TopVeg – growing veg,fruit&herbs

April 25, 2009

Supporting Tomato Plants.

Filed under: salad — Tags: , , — TopVeg @ 3:25 pm

 Supporting Tomatoes
Bush types  require no supports.
The main stem of cordon types needs supporting to stop it falling over. Canes or strings can be used.


tie tomato stem each 30 cm


If canes are used to  support the tomato plants, the main stem should be tied loosely to the cane as it grows. So there will be a string holding the stem to the cane every 30cm or so. Soft string should be used, so that it does not cut into the stem.

March 28, 2009

Types of Tomato

Filed under: salad — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 9:30 pm

A visit to a supermarket will confirm the great variation in the types of tomato, which include:

    * standard tomatoes – the common, red, round tomato
    * cherry – smaller, round, sweet & bite-size
    * plum – small, plum shape tomato often strongly flavoured
    * beef – large tomatoes, more common on the Continent
    * novelty – various colours & shapes

Tomato plants have several different habits:

*Cordon or vine type*

    * grow on a single stem
    * require support
    * grow several meters if not stopped
    * have a longer growing season
    * produce a regular supply of tomatoes
    * offer a larger range of colour, shape & size

*Bush Type*

   1. tall bush – 30-75cm high
   2. creeping bush, less than 25cm high, ideal for hanging baskets

Bush types:

    * do not require supporting, trimming or stopping
    * have a shorter season
    * tend to produce a glut
    * need straw or plastic sheets laid round the plants as many fruits
      are at ground level

*Indoors or Outside*

    * A greenhouse insures a constant supply of tomatoes regardless of  the weather. The greenhouse varieties are the cordon or vine type grown on a single stem
    * Outdoor tomatoes are grown in mild areas sheltered from cold winds.

Bush varieties & some cordon varieties are suitable for outside production. There are some dual purpose cordon varieties, which will grow in the greenhouse or outside, such as Ailsa Craig,  Alicante, Gardeners Delight & Moneymaker.

March 22, 2009

Grow Lettuce Leaves

Filed under: salad — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 10:21 am

NicheSaladLeaves   are an exciting blend of salad leaves which add a range of colours, tastes and textures to salads. The blend consists of Leaf Radish, Leaf Carrot, Wrinkled Cress, Kale Red Russian, Red Amaranth, Golden Purslane and Salad Burnet.

The seeds can be sown in succession, outside, from March to September.
Seeds can be sown from October to February under glass.

When the leaves are about 4″ high, they are cut off about 1″ above ground level and the leaves come again in no time.

The leaves are used in salads or as a garnish. Growing NicheSaladLeaves lettuce leaves in the garden gives a good source off fresh green leaves.

March 16, 2009

Growing Summer Radish

Filed under: salad — Tags: — TopVeg @ 9:08 pm


Sow radish seed under cloches in January or February or outdoors in
March until early June. Summer radish do not grow well after June, when
the roots become woody & peppery.


    * *Germination time – 4-7 days
    * *Yield from a 3 meter row – 2 kg
    * *Time between sowing & harvesting – 3 to 6 weeks
    * *Sowing depth – 1.25cm
    * *Spacing in row – 2.5cm
    * *Distance between rows – 15cm

*Summer radish grow best in a fertile, well drained soil. The radish
will grow almost anywhere, but it is worth preparing the soil well to
give a good seed bed  as they need to grow quickly to become tender and tasty. Early sown crops need a sunny spot, but some shade is preferred in summer.

Crop Care – rapid, uninterrupted growth is needed for tender radish.

    * *Thinning  is not necessary if the plants are spaced at 2.5cm intervals
    * *Protect the radish from birds & flea beetle. If beetles start to
      perforate the leaves spray with Derris
    * *Hoe between rows to       remove weeds
    * *Water when the soil becomes dry



*Pull when the round ones are thumb-nail size, & the long ones are thumb
length. If they get too big they will go woody & hollow.

*Storage – in a polythene bag in the fridge for a week


 * *Round radish:
      Cherry Belle – red
      Scarlet Globe – red

**Long radish:

French Breakfast

January 13, 2009

Plant Tom Thumb Lettuce seed

Filed under: salad — Tags: , , — TopVeg @ 11:13 am

Now is the time to plant Tom Thumb Lettuce seed on the kitchen window sill for an early homegrown lettuce from the vegetable garden.

