Must grow fruit and veg
|

9 Fruit & Veg I Always Grow!

Sharing is caring!

From crisp greens and vibrant tomatoes to juicy berries and colourful squash, my chosen produce will add colour and flavour to your meals. So, let’s explore these nine fruits and vegetables you’ll want to grow in your garden or container year after year.

As a keen gardener, these are nine fruit and veg varieties that I always include in my garden due to their taste, versatility, and ease of growth.

What I Grow

So here is my list; I have also included the varieties that I like to grow in case you want to try them for yourself.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a staple in my garden because they are easy to grow and extremely versatile in cooking. From sandwiches and salads to sauces and salsa, tomatoes add vibrant flavour to various dishes.

Homegrown tomatoes taste completely different from those bought in a store, and you must try them.

In a greenhouse or polytunnel, they are easy to grow but you can also have a lot of success growing them outside, even “up north” where I am.

Tomato Plants in a raised bed
Tomato Plants in a raised bed

My Chosen Varieties

Sungold – One of the tastiest cherry toms about
Crimson Crush – Blight-resistant slicing tomato
Big Mama – Huge plum tomatoes for sauce making

Cucumbers

Cucumbers are a refreshing veg to grow. They can be consumed raw, used in salads, or even pickled for a tangy, crunchy treat.

They are also one of those veg most of us have in our fridges at all time, so by growing my own, I save some brass. They are productive too, with one plant providing many cucs!

And my daughter loves them, so I have to grow them.

Ive got a job on to keep this little one well stocked with cucumbers
Ive got a job on to keep this little one well stocked with cucumbers

My Chosen Varieties

Passandra F1 – All-female greenhouse variety
Marketmore – Grows well outdoors

Lettuce

Lettuce offers the ultimate taste of summer with its crisp, fresh leaves. Easy to grow and productive, it’s ideal for adding crunch to sandwiches and salads.

This is an essential veg, and one that can be pricy in the stores, particularly when looking at mixed salad bags. But growing is so simple that there is no real reason not to grow your own.

Hundreds of varieties exist, but I like to grow loose leaf, cut and come again lettuces. Whenever we need some lettuce, I pop up to the allotment and snip some off.

Loose Leaf lettuce
Loose Leaf lettuce

My Chosen Varieties

Mesclun Mix – Mixed lettuce leaves, perfect for replicating salad bags
Little Gem – Mini Iceberg lettuce, quick to crop
Tom Thumb – Mini butterhead lettuce, has a good taste

Peppers

Whether sweet or spicy, peppers add colour and flavour to meals. They can be eaten raw or cooked, and are a delicious addition to stir-fries, stews, and salads.

Another kitchen classic that is also expensive when bought from the shops. They grow well in my greenhouse but not so well outdoors. You may have more luck with outdoor peppers if you live further south.

I like to grow smaller sweet peppers as you get a much larger and quicker harvest than growing large bell peppers.

Sweet Pepper Seeds In My Milk Bottle Propagator
Sweet Pepper Seeds In My Milk Bottle Propagator

My Chosen Varieties

Aji Dulce – Sweet red long pepper, very productive
Mini Bell Yellow – As the name suggests, you get lots of mini bell peppers
Lemon Dream – Small but productive pepper that produces many long yellow sweet peppers

Winter Squash

Winter squash, including pumpkins and butternut squash, are grown for their sweet, nutty flavour and hearty texture. They store well and can be used in many comforting autumn and winter dishes.

I grow Uchiki Kuri. Both me and the wife love it roasted with a drizzling of maple syrup. It is probably our favourite veg that we grow now!

Uchiki Kuri on the vine
Uchiki Kuri on the vine

Peas

Easy to grow vertically, peas save space in the garden and provide versatile options for soups, stews, and salads.

Fresh peas are also one of the best-tasting crops around, they are so sweet you can’t help but snack on them, and I have to grow tonnes just so some make it back to the house.

Young Pea Seedlings
Young Pea Seedlings

My Chosen Varieties

Meteor – Early pea sown in early spring or even autumn and then overwintered
Alderman – My main crop pea, very high-yielding pea

Blueberries

Blueberries are a delicious, health-boosting fruit packed with flavour and antioxidants. Not only do they taste great in smoothies and desserts, but they’re also an attractive addition to the garden landscape.

They are also costly to buy as fruit, this becomes particularly obvious when you see how productive a few mature bushes can be.

Lots of Blueberries
Lots of Blueberries

My Chosen Varieties

Bluecrop – I haven’t tried other varieties, but I can say these are tasty and productive.

Strawberries

Nothing compares to the taste of homegrown strawberries. Enjoy them fresh, in jams or freeze them for later use (I doubt any will make it that far!). They grow well in containers, hanging baskets, or garden beds.

Strawberry Joy!
Strawberry Joy!

My Chosen Varieties

Marshmello – By far the best-tasting variety I have grown, super sweet.

Raspberries

Raspberries provide a juicy and tart flavour, perfect for summer desserts, jams, or eating fresh. These prolific fruit bushes are an asset in any garden.

I grow summer fruiting types, these fruit on last year’s growth, I find them more productive than autumn fruiting tomatoes which grow flower and fruit in a single year.

Raspberries
Raspberries

My Chosen Varieties

Glen Ample – Very productive and tasty summer raspberry

Growing Tips and Techniques

Before starting to grow the 9 fruit and veg, it is essential to understand the specific growing conditions each plant requires. This section will provide some general growing tips and techniques to ensure a successful harvest.

Firstly, proper soil preparation is crucial for healthy fruit and vegetable growth. Ensure the planting area has well-draining soil, amended with organic matter to promote nutrient uptake and water retention.

Providing the right amount of sunlight for each plant is also crucial. Most fruits and vegetables require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily, while some, like blueberries and strawberries, can thrive with a bit less.

Watering plays a vital role in the health of your plants. A consistent, deep watering schedule is necessary to prevent drought stress and promote strong root development. However, be mindful of overwatering, which can lead to root rot and other health issues.

Maintaining proper spacing between plants optimises growth and yield. Each type of fruit or vegetable has its own spacing requirements, so consult the seed packets or plant labels for specific information.

Implement pest and disease management techniques to protect your fruits and vegetables. Regularly monitor your plants for signs of infestations or diseases, and use organic or chemical control methods as necessary.

It’s worth noting that some fruit plants require pollination support to produce fruit. Ensure that pollinator-friendly flowers are nearby, or consider attracting pollinators with plants like marigolds, lavender, or echinacea.

Proper pruning and training techniques will encourage fruit production and maintain plant health. Regularly remove dead or diseased branches, and thin crowded growth, and shape plants for optimal performance.

Lastly, regular fertilising throughout the growing season supports an abundant harvest. I use organic general fertilisers rather than those tailored to each fruit and vegetable. Although I do often use specific strawberry and tomato fertilisers.

What are your “must grow” fruit and veg? Let me know in the comments below!

Daniel

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *