Seasonal food and growing

Growing our own food is something that we've been mad about for quite some time. What could be more satisfying than watching your dinner grow on your doorstep?

We've put together a guide to what you need to know each month to help you transform your plot of land into a great way to save money and food miles, and of course provide scrumptious grub for the table. We've even included recipes if you're stuck for ideas.

Three reasons why it's better to eat seasonal food:

   1. Better taste – top chefs agree that fresh seasonal produce is best
   2. Better value –a basket of fruit and veg bought in the summer can be as much as a third cheaper than the same basket bought out of season
   3. Better for the planet – growing in season requires lower levels of artificial inputs than at other times of the year

So what are you waiting for? Use the calendar below to fast forward to the information you need.

    January

    Leeks are on the menu in the first month of the year. In the garden, it's time to prune back your fruit trees to make sure you get fabulous fruit later in the year.

    February

    It's all about the orange goodness of carrots in February, whilst making sure that the vegetable patches are turned over ready for spring.

    March

    Vegetable plots start to stir in to life in March, showing signs of the delicious produce to come later. In the meantime, why not try our recipe for bubble and squeak seasoned with our flavour of the month.

    April

    Rhubarb is coming into season in April and that means one thing: crumble time. It's also time to check the vegetable beds and sow a range of seeds.

    May

    Britain has the best asparagus in the world, and May is the month when it really comes into season. It's also time to start moving young plants outside to harden up.

    June

    Summer fruits are ripe, and elderflower makes a great ingredient in desserts or wine. Strawberries, cucumber, spinach and courgettes are among to other fruit and veg coming into season.

    July

    Strawberries straight from the plant are best in July, and in the garden it's time to do plenty of watering as summer reaches its height.

    August

    By now the fruits of your labour should be showing up on the dinner table, and the pea has long been one of Britain's favourite vegetables. So many vegetables are in season in August that you could almost eat a different meal every day.

    September

    Enjoy some yummy damson jam as summer turns to autumn, keep picking your beans, and when the foliage dies, it is time to unearth the onions.

    October

    Warming soups and pies are going to be on the menu as whether turns a little cold. Luckily, pumpkins are in season - why not try our hearty partridge, spinach and pumpkin soup recipe.

    November

    The humble spud is our flavour of the month as the nights draw in and winter approaches.

    Herbs must be brought in from the garden, but there's still some planting to be done so wrap up warm.

    December

    The festive pear tree comes in to season in December, providing plentiful ingredients for a variety of desserts and chutneys.