Seasonal food and growing

Growing our own food is something that we've been championing for quite some time. We've put together a guide to what you need to know each month to help you transform your garden or allotment - and a few tasty recipes for when you harvest the results.

Leeks ready to be used in the NT restaurant kitchen at Stourhead, Wiltshire

What's in season: 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.

Carrots on sale in the Farm Shop at Polesden Lacey, Surrey

What's in season: 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.

Greens and parsley growing in the Kitchen Garden at Upton House, Warwickshire

What's in season: March 

Vegetable plots start to stir into life in March, showing signs of the delicious produce to come later. In the meantime, why not try our recipe for chicken and mustard one pot seasoned with our flavour of the month?

Rhubarb grown in the recreated C19th garden at The Workhouse, Southwell, Nottinghamshire

What's in season: 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.

Visitors looking at asparagus growing in the Kitchen Garden in June at Beningbrough Hall, North Yorkshire

What's in season: 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.

Courgette growing in the vegetable garden at Florence Court, Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

What's in season: 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.

Strawberries for sale at the Brockhampton Estate

What's in 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.

Family on the Community Allotments at Minnowburn, Co Down, Northern Ireland

What's in season: August 

August is an abundant month for so many different vegetables, including peas, one of Britain's favourites.

Close view of a tree laden with ripening damsons at Hill House Farm on the Brockhampton EstateClose view of a tree laden with ripening damsons at Hill House Farm on the Brockhampton Estate

What's in season: 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.

Pumpkin 'Atlantic Giant' growing in October in the Kitchen Garden at Sizergh Castle, Cumbria

What's in season: October 

Warming soups and pies are going to be on the menu as the weather turns a little cold.

Potatoes from Dyffryn Gardens, South Glamorgan

What's in season: 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.

Pears growing on the tree at Hidcote Manor Garden, Gloucestershire in September

What's in season: December 

It may surprise you that there is still a variety of seasonal food available in December. The festive pear tree also comes into season in December, providing plentiful ingredients for a variety of desserts and chutneys.