Vegetable Seeds

We have a range of seeds for growing vegetables in your garden or allotment. For online shopping the minimum order is £5.

Beans (see French Beans)
Broccoli & Calabrese
Brussel Sprouts
Courgettes & Summer Squashes
French Beans
Pumpkins & Winter Squashes
Salad Leaves & Leafy Veg

The broccoli that is bought in the supermarket is calabrese, one of three types of broccoli, the other two being purple and white sprouting. Calabrese is harvested in the autumn and the sprouting varieties are overwintered and harvested in the spring. There are some sprouting varieties that have now been develped for summer and autumn harvesting. Calabrese produces one large head, whilst the sprouting varieties produce a number of smaller ones; the heads are actually the flowers in curled up casings.

These seeds are a selection of four modern purple sprouting varieties, selected to give top quality spears from February to May.
£1.55 per pack (app. 200 seeds)

CALABRESE, Marathon F1
This is a reliable and good sized variety with excellent flavour. Once you harvest the main head, you should leave the plant in the ground as it produces more spears that can also be harvested.
£1.69 per pack (app. 50 seeds)

These plants need fertile, well drained and firm soil.
Sowing: Mar-Jun
Sow outdoors thinly 1cm deep in rows 15cm apart in seed beds or large trays (sow calabrese where you want it to grow as it does not move well). Thin plants to about 7cm apart. When the plants are about 10-15cm move to the final position leaving about 45cm between plants (allow same space between calabrese). Plants can be sown early in the season indoors, hardening off for 10 days before planting out when the risk of frost has passed, but I find that outdoor sowing is more successful.
Growing and Harvesting
Water well in dry weather and mulch plants in the summer. You can also feed in the summer if desired. Harvest the head and spears when they are well formed, but before the flowers open. Calabrese will be ready to harvest by about 12 weeks, and sprouting broccoli by about 40-45 weeks.

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Brussel Sprouts, Groninger
These seeds have quite a wide growing season and produce tasty medium sized buttons that can be harvested from late October to January, so great for Christmas picking. The best flavour is achieved after the first frosts.
99p per pack (app. 125 seeds)

These plants need fertile, well drained and firm soil. Sowing.
Sow outdoors March to May thinly 1cm deep in rows 15cm apart in a seed bed or large trays. Thin plants to about 7cm apart and then plant to final position 75cm apart. Mulch and keep well weeded to help firm buttons to form.
Growing and Harvesting.
Water well in dry weather and mulch plants in the summer. You can also feed in the summer if desired. The buttons will be ready to harvest approximately 30-32 weeks from sowing.

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Carrots are a root vegetable that come in two types, early and maincrop, and within these types you can get long-rooted or stump-rooted shapes. Carrots do not like stoney soil, as it damages the roots, so the shorter stump-rooted kind can help to get round this problem, though you get less carrot for your money. It is best to grow long-rooted varieties in containers with good soil and compost.

This earlier maturing carrot is an older variety with a good texture, sweet flavour, and is popular for harvesting at the baby carrot stage. It is a good crop for limited space, as you can achieve 900 plants per metre squared. This also makes it an ideal crop for containers. Grows to about 8 cm. To store Chantenay, see below.
£1.39 per pack (app. 2000 seeds)

AUTUMN KING 2, Maincrop
This is a larger variety, growing up to 30cm, and has won the RHS award for Garden Merit. It is also good for storing (see bottom of post).
£1.49 per pack (app. 2000 seeds)

Choose a stone free area
These are general sowing times and there may be slight differences between varieties, full instruction are on individual packets.
Outdoor sowing: early crop Mar-Jun
The smell of carrots can attract carrot fly when pulled from the ground, so sow thinly so there is no need for thinning later. If you do need to thin, do so in the late evening. Wait till the soil is warming as carrots need a temperature of about 7 C to germinate. Sow 1.5cm deep in rows 15cm apart. Sow every three to four weeks for a regular harvest.
Care and Harvesting
Keep the weeds down completey around your carrots, and keep the ground moist (otherwise the roots can sometimes split). Carrot fly can be a major pest, ruining a crop. To prevent them cover your carrot plants with horticultural fleece, making sure that there are no access points for the flies. You can also confuse the flies by interplanting carrots with stronger smelling crops such as onions. Maincrop varieties can be sown in the early summer to avoid the egg laying period.
Carrots will be ready for harvesting after about 10-12 weeks for early varieties and 16 weeks for maincrop. Harvest as soon as they are ready; you can also harvest baby carrots earlier, which have a sweet flavour.
TO STORE: Leave the roots that you want to store in the ground till October, then dig up carefully and choose undamaged roots. Trim the leaves off and then pack into boxes of sand, and store in a cool, frost-free place, where they should keep through to spring.

