The Neater the Row the Better the Veg?

I love Spring – everything is so new, green and full of promise. Apart from Christmas it’s my favourite time of year.

The Cabbages that I transplanted a couple of weeks ago are coming on a treat and are ready to be planted out in the garden. I made sure to dig in some lime before I planted them and firmed them in nice and snug – Brassicas like to have their roots tucked in.

I’m a sucker for a neat row and decided to make a little Cabbage patch over near the Peas. At this time of year your plan is starting to take shape and it’s a great time to make those last minute changes to it before your beds start getting filled up. Before you know it you’ll be wondering where on earth you will put that Courgette plant or row of lettuce.

Here at mtp I’ve been busy sowing and planting. Now that the nights are light I find that I can get a lot done in the hour between bath time and when it gets dark. Here’s what’s in already:

  • Peas – check
  • Potatoes – in, last week
  • Radish – sown (two rows)
  • Early Carrots – in, one sowing under the cloche, two sowings in the ground
  • Parsnip – one outdoor sowing
  • Spring Onions – in, but not up yet
  • Rocket – in, and up
  • Broccoli – sown in coldframe
  • Perpetual Spinach – ditto
  • Sweet Peas – four varieties sown in coldframe
  • Dwarf Sunflowers – sown in coldframe
  • Leeks – just pushing up in coldframe
  • Lettuce – check, check, check – early sowing in the coldframe, plus outdoor sowings last week
  • Broadbeans – 2 inches tall
  • Cabbage (summer) – seedlings transplanted
  • Onions – check
  • Shallots – check
  • Garlic – in and growing well
  • Tomatoes – Super blight-resistant variety (Ferline) sown, currently getting the 4-star treatment indoors

Currently harvesting:

  • Rhubarb
  • Kale
  • New Zealand Spinach
  • Perpetual Spinach
  • Herbs
  • Tulips

So that’s the view from mtp. Anyone else sowing anything else? I don’t like Beetroot, Sprouts and Celery so that’s why they’re missing from my list, but I’d love to know if anyone is having success with other stuff right now. Always room for one more as they say!

28 Comments on “The Neater the Row the Better the Veg?

  1. Thanks to your timely reminder my onions and shallots are doing well and all sprouting above ground now! Aubergines and peppers are growing well on my windowsills; I’m hardening off my courgettes under plastic bottles, and still have a whole host of things I haven’t sown yet (including my sweet peas). Think I should probably get a move on…

  2. I’ve got most of what’s on your list (not cabbage though) and have nasturtuims, cucumber, aubergine, roman chamomile and corriander sown in the grow-house. Still feel I have got loads to do.

  3. It’s been a busy spring for me. The last two years, I’ve not been able to work in the garden due to illness but I’m making up for lost time.

    The radish, carrots, lettuce, garlic, spinach, and cauliflower is up and growing.

    In a few more weeks, I’ll plant seed for the summer veggies (squash, corn, cucumbers, etc).

  4. What a great list, is helped me with mine, we are about two weeks behind but, with been up north is colder. Take care Fiona

  5. Growing garlic for the first time. I have overwintered it, planted end october at the same time as red onions which are doing amazingly well. The garlic seemed really happy, thrived after all the snow. But the green is beginning to turn yellow and bulbs dont seem to be very substantial yet. Is this normal? Advise woluld be very welcome.

  6. Looks like you’re on top of it. I’ve put some cauli’s and cabbages in the seedling trays but apart from that, same as you. Carrots are the hardest things to grow at this time of year…you just never know if they are going to appear!

  7. @Caz – My guess is that your garlic is doing just fine. It’s perfectly normal to see the garlic grow taller and the lowest set of leaves begin to turn yellow at this time of year. Bulbing won’t start (at least in Virginia, where I live) for another 3-5 weeks. Of course, if you can’t wait until summer, you can always dig them up now. They’re delicious any time of the year.

  8. I have also planted some cumin, corriander, parsnips, mange tout and pumpkins. It feels great to get planting again and to see all the little seed trays full again isn’t it? I love this time of year, there is a lot of promise about what is to come.

  9. Caz – I agree with Tripp, your Garlic is fine. My Garlic has yellow tips too. Once the tops start to yellow completely and turn crispy then they’re ready for harvest.

  10. Very happy to read about the garlic, ‘cos I’ve just noticed that mine are also yellowing at the base of the stems, and not having planted them before I didn’t know if this was to be expected or they’d died! Thank you.

  11. Pumpkins? Now there’s a thought? Should I put the seeds straight into the ground or start them off in the greenhouse?
    I didn’t have much luck last year, think it was too we, not enough sun perhaps?

  12. Sounds so good! Miles away from gardening but I dream of ladies fingers, brinjals, french beans… happy harvesting…

  13. Michelle – where are you in the world? It’s a little early for pumpkins here in the UK. I’ll probably sow some next month. I always start mine off in individual pots in the coldframe. I let them get to a really healthy size and wait for some warm weather before I plant them out. Also, I create a little moat around the stem so that when I water them all the water goes directly to the roots. They’re greedy little things those pumpkins.

