The Grow Your Own Magazine Growing Guides
These handy growing guides have been put together by award winning gardening magazine, Grow Your Own. From chillies to tomatoes and strawberries, we've tried to cover all the edible plants you'd like to produce at home. If you don't spot your favourites, watch this space – we're planning to add even more great introductions to growing food in your garden throughout the year.
If you have burning question, why not look for an answer now? The magazine's online Grapevine Forum is just a click away. Select the tab at the top of this page to ask its 50,000 members for help with home-growing problems and add your own suggestions for producing bumper crops. It's entirely free to take part – imagine a giant gardening club that's open 24-hours a day!
Grow Your Own's A-Z Guide of Vegetables
- Artichokes Perennial crops offer their bounty year after year for minimal effort. Anthony Bennett looks at the Jerusalem and globe artichoke, two firm favourites
- Asparagus Ready to be seduced by the culinary crown-holder of the veg patch? Then now's the time to plant some asparagus for many years of tender spears to come
- Aubergines They're an everyday sight in kitchens on the Med and in South-East Asia – but do you need the corresponding warm weather to grow decent aubergines? Thankfully not, says Anthony Bennett, who explains how Brits can get impressive results too
- Basil Searching for a herb that's as attractive as it is flavoursome? Look no further than the myriad leaf textures and aromas of basil
- Beetroot If you're only familiar with shop-bought beetroot, growing your own can be a minor revelation. You can eat them raw when young and tender, forgo spinach to steam their tasty leaves instead, and enjoy a selection of impressively-coloured roots from bright yellow to pink-and-white-striped
- Brussels Sprouts Banish thoughts of soggy school-dinner sprouts – modern breeding has transformed this crop into a reliable performer producing a delicious vegetable
- Calabrese Make some space for calabrese and you'll be rewarded with a quick-growing brassica that's as delicious as it is nutritious
- Carrots Whether fattened from nearly a year's growth or picked young and tender a few months after sowing, home-grown carrots are sweeter and earthier than any you might buy. They make excellent container crops (good news if you struggle with your soil) and by combining the wide range of varieties with careful winter storage it's possible to enjoy roots almost year-round
- Chicory It's sown at a time when virtually all other veg are ready to harvest, provides a gourmet-standard crop in the midst of winter weather and slugs seldom give the tasty leaves a second thought.Welcome to the topsy-turvy world of chicory
- Chillies If you thought a packet of red, green and yellow chillies from the shops, both undersized and overpriced, was as exciting as the fiery fruits got, think again. The most interesting ones are only available to home growers – from chunky and fleshy to blunt-ended and incredibly potent
- Courgettes Make the most of your free seeds bundled with this month's GYO using Anthony Bennett's sowing, growing and harvesting guide
- Fennel Sun-loving fennel offers an explosion of aniseed to many dishes. If you've a warm, sheltered spot then you will want to make room for this gourmet crop
- French Beans Don't be put off by the stringy, shop bought veg you may have tasted in the past. Growing these colourful climbing or dwarf plants at home will leave you with a hefty crop of tender, flavoursome beans
- Garlic Variety-starved supermarket shoppers might believe these flavoursome bulbs to be as straight-forward as they come. But grow your own and you'll find there's an array of flavours and colours, have a crop that retains its fresh, creamy quality after months in storage, and be able to enjoy sweet-tasting 'wet' garlic
- Kale You won't need much time on your hands to get these low-maintenance veg underway. The hardy greens will grow through the summer to give you a coldweather harvest late this year
- Kohlrabi Its odd-looking shape and little-known standing in the kitchen has put kohlrabi in the shade. Yet gardeners who give this brassica a try are in for a surprise!
- Leeks Looking for a hardy crop that will withstand the winter? Leeks will tough out the coldest times of year while offering a tender, melt-in-the-mouth flavour, explains Anthony Bennett
- Onions It pays to familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of growing this veg plot staple. Get your timing right – starting now – and you can have a supply of home-grown bulbs to hand the whole year round
- Oriental Vegetables If you crave something new then Oriental leaves could be the answer. Anthony Bennett explains how these speedy salad and stir-fry ingredients can be sown right now
- Parsnips Easier to grow than you might think, parsnips will reward the patient grower with months of sweet, tender roots in the depths of winter
- Potatoes They're Britain's most popular vegetable, but you might never buy another one once you've enjoyed the earthy, concentrated flavour of home-grown spuds
- Pumpkin and Winter Squashes Scooping out a Jack-O'-Lantern can leave you with the main ingredient for a delicious bread, soup or stew. Anthony Bennett explains how home-growers can keep enjoying these tasty recipes long after Halowe'en is over
- Runner Beans If you're looking to try your hand at a plant that will reward you with a bumper crop throughout summer and autumn – and an eye-catching floral display to boot – then look no further than the runner bean
- Salad Leaves Feeling impatient? Quick-growing cut-and-comeagain salads can be raised just about anywhere and will give you a crop in as little as three weeks!
