What to Grow

What to Grow
  • Herbs
    Herbs deserve a place in any VegTrug. They are easy to grow and can be very attractive. Put your VegTrug in a nice sunny spot close to the kitchen as you will be harvesting your herbs regularly. Herbs have many uses from cooking to cosmetics and also medicinal properties.
    Basil is a lovely fragrant herb which is important in the making of Pesto. It does however; need to be protected early in the season if there are frosts around. Plant a pot-grown specimen in early June in a well drained sunny spot place about 20cm apart and pinch out shoots to create a bushy plant.

    Bay is usually grown as a bush or a small tree and is used for flavouring soups and stews, the leaves can be used fresh or dried.  Plant a pot-grown specimen in late April early May.  They can be pruned quite hard and shaped. Pick leaves as required.

    Chervil is a relative of Parsley and is used with a wide range of dishes including fish. Sow in shallow drills made 30cm apart, make sure the soil is well-drained and sow in August. The plants will then have a longer season for the leaves to be used and for the seed to mature.

    Chives are wonderful chopped into salads giving a lovely onion flavour. Chives are a hardy perennial - reproducing itself from small bulbs - growing to 30cm tall. It is propagated by division every three to four years; the bulbs are teased apart and replanted into rich soil, plant about 8in (20cm) apart in spring or autumn. Plants may be raised from seeds sown in shallow drills in April. The plant should not be cut until their second year. Whilst chives will grow almost anywhere, they seem to have a better flavour if grown in sunny, dry situations. Not being allowed to get too lush with watering or over-feeding.

    Coriander likes dry light soils and the leaves are used as flavouring in many Middle Eastern and South East Asian cookery, the seeds are also used as a spice. Plant coriander where you want it to grow; it quickly develops a deep taproot that doesn't respond well to transplanting.  Sow seeds 1.5cm deep after all danger of frost has passed. When plants emerge, thin them to 10cm apart and mulch to conserve moisture and deter weeds. Keep a close eye on young plants to make sure they don't dry out, but once established, coriander needs little water.  Ensure a steady supply of leaves by sowing succession crops every three weeks until late summer.  Harvest entire plants when they're about 15cm high if you want only the leaves.

    This is a fast growing herb. Dill does not like to be disturbed so sow the seeds in your VegTrug in April where the plants are to grow and thin to 20cm apart.

    Garlic can be used in all types of cooking. Plant individual cloves 6cm deep and about 9cm apart in March. Apart from watering there is nothing else to do until the foliage turns yellow in July or August. Lift the bulbs and allow to dry under cover., then store in a cool place.

    Mint is a quickly spreading plant that is very easy to grow and is wonderful for flavouring all those lovely new potatoes.  Also makes a wonderful refreshing tea.  The best way to plant mint is within a small container within the VegTrug as the mint can take over. Plant small pieces of root 6cm deep and 15cm apart in late April early May or early September.  Top dress with compost in the Autumn.

    Nasturtium is a pretty trailing plant with bright orange and red flowers, the leaves can be used in salads and the fresh seeds are a good substitute for capers.  Plant out in April about 3cm depth and about 20cm apart.  You can use a trailing variety that can hang over the side of you VegTrug.

    Parsley is an important herb used in lots of recipes.  Sow seeds 3cm deep in April for a summer and autumn crop and again in August for winter use. Germination is slow and can take up to 2 months.  Seedlings should be trimmed to 15cm apart.  Pick regularly for a continuous supply of fresh leaves

    Rosemary is another evergreen herb good with lamb. You can sow seeds in May or buy a pot-grown plant and plant in the spring. You can sow seeds in May or alternatively buy a pot-grown plant and plant in a sunny sheltered spot.

    Sage is an evergreen herb native to southern Europe and is used a lot for flavouring. Sage can be propagated by cuttings from the end of April through to September. Insert the cuttings 30cm apart in a lightly shaded place; leave them until they are well established, then they can be removed and placed in a permanent position. Sage prefers chalky soil in sunny areas, but will thrive in a fertile workable soil with good drainage, water well until moist. Old plants tend to get woody, so replace every 3-4 years. Cutting back hard in spring can rejuvenate the older plants. Sage tea is also said to be good for the throat and ears.

    Tarragon has aromatic leaves that are used in fish and meat dishes and can also be used in salads.  It needs a sheltered position and you can plant a pot-grown specimen in March.  Remove the flowering shoots to maintain a fresh supply of leaves on the bush.