  14. well your way ahead of me out in the garden, however in the old greenhouse I’ve got a whole load of stuff going on. French beans are 10cm high and itching to get out, Tommies are coming on, brocolli, sprouts, all doing well and I’ve planted a load out under plastic bottles, (perfect cloches if you use the 2 ltr ones) Carrots, onions and leeks all went out at the weekend. How marvellous it is to see the buds coming out on the trees, the hedges becoming full again and the garden full of birdsong – its a magical time of year. Woohoo

  15. You have been busy!

    I’m trying Ferline for the first time this year too.


  16. Hi enjoy reading your updates. And it’s made me think about growing some small cabbages in my garden. Is it too late to sow Hispi F1? I read that they can be grown at any time of the year. thanks.

  17. I’ve got Peas, Lettece, Carrots, Beetroot, Spring onion, and 2 types of tomatoes all doing well, plus loads of herbs and some strawberry’s. i don’t have any garden to speak of, just the flower beds that surround my parking space! turned 1 of these into a raised bed and covered with a 3m by 1m poly-tunnel with a fine mesh cover, and was given an old cold frame which has been given a new lease of life. I’ve been growing my own veg for about 5 years now and the mesh poly-tunnel works wonders. You certainly don’t need a large garden to grow your own!!

    Excellent site by the way.


  18. Hello mtp – well, my greenhouse is a thing of wonder, honestly. I bought it new for £500 and spent 3 glorious days putting it up in the sun a couple of weeks ago listening to some old tunes I have in the shed. Not only is it brilliant for the old seedlings, but its a wondefully calming place to sit, study my booklets on veg growing, sip a cup of tea and nosh on a couple of digestives. Even my little boy loves fiddling about in there and upturning the watering can. I hate to say, cos i dont normally believe in this sort of hoodoo, but it has real feng shui qualities, I just feel comfortable and at home in it. So there you go!

  19. Hi great blog, I have just spent several hours reading the entire contents, you made me laugh and taught me alot. my dad and grandad where great gardeners, like your dad, I never went through the teenage…er and??? phase! as they never talked about it and if I showed interest they included me, if I didn’t they left me alone, now I am cross with myself and them! they died before I could pick their brains and enjoy the moment! I have fragments of memories! I was soo jealous when your dad paid his first visit and cast judgement! oh for that moment! my mum had died years before so at 33 I was entering gardening as a orphan! haha! but actually I am now 39! now these are raw memories but good memories and thats why I garden, so that my children who have missed out on a set of grandparents can enjoy them! I tell them at every minute available about my gardening past! and I bet they learn to hate gardening! because I want to share my memories

  20. Hi Everyone,

    Really enjoy the blogg.

    Last year I took on an allotment, which was full of twitch grass. I’m about half way clearing it. It’s been quite a daunting task, but enjoyable, I think!!!

    I now have a strawberry bed, three blackcurrant bushes,two blueberry bushes,five Autumn Bliss raspberry canes,onions, garlic and spring cabbage. I’ve recently planted some Pentland Javlin and King Edward potatoes. Last week I was given some broccoli plants, and rather than waste them, have planted them in the ground I was preparing for my runner beans. I hate waste!

    Today I was there for about 3 hours in the wind and rain. Mad or what?

    Like you Heather, both my grandfather and Dad had allotments and I find myself remember how to do things from when I was a small child, helping my dad. It must be in the genes, but seems to have past both my brother and sister by.

    None of my friends or work mates are gardeners, so it’s nice for me to gleen advice from the rest of you, altough the others on the allotments are quite helpful.

    Bye for now.

  21. Stephanie – sounds like you’ve got everything ship shape. Up to date on all your planting too. Very impressive.

  22. Hi
    Really like the blog – I use mine to record what I’ve sown because otherwise I simply forget! My sweetcorn is getting stronger, no sign of my cucumbers yet, everything else other than brassicas (don’t grow them) is pretty much at the same stage as you :) Although everything other than the onions, carrots and broad beans are keeping their toes warm in my home grown greenhouse.

    Happy growing!

  23. Despite this being my first year growing veg since I was a child I decided to grow veg in “interesting colours” rather than the basics. This includes purple califlower, purple radish, black radish, black tomato, green striped tomato, White carrott…… I only hope that they will actually grow ok

  24. Is it too early then to sow pumpkins and squash? I’ve got mine growing on the windowsill and some have come up already. Mind you I find it’s worth keeping the ones that don’t come up because sometimes they suddenly spring up later just when you think nothing is going to happen.

    Fantastic pumpkin and squash harvest last year despite the rain. Stored them in the garage hanging in paper bags and still eating them in February.

  25. I am growing runner beans and french beans in my back garden in some raised troughs that I made in Leicester. They are growing under some old glass window frames.The runner beans are already a good 1 foot tall this is much earlier than recommended for this area as there is still a chance of ground frost until the end of may, or so I was told!. I will remove the frames at the end of the month and then my beans will have had a flying start! – Rich