- Shallots Easier to grow than onions and with a sweeter, milder flavour – shallots are an excellent addition to any plot. Anthony Bennett reveals how to grow these tasty members of the allium tribe
- Spring Cabbages There are few veg that remain enormously productive in the face of extreme cold and exposure. But spring cabbages sown now will stand their ground to provide you with delicious home-grown
- Sprouting Broccoli Worried that springtime means a bare plot and a reluctant reliance on the shops? Sprouting broccoli crops from February to May and although it's one of the priciest shop-bought veg, the seeds are as cheap as any other
- Sweet Corn Nothing beats the super-sweetness of freshly-picked corn on the cob, and thanks to the increasing range of varieties suited to the British climate they can be grown just about anywhere.
- Sweet Peppers With a wide choice of colours, shapes and sizes, this is a crop that definitely boasts bags of character. Anthony Bennett explains how to get the most from your pepper plants
- Swiss Chard If you are looking for a crop that combines good looks with exceptional flavour, Swiss chard ticks all the right boxes. If you missed sowing yours back in spring, you've got a second shot at getting this easy-grow veg underway this year
- Tomatoes There's nothing quite like the taste of freshly-picked tomatoes and the good news is anyone can grow them. Anthony Bennett explains how to choose the varieties most suitable for you
- Winter Lettuce Lettuces aren't the sole preserve of summer salads – sow them now and you'll enjoy fresh leaves in the winter too, says Anthony Bennett
- Winter Squashes Winter squashes encapsulate the very best flavours of the growing season and can be stored from now until spring, so expand your store cupboard with these versatile plants
Grow Your Own's A-Z Guide of Fruits
- Apples Plant a tree this autumn to enjoy a lifetime of Britain's most popular orchard fruit, says Anthony Bennett
- Apricots Few fruits can compete with the apricot for sheer indulgence, and with new varieties perfectly suited to the British climate there's never been a better time to grow them
- Blackberries & Hybrid Berries There are few crops easier to grow than these bite-sized fruits. Plant them today and experience a sweet, juicy homegrown harvest
- Blackcurrants With the vitamin-packed fruit a rare sight in shops (more than 90 percent of the country's commercial crop is used in Ribena) – why not secure an affordable stash by growing your own? You can enjoy years of the delicious 'superfood' by getting your bare-rooted bushes planted this month
- Blueberries They cost a small fortune in the supermarket, yet blueberries are easy to grow when you know how and make highly ornamental additions to the plot
- Cherries Recent developments mean you don't need a large plot to enjoy your own crop of these delicious fruits. Anthony Bennett explains the best way to plant a cherry tree this autumn
- Citrus Fruits Oranges, lemons and many other citrus plants are easier to grow in the UK than you might think. Given the right conditions, they'll readily produce a heavy fruit harvest
- Crab Apples The crab apple has it all, explains Anthony Bennett – springtime blossom, autumn colour and a heavy crop of fruits for use in jellies, jams, cider and wine
- Currants Are you searching for an easy-care soft fruit that quickly gears up into productivity? Red- and whitecurrants will fill the position perfectly!
- Figs UK summers may not be up to Mediterranean standards but you can still enjoy a hefty crop of home-grown figs, says Anthony Bennett
- Gooseberries A mouth-watering harvest will be the reward for growing this straightforward and satisfying soft fruit
- Grapes Due to their delicate skins, imported grapes need more packaging than almost any other fruit – effectively doubling their carbon footprint. But there's no need to buy long-haul produce – just follow Neil Wormald's guide to growing them at home
- Nuts Never tried growing these prolific plants before? You'd be nuts not to give them a go! Anthony Bennett explains the best way to cultivate filberts, almonds and walnuts
- Peaches Juicy, succulent and incredibly good looking – there’s no excuse not to grow these stunning tree fruits, says Anthony Bennett
- Pears If you haven't yet planted your bare-root pears, there's still time to get them in the ground this month. Anthony Bennett describes the merits of growing these long-lived trees
- Plums Their rich tones, seductive succulence and full-on flavour make plums, greengages and damsons real winners. And with dwarfing rootstocks and self-fertile varieties to try, just about anyone can grow these crops, says Anthony Bennett
- Quinces If the sweet perfume of its blossom doesn't seduce you, then its aromatic fruits certainly will. Anthony Bennett sees the quince as an essential member of the fruit garden
- Raspberries We might have suffered another dreary summer but it won't have mattered a jot to these plump, juicy fruits. They're soft and squishy off the plant but on it they're resilient and care-free – as long as you get them off to the right start
- Rhubarb Even months of almost total neglect are unlikely to deter this hardy plant from producing its delicious, tender stems. Anthony Bennett explains all about the brightly-coloured crop
- Strawberries Forget the cold-stored, air mile-laden specimens you can buy in shops, these summer fruits are in a different league when they come fresh from the plot. Get clued-up with our guide to getting started with strawberries this month – and what to do for the next 12
- Unusual Fruits Don't limit your fruit garden to the usual suspects – branch out with some lesser known choices that look every bit as good as they taste
It couldn't be easier to grow your own vegetables, fruits and herbs. Our guides include all the gardening advice you'll need to get started, whether you have a back yard, allotment or a tiny patio. From sowing and planting to hefty harvests, these expert tips cover some of the UK's most popular crops. Broken down into bite-sized chunks, the info is a must-have for beginners and more experienced gardeners, too.
