What fruits and vegetables to plant during the year, month by month

What fruits and vegetables to plant during the year, month by month

illustration of fruits and vegetables on a background with a March calendar page in front

Time to plan (Photo: Ksenia Zvezdina / Getty)

During the first week of January – as productive as we want to be – we are still a bit sluggish from the Christmas holidays as we come to terms with back-to-work anxiety and new healthy eating routines.

In the second week, the dust has settled and we finally feel in the mood to become more organized for the coming year.

If you’re planning to become a little more environmentally friendly by 2022, growing your own fruits and vegetables is a great way to become more self-sufficient and improve your knowledge of gardening.

So whether you are an enthusiast with green fingers or a beginner in gardening, there are a number of ways to get the most out of the outdoor space you have – and reap the rewards of home-grown produce all year round.

“Whether you have a lot of space or a little, everyone can grow something to eat, with a little effort and know-how,” says Holly Tyers, who runs Can I Dig It? – a company that helps new gardeners get started growing their own vegetables.

Holly has put together a comprehensive guide that describes which fruits and vegetables to plant during the year – starting now.

January

illustration of fruits and vegetables

Some of the Delights You Can Grow (Image: Getty Images)

“Get away from that seed package. Not even fun here. The daylight this month is short and seedlings need light to thrive,” Holly says.

Use this time instead to plan your growth space. But if you have an urge to plant, Holly suggests the following …

‘Why not plant some rhubarb or fruit trees instead? As long as the soil is not frozen or waterlogged, it is a good time now – while they are dormant, “she adds.

February

Holly says, ‘Okay, let’s get our skates on. Dust off the propagator and set some chili and eggplant in motion.

‘They both have super long growing seasons and need heat to germinate, so get started. You can also sow some onion seeds now and they will be ready to plant out in April.

‘If you love a bit of cauliflower cheese (who is not?), You can also get the seeds going now.’

March

After a long and cold winter, March brings longer days – so Holly says that this is the month when seed sowing can get in excess.

“Tomatoes are an absolute ‘must’,” she adds. “If you’ve only ever tasted boring supermarket tomatoes, you’ll be overwhelmed by the taste of the ones you grow.

‘Much of your sowing this month will be indoors or under cover, but there are some hardy seeds that do not mind the cold sprouting outdoors. We’re talking parsnips, broccoli and kale – but they need some protection against chilly nights. ‘

April

Spring has arisen in April, so the earth is warming up, Holly explains.

She adds: ‘You can sow carrots, beets and kohlrabi outdoors now, as well as lettuce and lettuce leaves like spinach and arugula, but beware of frost.

‘Start sweet corn indoors this month. Forget the canned stuff, fresh corn is a taste experience, but it needs a long growing season. If you do not sow it this month, you will miss the tasty boat. ‘

You can also turn your attention to some fruit in April.

Holly continues: ‘You can get fruity by planting strawberries and blueberries this month. They need a little care, and the taste of the fruit you want to harvest will knock your socks off. ‘

Able to

illustration of herbs growing in plant pots

May is the month to think about festive vegetables and herbs (Photo: Getty)

It may only be May, but it’s time to start thinking about winter vegetables – and especially festive vegetables.

‘Are you a Brussels sprouts lover or hater? If you need some for Christmas dinner, this month is the latest to sprout. We are also in the last chance to sow salon for winter cabbage and cauliflower, “adds Holly.

‘Peas and mangetout can also be sown outdoors now. I sow one for me and one for the mice, because they just love digging up pea seeds. If you do not get something stolen by mice, then happy days. ‘

Holly also suggests giving some time (and space) to grow herbs this month.

She says: ‘Not only will their flowers bring important pollinating insects to your patch, but they can turn that so-so dinner into a culinary masterpiece. Try coriander, rosemary, basil, parsley and borage. ‘

A gardening expert has previously told us more about growing your own Christmas dinner here.

June

Now it’s time to focus on spruce – among other autumn vegetables.

Holly says: ‘There are plenty of opportunities during the season to plant potatoes, but if you put them in now, they are ready in three months and should be stored well into the winter.

‘You can now sow courgettes, pumpkins and squash outdoors.

‘Zucchini are productive on an epic scale. One or two plants will provide everything you need. Five or six and you will dip them on your neighbors, friends and strangers on the train.

‘Also, why not try some fennel? It’s a fortune to buy in the supermarket and you can sow it outdoors at the end of this month.

»You can also sow French beans this month. These plants are real troopers that produce amazing amounts of beans – and the more you pick, the more they produce. ‘

July

In July, Holly explains that we are past the sowing height of the season – but there is still plenty of growth time left in the year.

“Continue with lettuce leaves and lettuce and you will be eating salads all year round,” she adds. ‘Just make sure they are watered regularly, otherwise they will quickly stop making leaves and go to seed.’

She also suggests giving rainbow chard a try.

‘It is easy to grow and lasts well into the winter. You can use the stems in soups and stews and the leaves as spinach or cabbage, “she continues.

August

illustration of man harvesting lettuce in the garden

Time to harvest your treats (Photo: Getty)

This month’s main focus will be on harvest, but it’s also a good time to sow cabbage that is ready for spring.

Holly says: ‘Also give some Kohl Rabi a try. It is a fast growing member of the cabbage family and can be eaten raw or cooked.

‘If you have grown coriander, let the plant go to seed and you will be able to harvest them for use in cooking or as seeds for next year.’

September

There is not much that can be done when we go seriously towards autumn, Holly emphasizes.

She says: ‘The exception to this is some winter lettuce and lettuce leaves such as arugula and mizuna as well as spinach.

‘If you’ve grown strawberries this year, you have lots of new plants from the runners the plant sends out after fruiting. Get them planted now and they will be established in time for next year. ‘

October

The days get shorter as we go into the fall, but it’s a good idea to think ahead to next year.

Holly says: ‘You can sow farm beans now or next month for overwintering (when the plants are waiting out for the winter season), as well as hardy pea varieties.

‘If you have space, autumn is a good time to plant raspberry stalks or fruit bushes like blueberries or gooseberries. It gives them time to get ready for spring. ‘

November

The old saying for growing garlic is to plant on the shortest day and harvest on the longest. Stick carnations in the ground now, and the longer they are in the ground, the fatter onions you will germinate, “adds Holly.

She also recommends going to your local garden center and buying some onion sets.

This is because they happily tolerate winter weather, so you get earlier bulbs than if you had planted them in the spring.

December

“It’s tumbleweed time on the vegetable patch this month in terms of sowing and planting,” Holly emphasizes.

“Sit back, relax and reflect on how great you have done growing your own vegetables.”

If you feel like planting one thing this month, let it be rhubarb.

Holly adds: “Despite the fact that the weather is cold, wet and possibly snowy, this is a surprisingly good time to plant rhubarb – it’s hard as nails and loves cold.

“You can plant it now, as long as the soil is not waterlogged, even if you have to leave it a year before you harvest the stems.”

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