Top tips for growing for your table from Upton House and Garden

Garden produce for sale in the Plant Centre

Get the most out of your garden by planting vegetables which you can harvest and enjoy. Whether it’s in a dedicated area, or in pots or containers, here are top tips from our garden team for growing for your table at home. The Upton shop has a great range of plants, tools and books to get you started. Visit the Pavilion restaurant where the menu makes full use of the produce from our kitchen garden and see what great tastes you can grow.

Tip 1: Preparation

Prepare your soil by digging in good organic matter or spread a mulch of compost over the top in the autumn. This will improve the soil fertility, retain moisture and grow good hearty vegetables. 

Tip 2: Keep warm

Seeds will not germinate in cold soil, so avoid the rush to plant out too early.
To assist in warming up the soil and to extend the growing season, place micro fleece and cloches onto the land before sowing seeds or planting out.

Tip 3: Get stuck in

Get the whole family involved by growing simple, quick turn around crops like radish and ‘cut and come again’ lettuce crops.

Tip 4: Tricks of the trade

Force rhubarb crowns by covering early with an upturned bucket and stuffing with straw or shredded paper which can be added to the compost heap at a later date.

Tip 5: Make the most of the space 

Maximise the use of the plot by growing trained fruit on walls like red and white currants, even if it is north facing.
Or experiment by growing different types of bean cultivars around a hazel stick wigwam.

Tip 6: Keep the bugs away 

To help control pests and diseases try ‘companion planting’ by planting carrots alongside onions and calendulas, which are bright and smelly, to distract and confuse.
Place small partially covered 'beer traps’ out to catch slugs and snails. 

Tip 7: Make it bright

Not all vegetables are green - so have fun with colours and shapes and grow yellow and purple carrots, white beetroot, rhubarb chard, Kohl Rabi and Turk’s Turban.
For more inspiration come and see our special family plot in the kitchen garden.