvest your winter crops – cabbages, cauliflower, parsnips, leeks, Brussels sprouts, celery and celeriac can all be harvested. You can also sow broad beans and a few hardy pea varieties, and get your garlic in the ground if you haven’t already done so as it does like a little bit of cold weather. You may also get a few berries and some apples and pears.

December

You’ll probably be able to harvest all of the things that you could in November. You should also take up carrots if you have any, and celery, parsnips and swede can all be dug out – but they are all very hardy, so you can leave them in the ground if they’re not needed. You may also have spinach, chicory, radishes and turnips.

Read on tomorrow for how to look after your garden.