We're helping you to decide the best fruit and veg to grow by naming tried and tested varieties in every single guide. A quick look will reveal the most successful pest-resistant plants, container-crops and much more. For year-round tips check the lists of month-by-month must-do jobs. Discover at a glance the best time of year to buy seeds or plant your young crops out. Tick lists feature other essential tips for producing healthy fruit and veg.
There are so many reasons to get growing your own vegetables! Enjoying seasonal produce at its freshest and very best is just one of them – think tasty Brussels sprouts and earthy roots in winter, fleshy pumpkins and leafy beets in autumn, tender asparagus and new potatoes in spring, succulent peas and scrumptious sweetcorn in summer, and you should be on the right track!
Home-grown veggies not only taste better than anything you can buy from the supermarket, but they can help save you money and increase your daily vegetable intake. Whether you are aiming to be completely self-sufficient or merely bump up the number of veggies in your weekly food shop, high yielding crops such as runner beans and salad leaves can help you achieve this at minimum cost – plus they are much easier to grow than you might think.
With just a few packets of seeds and a sprinkle of enthusiasm you'll be surprised at what you can grow in even the smallest of spaces – and we guarantee that it won't be long before you find yourself branching out into more unusual and challenging varieties!
From allotment staples like carrots and onions to gourmet crops of chillies and celeriac, our step by step growing guides will help get you off to the right start and have you tucking into your first plate of homegrown veggies in no time!
Gardens, patios or even a balcony – no space is too small for a bumper fruit harvest! Whether you have a field to fill or just a few containers, it's possible to enjoy that fresh, just-picked flavour. Berries and tree fruit make tasty snacks or delicious desserts. By making jams from scratch with the home-grown produce, you'll preserve the summery flavour all year round. Apple, pear and grape gluts can be turned into wine, cider and other tasty tipples.
Apples, like pears, cherries and plums, are must-have UK crops and these days almost anyone with an outdoor space can enjoy growing their own. These trees are available as container-grown plants all year round, or bare-rooted and dormant in late autumn and winter. Both types are a real investment, with each one able to offer many years of fruiting. Plant a tree now and you may still be enjoying it in a decade or two. Compact varieties will easily fit into pots, making orchards just as possible on a sturdy balconies as in super-sized gardens.
Gardeners with exotic tastes and a warm greenhouses can turn their old tights into nets for home-grown melons. Or, for peaches and nectarines, select a warm, sunny south-facing wall well away from frost pockets. Jewel-coloured selections of soft fruits can be a real treat in summer and autumn. Grow your own gooseberries, raspberries and currants on canes and bushes. For an even speedier crop, the right cold-stored strawberry plants can be bought in spring for bright red fruits two to three months later.
These aromatic plants look fabulous, taste delicious and are really easy to grow! They require very little space or gardening know-how to get started, and are best suited to hot, sunny positions and well-drained soil – making them ideal for growing in hanging baskets, patio containers, raised beds, and even small pots on your window sill.
As well as being a cook's best friend, herbs can also be used to perfume hand crafted soaps, create herbal remedies, infuse teas and encourage wildlife such as butterflies and bees to your garden. Growing your own herbs will not only save you money, but ensure that you always have a fresh supply of delicious flavour enhancing crops to hand, plus a thoughtful gift to take along to your next dinner party!
Give classic herbs like mint, rosemary, chives, bay, sage, basil and fennel a whirl, or if you're feeling more adventurous, how about micro-herbs, lemon grass, feverfew, marjoram, or borage? Most herbs can be grown easily from seeds or cuttings (or established nursery plants if you prefer) – just remember to harvest the plants regularly to encourage new growth and protect from frost where possible. If growing herbs in containers you'll also need to make sure that they have a good supply of water, while preventing the pots from becoming waterlogged at the same time.