22 April 2021
Top 5 vegetables to plant this spring
Whether you've got a vegetable garden or a windowsill box, it's time to get planting veg this spring.
Spring is the perfect time to dust off your gardening gloves and get growing.
We round up the top vegetables to give a go this season.
Whether you're making a salad or want some greenery in your lunchtime sandwich, lettuce is the perfect easy vegetable to start growing.
Lettuce loves the sun, so pick a sunny windowsill or spot in the garden.
There are endless lettuce varieties to choose from. If you're growing in a pot or on a windowsill, it's best to choose loose-leaf varieties which grow well in small spaces.
Sprinkle your seeds thinly onto compost, ideally in rows. Cover the seeds with roughly 1cm of compost. Water regularly when the soil feels dry.
For a steady supply for lettuce through the summer, sow new seeds every two weeks to keep your crop going.
Eat lettuce as soon as possible after your pick it, as it will wilt quickly.
2. Spring onions
These easy to grow vegetables are quick growers that are perfect to get started with at this time of year, and are great to add to stir fries and salads.
Ready to start sowing from March, sow every couple of weeks to get a supply through the summer.
Sow them thinly, roughly 1cm deep. For the best flavour, havest when they're 15cm tall.
Carrots grow well in a sunny spot, in well-drained soil. For spring planting, choose an early variety which can be sown in spring and will be ready to pick around three months later.
A good early carrot type is a cultivar called ‘Nantes’, and a great one for a pot is ‘Paris Market’.
They are great for container growing. Sow 1cm deep in compost, 5cm apart, and firm the compost down with your hand.
They don’t need watering very often as they are drought-resistant.
They are ready to be harvested about 3 – 4 months after sowing. Slightly smaller carrots have better flavour, so don’t wait for them to get too large before pulling them up.
Sow the seeds around 5cm around from each other onto compost around 15cm deep. Cover the seeds over with 3cm of compost.
They are cluster seeds which means they're likely to produce several plants from one seed.
Thinning the plants out will produce bigger beetroot, so once the plants have grown to 3cm high remove all but one of the plants.
Let the plants grow to 5cm and begin harvesting for baby beetroot. Leave them to grow to 10cm for bigger beetroot.
This is a good time of year to start sowing squash indoors, ready to plant out after the last frosts.
This keeps the vulnerable shoots safe from cold weather and peckish slugs and snails.
Start sowing the seeds in April in pots on the windowsill or greenhouse, roughly 13mm deep in compost.
After the last frosts, you can start acclimatising them to outdoor conditions (this is called hardening off). You can do this by moving them outdoors in the day and bringing them inside at night for a week.
You can then plant them in the ground or in a large container outdoors.
Read & watch
21 September 2022
Family things to do at Wakehurst this autumn
21 September 2022
10 must-sees at Mexico this autumn
9 September 2022
Her Majesty The Queen
2 September 2022
A bitter mystery: Sequencing the world’s oldest plant genome
31 August 2022
Kew’s vast and unique collections move online
30 August 2022
Visit the spots at Kew as seen on TV