April and May are the best months of the year to get planting. Your soil is warming up, and hopefully so are you – even if you are a little bit damp. But, what to grow in the garden now the last of the frosts are (hopefully) behind us? Time to dust-off your gardening gloves, dig out your trowel, find those old seed packets you forgot to plant last year and get growing! Below you'll find a few tasty vegetables to grow in the garden now spring is here.

And make sure to look after your hands before and after working in the garden: use a Heathcote & Ivory vitamin E hand cream and a parabens & sulphates free hand wash after pottering around in the mud.

Beetroot

beetroot

 

Beetroot is fast to harvest and tolerant of most soils, making it a relatively care-free vegetable to grow. Eaten hot or cold, it's a great way of adding colour to your salad, and is sweet and delicious. It can be puréed and served with meats, served in salads with cream cheese or mackerel, and even used in pasta dishes.

Soil
Tolerant of most soils.

Sun
Sun or partial sun.

Plant to Harvest Time
10 -18 weeks.

Produce
12 round types per metre.

Broad Beans

broadbean

Broad beans grow best in sunny locations and sheltered from the wind. When eaten fresh, they are extremely nutritious and high in protein. They are also more versatile than people think, and can be used as a stuffing for meats, sources and froths, mixed with rice or simply served as a delicious side vegetable.

Soil
Good draining soil.

Sun
Full sun.

Plant to Harvest Time
14 weeks.

Produce
Average of 5kg for each 3 metre row.

Carrots

carrots

Carrots are one of the easiest vegetables to grow in cooler climates. Maincrop varieties do best with some shade, especially in mid-summer. They are also rich in vitamin A, calcium and a good source of fibre. Honey glazed, cumin roasted, with chives, sesame or thyme - carrots provide endless possibilities in the kitchen.

Sun
Partial shade.

Soil
Very well dug and light soil.

Plant to Harvest Time
16 weeks.

Produce
6kg per 5 metre row.

Cauliflower

cauliflower

Keep cauliflower well watered and be sure to protect the curd (middle) from the sun in order for it to turn white. We've all heard of the classic cauliflower cheese, and why not, but cauliflower can be puréed, spiced, used in soups, eaten raw in salads and contains a good portion of vitamin C.

Sun
Full sun or partial shade.

Soil
Neutral or slightly alkaline soil.

Plant to Harvest Time
18-24 weeks.

Produce
The yield is 0.5-1kg per plant, 5-7 plants per 3 metre row.

Courgette

courgette

Courgettes will grow into marrows if left, but are at their best when only about 10cm long. Courgettes have a multitude of uses including deep fried as tempura, stuffed, sautéed in butter, and even added to cakes for moisture. They are relatively easy to grow and can be grown in pots, as long as they are well watered.

Soil
Good draining, rich soil.

Sun
Full sun.

Plant to Harvest Time
12 to 14 weeks.

Produce
15 fruits per plant.

Lettuce

lettuce

Because lettuce prefer cool conditions they are great for the UK, and grow well around other vegetables, often benefiting from the shade they provide. Not just a salad item, lettuce is more versatile than you might first think, and can be blanched, added to risotto, and even used in soups.

Sun
Partial shade.

Soil
Soil well dug and non-acidic.

Plant to Harvest Time
11 weeks average.

Produce
3 lettuces per 1 metre row.

Runner Beans

runnerbeans

Ideal for the beginner gardener, runner beans are very forgiving, robust and in need of little attention. They also make an attractive addition to the garden with their red and white flowers. They produce large crops, freeze well, and can be wok-fried, used in salads, or simply served alongside meats as a nutritious side dish.

Sun
Full sun, sheltered from wind.

Soil
Well-dug water retaining soil.

Plant to Harvest Time
13 weeks.

Produce
5kg per metre.