Cauliflowers are pricey to buy in the supermarkets so if you can grow your own, it’s really worthwhile. They take up quite a bit of space, need rich, deep soil and need plenty of watering, especially in summer, but they can be grown all year round.
Rhubarb is grown primarily for its fleshy stalks, technically known as petioles. The use of rhubarb stems as food is a relatively recent innovation, first recorded in 17th century England, after affordable sugar became available to common people, and reaching a peak between the 20th century's two world wars. Sometimes thought as a fruit it is indeed a vegetable
Broccoli encompasses two slightly different vegetables from the same family; Calabrese, these form large green almost cauliflower-like heads, and sprouting broccoli, which as the name suggest throw out a mass of smaller, seperate heads or florets on long stems. One portion of boiled broccoli (100g) provides over half of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C reason enough to grow it!.
Garlic is a really healthy vegetable, and is popular in Mediterranean and Asian cooking, so it’s hardly surprising it has become popular to grow at home or down the allotment. Garlic is simple to grow and you’ll get plenty of fat, juicy garlic bulbs, if you grow in a sunny site. Don’t be tempted to plant garlic cloves from the supermarket though, buy from a garden centre or mail order supplier.
Beetroot are easy to grow and ideal for anyone new to vegetable gardening, great for teaching children how to sown seeds as they seeds are quite large.
The humble Radish is an incredibly easy vegetable to grow, as they tolerate most soil types and are quick to crop (usually within three weeks). They're delicious eaten raw, offering a fiery burst of flavour to salads. There's a wide variety of cultivars to choose from too, ranging from near spherical red-and-white roots, to long, thin white radishes, also known as mooli.
Florence fennel, a wonderfully ornamental vegetable, is grown for its swollen leaf bases or ‘bulbs’ and edible leaves. When using in salads, the flavour can be improved by slicing the bulb and putting it in a bowl of water and ice cubes in the fridge for an hour. Steam, grill or boil the ‘bulbs’ and serve with cheese sauce or butter; infuse the leaves in vinegar or add as garnish to salad.
A roast dinner isn’t complete without roast parsnips – and they add a whole new dimension to stews and casseroles too.The good news is parsnips are easy to grow, need little maintenance and can be left in the garden until you’re ready to use them. Sow in spring and you’ll have parsnips in the autumn.
One of the most fun vegetables to grow is the pumpkin, especially for children, who can't wait to harvest big, colourful pumpkins to make lanterns for Halloween! Pumpkin soup is also a tasty treat, but don't stop there, they have so much more to offer!