10 of the best vegetables to sow in your garden now in time for summer eating

An assortment of freshly picked organic vegetables in a trug basket on an idyllic English allotment

You'll be able to enjoy a range of home grown vegetables this summer - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The RHS's expert gives his advice on the veg to grow in the garden now

With summer around the corner, preparations for the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park are in full swing. After last year’s postponement of one of the country’s greatest summer gardening events this year’s show is expected to be bigger and better, full of inspiration, workshops and horticulture experts offering advice for everyone who loves gardening, or fell in love with it during the long months of lockdown. If you’re looking for award-winning advice on achieving the gold standard of gardens, our new garden series is the best place to get it. Gathering information and guidance from experts from RHS Flower Show at Tatton, we’ll deliver advice on a range of gardening topics. This week, we’re looking at the best seeds to sow to get those home-grown summer vegetables.

Vegetables (courgette plants and beetroot) growing in a raised bed in a UK garden in summer.

Sow your seeds now to enjoy home-grown vegetables this summer - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Vegetable growing really takes off this month and it is a great time to sow seeds, ready for summer. Here are RHS chief horticulturist, Guy Barter’s, top 10 vegetables you can sow now for fresh home-grown produce in time for summer:

1. Broad beans crop in mid-summer with masses of pods of succulent beans. Witkiem cultivars grow fast, crop heavily and are very tasty.

2. Lettuce. Fresh tender lettuce is so easy to grow and there are so many types to choose from. Little Gem is sweet and crisp, while Red Salad Bowl adds colour to salads. Sow more every three weeks for a continuous supply.

3. Carrots grow quickly and sweet fingerling roots are sweet and delicate – ‘Romance’ is said to be the sweetest carrot but any Amsterdam or Nantes type will give good results.

4. Beetroot is tough and reliable – ‘Bolthardy’ is inexpensive and forms succulent roots. The leaves can also be eaten as a pleasantly earthy spinach substitute.

Someone holding grown beetroot in hand, with beetroot lying in basket

Did you know you can eat the leaves from a beetroot? - Credit: Getty Images/Cultura RF

5. Spring onions fresh from the garden have a fine tang. ‘White Lisbon’ is an old and reliable sort.

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6. Radishes are easy and if well-watered will have a sweet fresh mild flavour. ‘French Breakfast’ has particularly pretty oval red and white roots. Sow a few every three weeks for fresh young roots – an old radish can be rather fiery.

7. Calabrese or better, the new forms of broccoli with many side shoots, ‘Apollo’ for example, gives heavy crops of delicious and healthy heads.

8. Cabbages – sweetheart type cabbages grow quickly yielding delicious sweet little cabbages that are nice lightly cooked or grated for salads. ‘Dutchman’ is a good variety. Raise a handful of plants in April and May once a month – they tend to crop all at once so don’t overdo it.

9. Spinach grows quickly, very quickly, rapidly running to seed and becoming useless so sow some every fortnight. ‘Emilia’ is a good variety.

10. Peas. Mangetout and other edible podded peas produce masses of pods, but you only get a few pods per plant so grow plenty – ‘Lusaka’ has plump juicy ‘sugarsnap’ type pods.

Pea in their open pod held in a hand of a gardener

Make sure to plant plenty of peas - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The 2021 RHS Flower Show Tatton Park returns to Cheshire from July 21 to 25 for a floral extravaganza packed with inspiration and advice for those looking to garden and grow this summer. Tickets are available online now