Vegetable Garden 2008
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Planting plan  |  Paddock  |  Greenhouse

RHS Fruit & Veg | BBC Gardening  |  GYO

This page will include details of my vegetable growing exploits as they develop in 2008.

Click to see my planting plans for the main vegetable plot and for the paddock.

For a summary of what I've learnt this year and will change next year, see Vegetable Lessons.

Jump to: artichoke, beetroot, broad bean, broccoli, brussels sprout, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chilli, chives, courgette, dwarf bean, fennel, garlic, gherkin, haricot bean, herbs, jerusalem artichoke, kale, kohl rabi, leek, onion, parsnip, pepper, potato, raab, radish, rhubarb, runner bean, salad, scorzonera, shallot, squash, sweetcorn, swiss chard, tomato, turnip



22 April - another new venture this year.  Seven Green Globe Improved seeds sown, each in their own 3" pot in the potting shed.

3 May - not bad, 5 out of the 7 have germinated.

28 May - picked up this gem of info from the BBC Food newsletter: "Globe artichokes are related to the thistle and if allowed to flower their blossoms can measure up to seven inches in diameter and are a violet-blue colour. Globe artichokes contain an inedible core called the choke, which must be removed before the heart of the artichoke may be enjoyed."


My first attempt at garlic growing this year.

8 April - a pot containing four Marco cloves plus a row which will have carrots on either side, to try to deter carrot fly.

16 April - two of the cloves in the pot have already germinated and broken the surface of the soil.  (A third germinated on 25 April.)

20 April - two final rows see the last of my garlic  Marco planted, one row next to Chard, the other in front of the greenhouse.


15 April - It's possibly a bit early for outdoor sowing.  Nevertheless, I sowed two Sunburst F1 seeds in a pot and covered them with a cloche and two in the ground also covered with a cloche.


9 March - I know after 2006 I said I wouldn't bother with parsnips again but should I be beaten?  Of course not!  Two rows of Tender & True seeds sown under a large three foot cloche.

8 April - So far I can only spot two germinated seeds under my cloche.

Salad leaves

The mixture of corn salad, spicy mixed salad and oriental mixed salad leaves that I over-wintered in the greenhouse did very well (planted 23 October 2007).  Still harvesting in April 2008, although the peppery leaves are getting very strong now.

14 Feb - Planted two low tubs, currently in the potting shed.  One is Oriental Mixed salad leaves and the other is Spicy Mixed.

8 April - nothing came of these two tubs.

22 April - a mixture of Spicy Mixed, Oriental Mixed, Lettuce Funly, Lollo Rossa sown outside.


14 Feb -  I've started early this year with a pot of 11 Boltardy seeds in the potting shed.

8 Apr - Complete failure in the above pot.

17 Apr - outdoor sowing of Boltardy seeds in the veg garden.


Broad beans

9 March - Got the urge to plant so I did some digging in the back veggie garden where the soil is much less wet than in the tunnel.  Broad beans Bunyards Exhibition and Aquadulce and parsnip were in order for early planting.

21 April - at last, signs of germination - 5 plants have appeared outdoors.
22 April - cleared a few surface leaves and there are actually 10 germinated seeds.




Swiss chard

15 April - Four 3" pots containing two seeds each of Fordhook Giant put in the potting shed.

17 Apr - outdoor sowing in the veg garden.


Fruit or vegetable?  Well, according to the RHS it's a perennial vegetable

27 Jan - I planted my four new rhubarb crowns at the back of the greenhouse, next to the current rhubarb.

10 Feb - I've planted another 2 rhubarb crowns in pots placed on the outer paving rim of the fruit cage.  Ever wary of rabbits, I've surrounded them with one of my homemade chicken wire protectors.

Rhubarb Timperley Early (from Wyevale garden centre)- superb flavour, very early, goof for forcing.  Plant autumn or spring. Harvest until late July.  Soil: rich with plenty of manure or compost dug-in.  Planting depth: Crown should be level with the surface of the ground.  Plant firmly, treading the soil around the roots.  Water in freely if the soil is dry and continue to water until growth commences.  Cultivation: Young stems are pulled away from the crown as they attain sufficient size.  Never take too many from one plant as this weakens it and for the same reason, it is not wise to continue pulling after July.

8 April - the original rhubarb patch, small as it is, is looking quite healthy.

Jerusalem Artichoke

8 April - no sign of activity from the jerusalem artichoke patch, but three of the five potted tubers in the green house have germinated.

3 May - a least 5 have appeared in the patch and all five potted tubers have germinated and are obviously more advanced so need planting out - but where?  mabe I'll give them to friends who have a new allotment.


13 March - a tray of Sungella seed lodged in a propagator in the potting shed.

8 April - not looking good - no sign of life from these seeds.

20 April - I don't believe it"!  I brought the failed tray of Sungella indoors, ignored it and allowed it to completely dry out.  I came to re-use the compost today to find four seeds have germinated.  Spurred on by this, I sowed a variety of tomato seeds in the potting shed in a 1" plug tray, 10 stations each of Tumbling Tom Yellow, Garden Pearl, Sub Artic and Moneymaker.