    Thyme is a fragrant herb of the Mediterranean and it grows easily in light dry soils.  Plant in late April early May in your VegTrug in a sunny spot at about 20cm apart.  Pick leaves as required. It grows new stems, which need to be divided and planted every two or three years.

  • Vegetables
    Nothing quite compares to the satisfaction you get growing your own Vegetables in your very own VegTrug. They can be easily grown especially from seed and different varieties can be harvested all year round. Your mother always said, "Eat your vegetables" and she was right. Vegetables are a great source of vitamins & minerals that help keep your body healthy.
    Beetroot is an excellent source of betain (one of the B vitamins) and helps to keep you healthy. Tiny immature beets can be eaten raw in salads but generally they are better cooked.

    Sow your beetroot main crop in early summer (April and May) and you only need a couple of seeds every 15cm in the row. Put the seeds in 2 to 3cm deep. You will have to thin them, as the seeds are multiples. The very young beets that are thinned can be eaten raw in salads.

    Leave them in the VegTrug until you need to use them or until the first heavy frosts set in otherwise pull them in the autumn (September or October). Make sure that you twist rather than cut the tops off, not too near to the roots themselves. Store them in sand in a cool place for use over the winter.

    My Mum always told me that carrots help you see in the dark. I'm still not sure about that, but I am sure that I do love carrot cake! One thing I do know is that they have more vitamin A than anything else we are likely to eat. They store well through the winter and can be eaten raw in salads or cooked with absolutely anything.

    Sow carrots in the late spring (March through May). Sow them quite shallow and tamp them down a little after sowing. It might even be a good idea to sow some radishes in the row so that you can see where they are before the carrots start to show above the soil. You can then pull the radishes for eating as soon as they are ready and leave the carrots to come through. Some people also like to intercrop carrots with a few onions as it is believed that the carrot flies are put off by the onions and the onion flies are put off by the carrots!

    It is a good idea to water the rows well to encourage germination and make sure that you never let any weeds grow in your carrot rows. To get a heavy crop you can thin out the rows as they start coming through so that you see plants every 8cm or so along the row. After this, you can thin again (harvesting every other carrot) to leave them around 15cm apart. After thinning each time, make sure that you tamp down the earth again. This method will produce big carrots, which are excellent for winter storage.

    Harvest the main crop late summer (as late as October) and before the first frost of winter. Carrots can be stored in a cool place in sand but make sure that you do not wash them or they will need to be eaten immediately.

    Cauliflowers are not a beginner's crop, but one which yields well in the VegTrug with care and attention.

    Sow in late spring (April and May) 60cm apart in rows using the centre (deepest) part of the VegTrug. Make sure that your cauliflowers always have plenty of moisture, as they can't withstand drought. Keep them growing, top dressing with fertiliser and nitrogen if necessary.

    Harvest in July and August when they are ready. Early in the morning is best. Never boil them to death!

    Lettuce is the firm base of any salad throughout the fair months of the year. You should experiment in the VegTrug with different varieties as some are more crisp than others! Sow about 2cm deep in rows in the spring and then thin the plants out to about 30cm between the plants. You can re-plant the thinning’s into another row (or another VegTrug) because they do transplant easily.

    Don't sow too many at one time but instead try and keep sowing a few each week throughout the summer. Keep the soil around the plants weed free and water whenever necessary.

    Peas are best when they are eaten green, fresh and in season. They can be gown in the VegTrug a little way in from the back or front edge and will produce a wonderful crop.
    Plant them in a small trench throughout the length of the VegTrug in spring from February through May. For a very early crop sown in February, favour round seeded peas if you have a mild climate. Most of the crop should be sown mid-March onwards however and you can make successional sowings in the VegTrug right into July. For your last sowings late in the summer, use 'early' varieties, which will ripen quickly before any frosts come.

    Dig a little trench about 8cm deep with a hoe and plant each pea 5 - 8cm apart. Cover and firm the soil over the peas. It will help a great deal if you have soaked the peas for 2 or 3 days first to get them germinating so that they sprout early.
    Pick them young to eat raw in salads. When the pods become tightly packed, use them for cooking.

    Potatoes are a staple of our diet and one of the best sources of energy we can grow. They are also our main source of vitamin C throughout the winter.

    Potatoes love peat and are one of the few crops that love acid soil. For very early potatoes you can 'chit' your seed potatoes ie lay them in trays or even egg boxes in the light, but not in the frost - 5 to 10 deg C is about right. When you plant them be careful not to knock off all the shoots, but leave 2 on each tuber. Don't chit the main crop, but put them straight in the VegTrug in the late spring.

