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Growing your own vegetables can be incredibly rewarding, and when planned right, you can enjoy delicious homegrown vegetables straight from your garden. Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned gardener, taking the time to plan out what you’re going to grow this year is an essential step.
Follow along with this 12-month vegetable sowing planner to learn how to get the most from your garden all year. Our downloadable vegetable calendar lets you keep on track with the best months of the year to sow your veg. Read on to discover our list of UK vegetables and the best times to plant them.
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Most vegetables are sown in the spring months between March and May. Some vegetables can be planted earlier or later in the year, especially if you’re sowing vegetables indoors prior to planting them outside. You may start the sowing process on a windowsill or unheated greenhouse, for example.
Sow: January - June
Peas can be sown in your garden as early as March, providing the soil is warm enough. It may be worth warming the earth with cloches if necessary. If you want to plant your peas as early as January, your seeds must be sown indoors to ensure they are warm enough.
Maximise your crop by planting every two weeks. This will mean you’ll have fresh peas from June to October.
Don’t forget: Peas need plenty of water, a good soaking twice a week, especially in dry periods, and mulch, mulch, mulch! Once the plants have been established, assist the plants by installing canes or a trellis.
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Sow: February - March
For a successful early crop, sow your broad bean seeds indoors in January/February ready for planting in March. Broad beans need plenty of sunshine, moist soil and good drainage to flourish. During the summer, ensure the soil is kept moist. Mulching is recommended to ensure all moisture remains.
Sow broad bean seeds in April and May to enjoy delicious broad beans throughout the autumn harvest. Broad beans can take up to 90 days to mature, so it's essential to be patient and provide the plants with proper care and attention.
Sow: February - July
Carrots can be planted as early as February! Carrots are cool-season vegetables that are easy to grow in different climates. There is no need to move them around over time, as they can stay in their original location from initial planting through to picking. Carrots are pretty resilient when it comes to stretches of minimal rain, but they still need some looking after.
Water regularly, but don’t panic and overwater. You will know when they need water as their leaves will begin to wilt. Providing you have cared for them well, carrots take around 12 weeks to mature, ready for harvesting in the summer.
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Sow: February - May
Parsnips should be sown in their mature position. They can be planted as early as February, but it is best to wait a little longer for the warmer months, such as March, April, and even May.
Parsnips prefer a soil pH between 6.0 and 6.8, and they need plenty of moisture and a long growing season to produce large, flavourful roots. Keep your parsnips sufficiently watered during dry spells. Be sure not to let the soil dry out or flood, as this will affect the quality of the harvest when it is time to pick.
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Sow: February - September
You can start sowing your radishes in February/March for summer crops. Sow fortnightly for harvests throughout the summer. If you are looking for a later harvest, plant Winter or Oriental varieties from June fortnightly for around two months.
Sow: March - April
Plant your brussel sprouts in early spring, around 4-6 weeks before the season’s last frost. Mulch is once again a crucial part of growing sprouts to help retain moisture in the soil. Choose a sunny spot in your garden with well-drained soil.
Brussels sprouts prefer soil rich in organic matter, so consider adding compost or manure to the soil before planting.
Sow: March - May
Potatoes are cool-weather vegetables and aren’t fussy when it comes to soil types. It’s best to plant potatoes two to three weeks before your last frost date. However, it is always best to prep your soil with fertiliser beforehand to guarantee a good harvest. Choose a sunny spot in your garden with well-drained soil, and prepare the soil by digging it over and removing any weeds or large clumps of dirt.
Plant the seed potatoes about 8 inches apart and 4 inches deep, with the sprouts facing upwards. Water the potatoes well and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. As the plants grow, you can mound soil around their base to help support the developing potatoes. When the plants flower and start to die back, it is an indication that the potatoes are ready to harvest.
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Sow: March - May
Springtime is the best time to start sowing your broccoli - unless you want to grow later varieties, in which case you will want to plant them in June. Multiple sowing times from April onwards will give you crops throughout the summer and autumn. Broccoli is a cool-season vegetable that is easy to grow in different climates. Choose a sunny spot in your garden with well-draining soil to get started.
Plant the seeds about an inch deep and 18 inches apart, and water them regularly. Once the plants are about six inches tall, add a layer of mulch to help retain moisture and control weeds. Harvest the broccoli when the heads are firm and tight, and enjoy the fresh, healthy vegetable.
Sow: March - May
Leeks aren’t fussy when it comes to soil. Providing it’s well drained and not too compact, there is no reason why your leeks shouldn’t flourish. Once planted, they will need a good soaking every 7-10 days to ensure they stay hydrated.
Once your leeks have grown to around 6-8 inches, you should relocate them to their maturing position. Leeks can be started from seeds or seedlings. If you are using leek seeds, plant them about 1/4 inch deep in the soil, and about 1-2 inches apart in rows spaced approximately 12 inches apart. Plant leek seedlings about 6 inches apart, in rows spaced about 12 inches apart. Water the seeds or seedlings gently, taking care not to wash them away.