As soon as it comes up transfer the lettuce to a frost-free unheated greenhouse, or a very light patch under glass. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, thin out gradually, but keep them about 15cm (6in) apart.

Tom Thumb is the smallest lettuce.

  • compact, solid butterhead type
  • delicious
  • soft leaves
  • very fast growing


This lettuce will be ready to harvest about 65 days after sowing.

To test if it is ready to harvest, press the head gently with the back of the hand, it is ready if it feels solid and barely yields to pressure.

Click the link for a how to grow lettuce grow card reference.

August 10, 2007

Mass Tasting of Lettuce Poll.

Filed under: salad — Tags: — TopVeg @ 10:54 pm

34 votes have been cast in the lettuce tasting poll which has been going
since the 18 July.  The results are suprising with Cos and Romain coming
out as a firm favourite.

August 9, 2007

Tomatoes are Ripe for Picking.

Filed under: salad — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 11:05 pm

Tomatoes are Ripe for Picking.



Tomatoes are ripening and some gardeners have started to pick them. The
Alicante tomatoes do well in the greenhouse.



The cherry tomatoes are so sweet when eaten straight from the vine.



Try this recipe for balsamic tomatoes

July 5, 2007

How to Grow Lettuce.

Filed under: salad — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 9:34 pm

Farming Friends & TopVeg have collaborated to create a How To Grow Lettuce growing card.



The card may be downloaded, printed off and pinned to the potting shed wall as a useful reference on how to grow lettuce.



We hope that children, as well as established vegetable gardeners, will find this useful, as they can grow lettuce in pots, containers or in the vegetable garden.

If you would like a copy of the pdf of the grow card for How to Grow Lettuce card please complete the contact form asking for the lettuce card.

Thank you Sara at Farming Friends for designing this lettuce grow card.

June 29, 2007

Instructions For Growing Summer Radish

Filed under: salad — Tags: — TopVeg @ 12:23 pm

Farming Friends & TopVeg have collaborated to create a How To Grow Summer Radish growing card.



The card may be downloaded, printed off and pinned to the potting shed wall as a useful reference on how to grow summer radish

We hope that children, as well as established vegetable gardeners, will find this useful, as they can grow summer radish in pots or in their own space in the vegetable garden.



Please complete the contact form below if you would like us to send you a pdf of the grow card for summer radish

Thank you Sara at Farming Friends for designing this grow card.

May 8, 2007

Vegetable Growing in Containers.

Filed under: salad — Tags: , , , , — TopVeg @ 5:17 pm
Vegetables can be grown in containers as well as in the vegetable
garden. All sorts of containers may be used, such as yoghurt pots,
cream cartons, plantpots or tubs. These may be kept on the windowsill,
doorstep, patio, balcony, roofgarden or in a windowbox.



Salad crops are easy to grow in containers. Radish, spring onions and
salad leaves grow quickly and are are happy in tubs. Successive sowings,
every two weeks ensure a constant supply.

The pots should have good drainage. Holes punched in the bottom of
yoghurt & cream cartons allow water out. Place the cartons in a saucer,
to catch the water draining through, so it does not make a mess. If
there are no drainage holes, the pots need to be large enough to hold
some stones, or broken crocs, which together act as a water catchment area.

Compost, or growing medium, is sold in supermarkets & garden centers.
It is possible to use garden soil, and the soil on mole hills is ideal.
But this is likely to be home to various bugs and worms which could eat
the growing vegetables, particularly as the pests cannot move away to
find any other food.

Vegetables grown in containers need to be in a light place. But avoid
placing them in a position where they will be baked by the sun. The
vegetables plants will need constant, probably daily, watering so that
they are always damp.

These French Breakfast radish were sown 2 weeks ago.




Spring onions grow more slowly. These White Lisbon onions have taken 2
weeks to emege.




Lettuce seeds are quite vigorous. A pot of mixed salad leaves can be treated as a ‘cut & come again’ crop.



The mixed salad leaves have different shapes, colours and textures,
giving a pleasing variety.

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