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Cauliflowers can be tricky to grow, and are definitely the most difficult of the brassica family. This said, with care and attention you can grow some lovely cauli's.

The beautiful Romanesco cauliflower can be harvested whole, but you can also break spears off as required. As well as its unusual shape it also has a good taste and texture.
More praise for this veg can be found on The Guardian website, here.
£1.49 per pack (app. 250 seeds)

Cauliflowers need rich, deep soil and a good sunny position, and keep well watered especially in dry weather. Cauliflowers will need care to grow well, mulch well and use a liquid fertiliser.
Sowing: Mar-May
Sow thinly 1cm deep in rows 15cm apart in a seedbed or large trays. Thin to 7-8cm apart once the seedlings appear. When 10-15cm transport to the final growing position 60cm apart (75cm if you are going to overwinter them). (You can begin sowing indoors in late February and harden off for 7-10 days. To overwinter sow Sep-Oct in a coldframe and transplant in early spring.)
Growing and Harvesting
Harvest before the 'curd' opens or seperates as if you leave the plants too long the flavour will be impaired.

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Summer squashes come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours and include courgettes and marrows. They can be highly prolific croppers, and a few plants can yield lots of fruits, especially over a good summer. To maintain a good crop it is best to pick the fruits whilst young, and to keep harvesting all fruit to encourage new cropping.

COURGETTE, Ambassador F1
A classic dark green courgette, with a good yielding capability. Pick at about 10-13 cm. You can get up to 20 fruits off one plant.
£1.39 per pack (for 6 seeds)

SUMMER SQUASH, Tromboncino
An eccentric squash with green skin and a rounded end, which will grow into many interesting curvy shapes and lengths of up to a metre long. This makes it a popular crop for children. It can be used like a courgette.
£2.29 per pack (6 seeds)

Squashes need a sunny spot and well fertilised soil, with a good amount of organic matter added. It is beneficial to dig out a bucket sized hole and fill it with compost where you want to put your plants.
Sow indoors: Apr-Jun. Sow seeds on their sides 1cm deep in 7-9cm pots of compost. Propogate until germination. Once the plants have grown two true leaves they can begin to be hardened off, as long as there is no risk of frost. Plant about 60cm apart. Keep well watered around the plants, but not on them.
Sow outdoors: Sow directly in early June.
Growing and Harvesting
A good tip is to cover the ground around plants with black polythene; this inhibits weeds and keeps the fruit off the soil (you can add small drainage holes to prevent puddles). Raise fruits from the surface with wood, a piece of brick or something similar. Squashes do need to be kept wet, a tip is to cut off the bottom of a pop bottle and push it upside down into the soil as you plant out, this can then be filled with water in dryer weather so that it gets straight to the roots. You can feed with a high-potash fertiliser every 2 weeks for extra benefit when the fruits start to swell. Fruits will be ready by about 10-12 weeks. Pick regularly when young.

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French beans come in climbing and dwarf varieties, and the choice will depend on space, but because of the height you will get more beans for the number of plants with climbing beans. Climbing beans can grow over 2m high, and need to be supported with 7-8ft canes and/or netting. Dwarf beans can be grown in pots no smaller than 45cm (18 inches) in diameter and grow to about 40-45cm (16-18 inches) high. They are good for patio growing, or to inter-grow with other crops, and often don’t need to be supported with canes.

phaseolus vulgaris
This bean produces a prolific amount of dark green pencil pods up to 15cm long, with white seeds that can be dried and used as haricot beanc. They are tender with a sweet, good flavor and quality. They are a good choice for early cropping as it does well in poor weather, but also summer heat. £1.75 per pack (app. 100 seeds)

phaseolus vulgaris
Borlotti beans have a good flavour and their red and cream speckled skin and beans make them attractive additions to the garden or allotment. They are particularly popular with children due to their colour. The beans can be left to mature so that the seeds inside can be collected, which can be used in lots of dishes (see image below).
99p per pack (app. 40 seeds)

