Surrey Homes | SH56 | June 2019 | Kitchen & Bathroom supplement inside


The lifestyle magazine for Surrey - Inspirational Interiors, Fabulous Fashion, Delicious Dishes


in 12-14 weeks of sowing, so this is another crop that

can be sown a few times in the year. Beetroot doesn’t

have to be red either – there are yellow varieties and

a very pretty one called Chioggia with candy striped

flesh that will look amazing sliced into a salad bowl.

Radishes – another quick ‘catch’ crop that can be sown

in-between the rows of slower growing vegetables,

such as leeks and parsnips, as the radishes will be long

gone before the slow crop starts needing the room.

Khol rabi – grow, like radishes between other crops, as

these are amazingly quick too. You eat the swollen stem

of this plant, which swells like a golf ball halfway down

the stalk. It tastes like a broccoli stalk (the part that many

children leave on their plates). Slice it into stir-fries or serve

in a cheese sauce if broccoli stalks aren’t your thing…

Leafy crops

As temperatures rise and the soil starts to dry out, many leafy

crops panic and rush into flower. Known as bolting, this is an

annoying habit and hard to prevent. There are ‘bolt resistant’

(boldly claimed on seed packets) varieties of some crops

available, but the best thing to do is to avoid growing cool

season plants like spinach, rocket, mustard and coriander at

vulnerable times of the year. Make an early sowing of these,

so that they are ready to harvest just before the hot, dry

weather starts and then you can sow another batch in July and

August to harvest in the autumn and first part of the winter.

Spinach – bolt resistant types are available, but try

sowing several lots for baby leaves, then a perpetual

variety later on in the year, which has bigger leaves (a

bit like chard) and will last for a long time, possibly

through the winter if cloched during the coldest days.

Rocket – if you grow wild rocket and it runs to seed,

just leave it to self-sow and you will have a continual

crop of peppery leaves to harvest for many months.

Mustards – many mustards self-sow too and these

are great leaves to add to both salads and stir-fries

Lettuce and salad leaves – harvest any lettuces

before they bolt in hot weather and sow some more

in a shadier part of the plot. The most resistant salad

leaves are loose-leaved lettuces like ‘Salad Bowl’ and

‘Lollo Rosso’. You can keep picking these and new

leaves will grow in a ‘cut and come again’ way.


Coriander is notorious for running to seed almost as

soon as the first leaves appear, but there is a variety called

‘Cilantro’, or leaf coriander, which will just about manage

to contain its enthusiasm and withstand a few harvests.

Thyme, marjoram and mint should be picked while

young, before they start to flower – apparently the flavour is

strongest then. After flowering the sap may be slightly less

Top: Short Chantenay carrots are great to grow in containers

Middle: Spinach is at its leafy best now

Bottom: Harvest salad leaves before they bolt


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