    Plant early potatoes in rows about 8cm deep and 45cm apart. The main crop can be planted later in a row towards the middle of the VegTrug about 13cm deep and still 45cm apart.
    As soon as the leaves show band earth lightly over the potatoes. Earth up again 3 weeks later and with the main crop, again 2 weeks after that.

    You can start to harvest and eat the early potatoes when they are quite small and then continue to harvest until they are finished. If you have put in 'second earlies' you can then go on to harvest them. Your main crop will then take over for immediate eating. but don't lift the bulk of the main crop until the tops have completely withered away. Fork them out carefully and let them lie on the ground for a day and a half to set the skins. Do make sure that you don't leave them longer than this as they may go green (in which case they become poisonous). They can then be stored in the dark. Never allow your potatoes to be affected by frost or they will go bad.

    Radishes added to salads provide a wonderful extra flavour, crunchiness and colour. They are very easy to grow in the VegTrug. Sow the large seeds in drills and simply pick them when they are ripe, usually within 6 weeks.
    Put them in all through the spring and summer (you can start in March and April) for a constant supply of tender young radishes. Never let them get old and go to seed. Keep sowing and harvesting every 6 weeks. What could be nicer!

    Runner Beans have a wonderful flavour and need tall sticks to climb. They like rich and deep soil. Plant them in a long row towards the centre of the VegTrug (where it is deepest). They should be planted about 5cm below the surface and about 20-25cm apart. They should be sown in early summer (May or June). Put tall sticks in early enough to give the plants a good start.

    Keep them well watered especially in a dry season. Mulch with compost and spray the flowers with water occasionally.
    To harvest the plants just keep on picking. They should be ready in July, August and September, usually producing a large crop.

    Onions are a very easy vegetable to grow and store and few have more uses in the kitchen making them an excellent candidate for the VegTrug.

    Onions are planted late February through to early April. Spring onions are sown from March to July for pulling from June to October. If you sow in August you will get a crop the following March to May. Sow the onion seeds very thinly into drills (holes) in a row only 2cm deep, in rows around 20 to 25cm apart. Carefully cover the onion seed with soil and gently water in. They will germinate in around 21 days.

    Thin out your onion seedlings when they have pushed through the soil and are standing vertical to about 3 to 5cm so that they stand about 5cm apart. You can then thin them again later pulling every other plant until they are about 10cm apart. Make sure that the soil is moist when you pull the onions and that you clear the thinning’s properly so as not to attract the onion fly.

    You can also purchase onion sets which are young seed onions grown especially for ready planting. Simply empty the onion sets into a tray and keep them in a cool dry place until you are ready to plant them. Cut off any excess dead growth from the growing tip so that birds do not pull at them. Plant from mid March through to mid April 10cm apart in each row. Just make a small hole in the soil with a trowel and put the onion set in so that the growing tip is just below the surface of the soil. You can then firm the soil around it. Do make sure that you water in after sowing.

    Make sure that you feed occasionally with a liquid fertiliser and water them only if the weather gets dry. Cut off any flower stems that appear because you want all the energy going into swelling the bulb and not setting seed. Stop watering once the onions have swollen and begin to ripen.

  • Fruits
    Don’t let the name fool you, VegTrug’s are perfect for growing all of your favourite fruit. Fruits taste great individually, in a smoothie, even as a nice jam on your toast. Fruits are the ultimate brain fuel, making your brains recall information faster. Which is great for remembering your grandma’s apple pie recipe!
    Good source of Vitamin E, which helps your body’s defences. Blackberries will grow in most types of soil with minimal fuss.
    In early spring (around March), use fertiliser to aid growth and water well. From around August, Blackberries will be ready for picking.

    Blueberries are a natural superfood! Blueberries are proven to increase general health of the body, heart and mind. Blueberries are great in Ice Cream, Smoothies and they can be easily frozen or eaten straight from your own VegTrug! They also go well with other fruit such as apples, bananas, raspberries and strawberries.

    It is advisable to plant two different varieties of blueberries to ensure cross-pollination and to maximise blueberry production. They need to be grown in acidic (ericaceous) soil and require full sun or light shade. Blueberry bushes come in evergreen and deciduous varieties and can grow up to 1.5m high.

    Raspberries contain high quantities of potassium, Vitamin A and Calcium. They are also one of the best natural antioxidants, which helps repair your body’s cells and helps to prevent diseases.