Choose a sunny spot and add plenty of organic material.
These are general sowing times and there may be slight differences between varieties.
Indoor sowing: April-May (dwarf beans can be sown a little earlier in this season with protection)
Plant in small pots filled with compost 4 cm deep and water well. Place in a greenhouse, propagator or sunny windowsill to germinate (ideally 18-25 C). Do not over water, as soggy beans can rot. When plants are 8-10cm (3-4 inches) tall harden off for 10-14 days in a cold frame or with fleece, then plant out. You can use cloches or other protection for earlier plantings. Sow at three week intervals for continual cropping
Outdoor sowing: May-mid July
Outdoor seedlings are susceptible to slugs, so you will need to protect. Plant two seeds in place, removing the smallest as they begin to grow.
Beans are damaged by frost so it is important that they are not planted outside till the last frosts have passed. You can cover them with fleece to protect them from the colder temperatures as well.
Dwarf varieties can be planted 10cm (4 in) apart, and if sown in rows 40-45cm (16-18 in) apart, which helps the plants to self support, but make sure they are well fed and watered. Climbing varieties are best grown 20-23 cm (8-9 in) apart in wigwams or rows, rows being 1m apart, and use ties to attach the plants to the supports.
Care and Harvesting
Pinch out the tips of climbing beans once they reach the top of their supports. Mulch both varieties in the summer to retain moisture in the soil. Beans will be ready for harvest between 9-13 weeks from sowing, pick the pods when they are about 10cm (4 in) long and pick regularly to encourage continual cropping. Maintain and feed the plants after cropping to get a possible late crop. You can inter-sow beans with sweet peas to add colour, fragrance and to attract pollinating insects. You can allow beans to mature on the plants and collect the seeds to dry for cooking. You will not be able to replant seeds unless you have segregated your beans to ensure there is no interbreeding.

French beans are chosen due to their smoother texture and sweeter flavour to runner beans, though runner’s generally produce more beans. They can be eaten raw (in salads etc), cooked or steamed.

Dried borlotti beans.

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Rich in vitamins and iron. Use at baby leay stage or fully matured in salads, cook/steam mature leaves, or use in soups. The frilly, curled variety of kale is by far the most popular due to its ornamental appearance. Kale's selling point is its ability to survive through the winter, adding home grown greens to the diet at that time of year. I find it such an easy vegetable to grow, and have had success from the very first year that I planted it, though I do find that it seems to prefer being sown outdoors rather than indoors and then taken out, but that maybe just my own experience. Due to its ease, and its excellent price, it is a great starter veg for new growers.

KALE, blue
This is a really attractive variety with a distinct blue hue.
50p per pack (app. 500 seeds)

Kale should be grown in rich, well drained soil. It likes a sunny spot, but can cope with some shade.
Sow outdoors: Mar-May (till August for baby leaves)
Sow thinly 1cm deep in rows 15cm apart (I start the seeds off in large trays of compost on my patio). When the seedlings are large enough to handle, transport them to the final planting place, leaving 40-45cm between each plant.
Growing and Harvesting
Keep well watered, and mulch when the weather gets dryer. You can pick some leaves off Kale as it grows, mature leaves will be ready by 30-35 weeks. Pick the young leaves at the top of the plant to encourage side shoots of leaves through the winter and into the spring.
Indoor Growing
Young kale can be grown like salad leaves indoors all year round. You can mix kale seeds with your salad seeds to get a good mix.

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PARSNIP, Gladiator F1
This is a high yielding variety with smooth white skin and a very good canker resistance. These are graded seeds to produce a uniform size, making them easier to sow.
£1.75 per pack (app. 200 seeds)

Deeply dig the soil, which should be free from stones and other obstructions that could damage the roots.
Sow outdoors: Feb-May. Although you can sow from February, sowings from mid spring are usually the most successful. Sow three seeds 1.5cm deep, 15cm apart, in rows 30cm apart. Parsnip seeds take a long time to germinate, so you can mark rows by sowing lettuce inbetween, which will be cut before the parsnips need the room. Once the seedlings grow, thin to the strongest plant.
Growing and Harvesting
Keep the soil moist to prevent the roots from splitting. The roots will be ready from about 34 weeks after sowing, in the autumn, when the foliage begins to die down, but they can be left in the ground till they're needed. In fact the winter frost improve the flavour. Lift gently with a fork.

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Peas are a good source of vitamin B1 and folic acid. You can eat them as they come or leave them on the plant and dry the seeds for winter storage.

