5 vegetables you can easily grow in your English garden

Growing your own vegetables has a wealth of benefits. Not only does it give you access to delicious, wholesome produce throughout the warm spring and summer months, but it’s better for the environment and better for you.

Just because we're in England, doesn't mean we can't enjoy fresh, tasty produce with a little bit of effort – even if you're a beginner. Nurture your inner gardener with these easy-to-grow garden vegetables.

1.   Tomatoes

Okay, we know tomatoes aren’t strictly a vegetable, but we think they’re worth mentioning. Arguably the most popular (and delicious) homegrown food of all, the humble tomato is the perfect way to start your garden-growing journey.

Whether you have a greenhouse or small patio patch, it doesn’t take much to grow juicy, flavoursome produce you can add to salads or your favourite pasta dishes.

Assuming you only have limited garden space to work with, plant your seeds into a large pot with peat-free potting compost in late January and move it outside to a sunny, sheltered spot after the last frost in May. Water your plant regularly to prevent it from drying out. It should take around 50 to 60 days for the tomatoes to harvest.

Begin growing it from: Late January to late March if you’re planting seeds or May if you’re buying a plant.

Top tip: Keep your tomatoes in the sun until they’re fully ripe to unlock the full flavour.

Level of growing difficulty: Easy.

 

2.   Leaf lettuce

 

Lettuce is another easy yet rewarding garden vegetable that doesn't need much space, and almost all gardens are suitable.

You can either grow hearting lettuces with a dense core or loose-leaf lettuce with no heart and open leaves. You can also harvest young, tender salad leaves if you aim to use them for your salads.

Sow your seeds in direct sunlight and place them into moisture-retentive soil. If it’s chilly, protect them using plastic tunnels or cloches. Water when the earth’s dry and keep an eye out for any pests that might ruin your crops.

Begin growing it from: For a summer supply, start sowing little and often from late March to late July.

Top tip: Cover your lettuce with fleece to protect it from hungry birds.

Level of growing difficulty: Easy.

  

3.   Cucumbers

 Cucumbers are the perfect summer vegetable. Ridged cucumbers are the kind you grow outside. They’re short and fat with a textured outer skin. Don’t be put off by this, though, as they’re just as delicious as smooth, store-bought cucumbers.

 Like tomatoes, start off by planting your cucumber seeds in pots with peat-free compost. Keep them covered with fleece or a glass jar to provide enough heat for the seeds to germinate.

 Grow them in a sunny spot that’s sheltered from strong winds. As soon as your plant’s developed seven leaves, pinch out the growing tip and let the developing side shoots trail over the side.

 Begin growing it from: Late May or early June if you’re growing them from seeds, or late spring if you choose to buy cucumber plants.

Top tip: Water around the plant instead of directly over it to keep the soil moist. Also, don’t remove the male flowers.

Level of growing difficulty: Medium.

  

4.   French beans

 French beans are the perfect garden vegetable because they can grow in all kinds of soil.  They also grow fast and thrive in warm, moist soil.

 Start sowing your seeds in May and put them directly into a pot or the ground where there’s plenty of sunlight. Which process you choose depends on the size of your garden and how much space you have available to plant.

 When planting, add plenty of well-rotted manure. Once the beans flourish, pick them every few days, and your crop should grow well into September.

 Begin growing it from: May, if it’s warm and sunny, or early June.

Top tip: Don’t grow the seeds too early, or the roots will rot because of the cold, damp weather.

Level of growing difficulty: Medium.

  

5.   Peas

 Forget frozen petits pois – nothing compares to the sweet, tender flavour of fresh, homegrown peas. Growing them at home is relatively easy. They don’t take up too much space, and they’re actually pleasing to look at, so they can become a welcome addition to your garden aesthetic.

 To grow, plant them 3cm into fertile soil and add pea sticks to help support their growth. Once they come through, you can harvest them after three months.

 Begin growing it from: For a summer crop, sow the seeds from March to early July. For early crops that are ready from May onwards, sow them in the autumn.

Top tip: Once flowers appear, feed the peas weekly with a high potash fertiliser.

Level of growing difficulty: Medium

 

We hope you enjoy having a go at growing your own produce. We'd love to see how you get on – take a photo of your homegrown vegetables alongside your Lazy Susan garden furniture and we’ll donate money to charity. Simply send in your snaps to [email protected] or tag us on Instagram or Facebook @lazysusanfurniture.