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Sow: March - July
Beetroot belongs in the sun. The more sunlight, the better the harvest. It is better to wait until springtime to plant as they don’t appreciate the cold weather. Keep them watered and avoid letting them go dry. A good soaking every 10-14 days should be enough to keep them on track.
Sow: March - August
Growing times can vary depending on when you want to harvest your lettuce. Sow outdoors from March to July for a summer crop. Ensure there is total exposure to sunlight and moisture-retaining soil.
Plant every two weeks to ensure you have multiple harvests throughout the season. Once the lettuce plants have sprouted and are about 2 inches tall, thin them out, so they are spaced about 6-8 inches apart. This will give the plants enough room to grow without becoming overcrowded. Water the plants regularly, keeping the soil moist but not soggy.
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Sow: March - August
There is plenty of variety when it comes to cabbage. It depends on what season you’re growing for. There is winter cabbage and summer cabbage. Cabbage is a cool-season vegetable that can be grown in the spring or autumn.
Plant the cabbage seeds or seedlings about an inch deep and 18 inches apart, and water the plants well. They are ready to harvest when the cabbage heads are firm and tight.
Sow: March - August
Spinach is a cool-season vegetable that can be grown in the spring or autumn. Spinach, unlike most plants, doesn’t mind the cold weather. It can succeed in partial shade and sunlight. If too exposed to sunlight, it may bolt.
Plant spinach seeds straight into the ground or desired location roughly 4” apart. They are ready to harvest when the leaves are large enough to eat.
Sow: March - September
Spring onions are planted in their mature position. They are easy vegetables to grow with minimal effort involved. Plant your seeds from March onwards every three weeks for regular harvest until September/October.
Plant the seeds or seedlings in well-draining soil in a sunny location. Water the plants regularly and thin out any crowded seedlings. Fertilise the soil with a balanced fertiliser according to the package instructions. Harvest the spring onions when the tops are about 6-8 inches tall. Cut the onions at the base, leaving some of the roots attached to encourage regrowth.
Sow: April - May
Courgettes thrive in manure-rich soil/compost. Ensure the mature location for them is rich and well cultivated. For best results, begin by planting your courgettes in pots indoors; this keeps them warm and allows them to harden off before planting outdoors around 10-14 days after indoor planting, in late spring/early summer.
Once planted outside, you may want to cover it with a cloche to maintain warmth. As time passes, thin the crop out and leave the strongest plant. Water the soil regularly to ensure they are kept hydrated, and once they flower, feed them every 10-14 days with a feed high in potassium.
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Sow: May - June
Pumpkins are demanding when it comes to food and water, and they need to be cared for well to produce a good harvest. They don’t appreciate the cold weather so plant the seeds indoors, to begin with around mid-late April and hold out until May to grow outdoors in the sunshine.
Plant them in a 10” x 10” hole filled with manure-rich soil and leave around a generous gap (at least a metre) between the plants, depending on what type of pumpkin you’re growing. Water them plenty and add fertiliser to the soil.
For pak choi, you want to make sure you sow late spring-early summer for a good harvest. Sunshine and fertile soil should mean you get a plentiful harvest when ready.
Thinning out the seeds will help your crop flourish, and the pak choi removed can be added to salads to avoid waste. To prevent bolting, water regularly; this will ensure a full flavour.
Sow: October - February
You need sunshine, good drainage and fertile soil to ensure your garlic bulbs flourish. Plant from October to February for harvests throughout the summer.
Water generously through dry spells but avoid watering when plants are matured. When the leaves start to yellow and die back, this indicates that the garlic is ready to harvest.
Sow: November - February
Asparagus can be grown from seed or crown. Growing from seed requires more time then from crown - adding an extra year onto the 2-year growing process. Choose a spot in your garden with plenty of sunlight and well-drained soil. Asparagus plants can take a few years to mature, so it's important to choose a permanent location for them.
Prepare the soil by digging it over and removing any weeds, then create a shallow trench about 8 inches deep. Plant the asparagus crowns 18 inches apart in the trench, spreading out the roots and covering them with soil. Water the plants well and keep the soil moist. As the asparagus plants grow, they gradually fill the trench with soil to support the developing stalks. Once the plants are established, they will produce edible shoots for several years. Asparagus can be harvested when the stalks are about 6-8 inches tall.
Sow: February - April
For best results, begin planting your tomatoes indoors between late February to early March. If sowing outdoors, wait until any signs of frost has passed, usually late March to early April. Tomatoes love rich, fertile soil with good drainage. Use multipurpose compost if planting in pots. Water tomato plants regularly to keep the moisture level consistent. Changes in moisture levels can cause problems with fruit, such as splitting or blossom end rot. Plants in containers dry out quickly, so they may need watering daily in hot weather.
For maximum growth, feed plants fortnightly, starting with a balanced liquid feed, then switching to tomato feed when you see signs of fruit. Tomorite is a popular choice for tomato feed.
For more gardening insights, see our Help & Advice page where we share expert guidance from passionate UK gardeners.