    When planting raspberries in your VegTrug use a single bamboo cane, plant two raspberry canes at the base and secure. The majority of raspberries are harvested between early and late summer. Raspberries can be demanding! So make sure you feed well in the Spring and keep well watered during the summer.

    Strawberries are excellent sources of Vitamin C and if you grow different strains, they will produce fruit all summer.
    Put the small plants in during August and set them 30cm apart along the back or front of the VegTrug. This is the shallowest part of the VegTrug and they shouldn’t be planted too deep as the roots are shallow.

    Weed the bed around the plants often and mulch heavily with peat. If you do not have peat available, you can put straw below the plants to keep the strawberries clean. Strawberries can be left to fruit for 3 years and then they should be scalped. Establish a new bed every year for a constant supply.

    Plant seedling tomato plants in the VegTrug in the first warm weather of summer. Plant carefully, retaining as much compost on the roots as you can. Give each plant a tall stake as it grows taller and heavier.

    You can cover the soil with clean straw to protect the fruits and pick out any side shoots as they grow. Pamper your tomatoes and water them whenever needed. A good idea is also to soak some muck in a bucket of water and then water the tomatoes with this. In this way, you are fertilising as you water them.

    As the plants grow taller, tie them to the stake with raffia or string. In dull climates you can ripen the tomatoes by laying them down flat on clean straw covering them with a cloth. They should be ready for harvest by August and through September.

    Tomatoes grown in the VegTrug will be noticeably better than those bought in the supermarket which are often grown for a long shelf life rather than for flavour.

     
       

Links
Nothing quite compares to the satisfaction you get growing your own Vegetables in your very own VegTrug. They can be easily grown especially from seed and different varieties can be harvested all year round. Your mother always said, "Eat your vegetables" and she was right. Vegetables are a great source of vitamins & minerals that help keep your body healthy.
Beetroot is an excellent source of betain (one of the B vitamins) and helps to keep you healthy. Tiny immature beets can be eaten raw in salads but generally they are better cooked.

Sow your beetroot main crop in early summer (April and May) and you only need a couple of seeds every 15cm in the row. Put the seeds in 2 to 3cm deep. You will have to thin them, as the seeds are multiples. The very young beets that are thinned can be eaten raw in salads.

Leave them in the VegTrug until you need to use them or until the first heavy frosts set in otherwise pull them in the autumn (September or October). Make sure that you twist rather than cut the tops off, not too near to the roots themselves. Store them in sand in a cool place for use over the winter.

My Mum always told me that carrots help you see in the dark. I'm still not sure about that, but I am sure that I do love carrot cake! One thing I do know is that they have more vitamin A than anything else we are likely to eat. They store well through the winter and can be eaten raw in salads or cooked with absolutely anything.

Sow carrots in the late spring (March through May). Sow them quite shallow and tamp them down a little after sowing. It might even be a good idea to sow some radishes in the row so that you can see where they are before the carrots start to show above the soil. You can then pull the radishes for eating as soon as they are ready and leave the carrots to come through. Some people also like to intercrop carrots with a few onions as it is believed that the carrot flies are put off by the onions and the onion flies are put off by the carrots!

It is a good idea to water the rows well to encourage germination and make sure that you never let any weeds grow in your carrot rows. To get a heavy crop you can thin out the rows as they start coming through so that you see plants every 8cm or so along the row. After this, you can thin again (harvesting every other carrot) to leave them around 15cm apart. After thinning each time, make sure that you tamp down the earth again. This method will produce big carrots, which are excellent for winter storage.

Harvest the main crop late summer (as late as October) and before the first frost of winter. Carrots can be stored in a cool place in sand but make sure that you do not wash them or they will need to be eaten immediately.

Cauliflowers are not a beginner's crop, but one which yields well in the VegTrug with care and attention.

Sow in late spring (April and May) 60cm apart in rows using the centre (deepest) part of the VegTrug. Make sure that your cauliflowers always have plenty of moisture, as they can't withstand drought. Keep them growing, top dressing with fertiliser and nitrogen if necessary.

Harvest in July and August when they are ready. Early in the morning is best. Never boil them to death!

Lettuce is the firm base of any salad throughout the fair months of the year. You should experiment in the VegTrug with different varieties as some are more crisp than others! Sow about 2cm deep in rows in the spring and then thin the plants out to about 30cm between the plants. You can re-plant the thinning’s into another row (or another VegTrug) because they do transplant easily.