This is the easy way to grow peas, without the time consuming removal of the pod, and they taste great. This excellent sugar pea has long fleshy pods and the distinctive sweet flavour. These are popular with children, especially when they’ve helped to grow them first and are great on their own, in salads and in stir fries.
£1.25 per pack (app. 150 seeds)

PEA, Hurst Greenshaft (maincrop)
A sweet, long pea with an excellent flavour containing up to 10 peas per pod. This variety show some resistance to problems such as downy mildew and fusarium wilt. It grows from 75cm-1m tall, and has a good yield at the top of the plant, which means less bending to collect the crop.
99p per pack (app. 150 seeds)

Choose a sheltered, sunny spot. Prepare the soil by digging it over well and adding compost.
Sowing: Mar-Jun
Do not sow in cold, wet soil, as seeds can rot. To sow, dig a flat bottomed trench 5cm deep and about 20-25cm wide, using a fork to loosen the soil underneath. Water till moist, then sow the seeds about 7.5cm apart in two or three rows, pressing them gently into the soil, then cover with the removed soil and gently firm down. If you need another trench, space it 1m from the previous one. Sow mange tout seeds every 10-14 days for a good succession of crops. Protect from slugs and rodents.
Growing and Harvesting
As the plants begin to grow they need to be supported with twigs, canes, trellis or chicken wire. Water well at the roots through dry periods. To protect from the pea-moth cover the crop with a fine mesh. To maintain sweetness, eat as soon as possible after picking. Pick podding peas when they are well filled, mange tout just as the peas begin to swell. Pick regularly, and begin at the bottom and work upwards. You can also pick and eat young shoots.
Podding Pea Harvest Times
11-13 weeks for earlies
13-14 weeks for second earlies
app. 16 weeks for maincrop

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Trailing squashes and pumpkins need alot of room as they spread, though you can support them vertically up arches or purpose made frames; supporting the fruits as they grow. The great thing with these crops is that they can be stored over the winter. A good, warm summer is much preferred to help them thrive.

These dark orange fruits will reach up to about 4kg in weight, a manageable size. I add pumpkin recipes to the recipe blogs leading up to halloween, so you will have lots of ideas for eating your crop.
£1.75 per pack (6 seeds)

An early butternut, which has been developed in the U.K. to cope with our unreliable weather. Though the fruits are a little smaller, it is a good, reliable cropper and each plant should produce up to about seven fruits.
£1.45 per pack (6 seeds)

Choose a sunny, sheltered spot with fertile soil with good water retention. It is beneficial to dig a bucket sized hole and fill it with compost where the final growing spot is.
Sow indoors: Apr-May. Sow seeds on their sides 1cm deep in 7.5cm pots of compost. Propogate until germination (at 18-21 C). Once the plants have grown two true leaves they can begin to be hardened off, as long as there is no risk of frost. Plant about 120cm apart. Keep well watered around the plants, but not on them.
Sow outdoors: Sow directly from May to June 2.5cm deep, covering with a cloche to protect as long as possible.
Growing and Harvesting
A good tip is to cover the ground around plants with black polythene; this inhibits weeds and keeps the fruit off the soil (you can add small drainage holes to prevent puddles). Raise fruits from the surface with wood, a piece of brick or something similar. Keep well watered at the roots. You can feed with a high-potash fertiliser every 2 weeks for extra benefit when the fruits start to swell. Fruits will be ready after 20-24 weeks. To keep over the winter, remove fruits before the first frosts and cure at 27-32 C and then store at about 10 C.

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Contains a mix of mustards, kale, Greek cress, and rocket dentellata.
£1 per pack

Contains chicory italico rosso, rocket dentellata, lettuce lollo rossa, lettuce catalogna cerbiata and kale nero de toscana.
£1 per pack OUT OF STOCK

Rocket has a peppery flavour, and adds an interesting tang to salads and snacks. It can be sown Mar-Sep, thinly, 0.5cm deep in rows 15-20cm apart. It can be grown as a cut and grow crop, which means it wont need thinning. Sow every 2 weeks for a continuous crop. It can also be sown in the winter under cover.
£1.25 per pack (app. 900 seeds)

Sorrel is a perennial so can sprout back where it has been sown previously, but is more successful grown as an annual. Sow Mar-May thinly and 1.5cm deep in rows 30cm apart. Sow every 2 weeks for continuous baby leaves. Water well and harvest after about 6-8 weeks, but do not over-harvest individual plants.
99p per pack (app. 300 seeds) OUT OF STOCK

Spinach can be grown for baby leaves, as a cut and grow crop, or for large leaves and can be sown Mar-Sept as the soil needs can be between 7-30C for germination. Sow directly to the growing area thinly, 1cm deep in rows 30cm apart. Sow every couple of weeks for a regular crop.
50p per pack (app. 100 seeds)

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