This guide is an aide-memoir to what vegetables, herbs and salads you can sow and plant each month throughout the year. Its purpose is to both jog your memory and to suggest options should you need to play catch-up on your plot, such as ordering plug plants to fill any gaps.
In most cases a specific variety name is given for each crop (e.g. broad bean 'Crimson Flowered’) which can easily be looked up in either a paper or online catalogue. The varieties are a mixture of proven and recent introductions; many hold the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit - the mark of a plant’s reliability and performance under everyday garden conditions. Any special attributes, such as disease resistance, are highlighted.
Plant varieties come and go; those given here should all be readily available either by mail order or from gardening retailers. Some are are available as organically-grown seeds/plants.
What the terms in this guide mean
Sowmeans sowing seeds into trays, individual pots, multi-cell trays, or straight into the soil beds inside a greenhouse or polytunnel, or outdoors in a garden or allotment. Check seed packets for recommended sowing depth and spacing.
Plantmeans planting seed potatoes, onion 'sets’ (immature bulbs), garlic bulbs (as individual cloves), or plug/young pot or cell tray-grown vegetable plants you’ve grown yourself, or bought. Check labels for planting instructions.
Plug plants are young, ready-grown plants which arrive by post at the optimum time for potting up, or for planting in containers, or into the soil beds in a greenhouse or polytunnel, or outdoors. They are useful if you lack the time or facilities to raise your own plants from seed.
Send for now means ordering seeds, plug plants, seed potatoes, onion sets and garlic bulbs for delivery at the optimum time for sowing/planting.
Cut-and-come-again means fast-growing leafy crops grown for their young, tender leaves, which after cutting will sprout again two or three times.
Grafted plants are those where the top, fruiting part of the plant has been grafted onto vigorous roots. Grafted plants are sold by garden retailers and by mail order. They tend to crop earlier and are useful if you plant in the same greenhouse/polytunnel soil every year, and you have problems with soil-borne root diseases.
Frost-free means ensuring seedlings, young plants, or tubers (e.g. seed potatoes) aren’t exposed to temperatures at or below freezing.