Don't sow too many at one time but instead try and keep sowing a few each week throughout the summer. Keep the soil around the plants weed free and water whenever necessary.

Peas are best when they are eaten green, fresh and in season. They can be gown in the VegTrug a little way in from the back or front edge and will produce a wonderful crop.
Plant them in a small trench throughout the length of the VegTrug in spring from February through May. For a very early crop sown in February, favour round seeded peas if you have a mild climate. Most of the crop should be sown mid-March onwards however and you can make successional sowings in the VegTrug right into July. For your last sowings late in the summer, use 'early' varieties, which will ripen quickly before any frosts come.

Dig a little trench about 8cm deep with a hoe and plant each pea 5 - 8cm apart. Cover and firm the soil over the peas. It will help a great deal if you have soaked the peas for 2 or 3 days first to get them germinating so that they sprout early.
Pick them young to eat raw in salads. When the pods become tightly packed, use them for cooking.

Potatoes are a staple of our diet and one of the best sources of energy we can grow. They are also our main source of vitamin C throughout the winter.

Potatoes love peat and are one of the few crops that love acid soil. For very early potatoes you can 'chit' your seed potatoes ie lay them in trays or even egg boxes in the light, but not in the frost - 5 to 10 deg C is about right. When you plant them be careful not to knock off all the shoots, but leave 2 on each tuber. Don't chit the main crop, but put them straight in the VegTrug in the late spring.

Plant early potatoes in rows about 8cm deep and 45cm apart. The main crop can be planted later in a row towards the middle of the VegTrug about 13cm deep and still 45cm apart.
As soon as the leaves show band earth lightly over the potatoes. Earth up again 3 weeks later and with the main crop, again 2 weeks after that.

You can start to harvest and eat the early potatoes when they are quite small and then continue to harvest until they are finished. If you have put in 'second earlies' you can then go on to harvest them. Your main crop will then take over for immediate eating. but don't lift the bulk of the main crop until the tops have completely withered away. Fork them out carefully and let them lie on the ground for a day and a half to set the skins. Do make sure that you don't leave them longer than this as they may go green (in which case they become poisonous). They can then be stored in the dark. Never allow your potatoes to be affected by frost or they will go bad.

Radishes added to salads provide a wonderful extra flavour, crunchiness and colour. They are very easy to grow in the VegTrug. Sow the large seeds in drills and simply pick them when they are ripe, usually within 6 weeks.
Put them in all through the spring and summer (you can start in March and April) for a constant supply of tender young radishes. Never let them get old and go to seed. Keep sowing and harvesting every 6 weeks. What could be nicer!

Runner Beans have a wonderful flavour and need tall sticks to climb. They like rich and deep soil. Plant them in a long row towards the centre of the VegTrug (where it is deepest). They should be planted about 5cm below the surface and about 20-25cm apart. They should be sown in early summer (May or June). Put tall sticks in early enough to give the plants a good start.

Keep them well watered especially in a dry season. Mulch with compost and spray the flowers with water occasionally.
To harvest the plants just keep on picking. They should be ready in July, August and September, usually producing a large crop.

Onions are a very easy vegetable to grow and store and few have more uses in the kitchen making them an excellent candidate for the VegTrug.

Onions are planted late February through to early April. Spring onions are sown from March to July for pulling from June to October. If you sow in August you will get a crop the following March to May. Sow the onion seeds very thinly into drills (holes) in a row only 2cm deep, in rows around 20 to 25cm apart. Carefully cover the onion seed with soil and gently water in. They will germinate in around 21 days.

Thin out your onion seedlings when they have pushed through the soil and are standing vertical to about 3 to 5cm so that they stand about 5cm apart. You can then thin them again later pulling every other plant until they are about 10cm apart. Make sure that the soil is moist when you pull the onions and that you clear the thinning’s properly so as not to attract the onion fly.

You can also purchase onion sets which are young seed onions grown especially for ready planting. Simply empty the onion sets into a tray and keep them in a cool dry place until you are ready to plant them. Cut off any excess dead growth from the growing tip so that birds do not pull at them. Plant from mid March through to mid April 10cm apart in each row. Just make a small hole in the soil with a trowel and put the onion set in so that the growing tip is just below the surface of the soil. You can then firm the soil around it. Do make sure that you water in after sowing.

Make sure that you feed occasionally with a liquid fertiliser and water them only if the weather gets dry. Cut off any flower stems that appear because you want all the energy going into swelling the bulb and not setting seed. Stop watering once the onions have swollen and begin to ripen.