22 April - seven Sungella seedlings now in evidence.




20 April - a tray of Alabaster 3 seed sown and placed on bedroom windowsill inside a plastic bag.


Will 2008 be a better year for sweetcorn?  Hope so.....

11 April - Seeds sown in my 500ml yogurt pots which I've been saving all year.  With their clear plastic lids they make perfect individual propagators for the potting shed.  I've sown 10 pots with 2 seeds in each, 5 of Minipop F1 and 5 of F1 Sundance.

21 April - all 10 Sundance seeds have germinated, plus 5 Minipop.


10 April - two rows on Flyaway F1 seeds planted either side of a row of garlic.  I've heard that this companion planting might help to deter carrot fly, although as name suggests, these seeds are supposed to deter carrot fly anyway.

15 April - sowed a pot of Carrot Parmex.


22 April - unable to sow in the tunnel due to wetness, I've sown 10 stations each of red cabbage Kalibos and green cabbage Copenhagen market (Summer) in the potting shed.

Red pepper

20 April - a tray of Pimiento seed sown and placed on bedroom windowsill inside a plastic bag.

Haricot bean

13 March - 4 haricot bean seeds in individual 3" pots, inside a plastic propagator..

8 April - only one successful germination out of four (and that died by 12 Apr).  I think the compost was too wet so basically, the seeds rotted.

12 Apr - second attempt.  8 seeds, two in each 3" pot.  No propagator.



Dwarf bean

13 March - 4 The Prince dwarf bean seeds in individual 3" pots, inside a plastic propagator.

8 April - only one successful germination out of four (and that died by 12 Apr).  I think the compost was too wet so basically, the seeds rotted.

12 Apr - second attempt.  8 seeds, two in each 3" pot.  No propagator.

Herb wheel

13 March - Basil and Coriander seed mats planted in separate 4 inch pots.

8 April - both pots have germinated.

20 April - I just love basil so I've sown a big pot containing a mixture of Red, Mammoth and Finissimo seeds (in the potting shed to germinate).


12 Apr - three 3" pots of Chick seeds and three pots of Zuboda seeds, two seeds in each pot.

Brussels sprout

21 April - indoor sowing of 4 seeds, in plastic propagator in potting shed.
22 April - and four more.





Chilli pepper



Raab Cima di rapa (also known as "Broccoletto" and rapini) is characterised by long slender stems, frilly green leaves and small flowers that look like mini calabrese or broccoli florets.  The 60-day cultivar Cima di Rapa is ideal for the UK climate.  Harvest before the flower buds open to get the sweetest flavour and a crunchier texture.






14 Feb - Put my clean potting shed into use.  First I cleared out two planters in there then sowed four pots -  one of which was radish.

8 April - Radishes have germinated but don't seem to be growing very well.

22 April - Radishes sown outdoors.






Kohl rabi

kohl rabiStrange looking veggie, tasting like a cross between a turnip and a cabbage.





8 April - Unable to wait any longer, I planted two potato tubs each containing three Pink Fir Apple tubers.  What a name for a potato!

10 April - Planted 18 Desiree Maincrop tubers in the potato bed I prepared (digging and fertilising) two days ago.

28 April - all three potatoes in both pots have germinated.

29 April - I've taken a big, big chance and planted my 50 remaining potatoes in the tunnel.  I'm concerned that the clay soil is still far too wet and that they will rot rather than grow, but there's no sign of a long dry spell - or even a short one!  Now they're planted and covered with black plastic (recycled empty compost bags, actually) at least that ground won't get any wetter, which is a good thing as we've had prolonged heavy rain this evening.





Described as a tasty winter vegetable, which grows as a black skinned root to be boiled, steamed or fied in butter.

8 April - I read sometime last year that these can take two years to develop in our climate.  Lo and behold, when I went to dig over that bed today, the scorzonera left have sprouted new top growth, so I'll leave them and see what develops.


17 Apr - outdoor sowingof Arcoat (ready in 8 weeks) in the veg garden.


Shallots & Onions

8 April - I have put a tray of 45 Stuttgarter Stanfield onions to root in the potting shed.  Four were left over so I planted them straight outside.  I'm more than a month ahead of last year so hopefully a better crop will result.

20 April - the four outside onions don't seem to be taking, but most of those in the potting shed have rooted well, so the 42 successful Stuttgarter Stanfield ones were planted out.  Then I put 45 Centurion to root in the potting shed and seven were left over which I planted outside in a trough.

28 April - at last, I managed to plant out the 45 rooted Centurion onions in a new raised bed in the net tunnel.

Runner bean


For a reminder of previous year's exploits, see 2007 veg garden notes and 2006 veg garden notes.