Courgettes are epic fruiters, and easy to grow, once the fruit gets going they seem to double in size every day and as general rule they are best pick when 4-8in in length, or if round type slightly larger than a cricket ball. Don't plant too many as they seem to be constant cropers and the more you harvest the more they seem to produce.
Florence fennel, a wonderfully ornamental vegetable, is grown for its swollen leaf bases or ‘bulbs’ and edible leaves. When using in salads, the flavour can be improved by slicing the bulb and putting it in a bowl of water and ice cubes in the fridge for an hour. Steam, grill or boil the ‘bulbs’ and serve with cheese sauce or butter; infuse the leaves in vinegar or add as garnish to salad.
Broccoli encompasses two slightly different vegetables from the same family; Calabrese, these form large green almost cauliflower-like heads, and sprouting broccoli, which as the name suggest throw out a mass of smaller, seperate heads or florets on long stems. One portion of boiled broccoli (100g) provides over half of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C reason enough to grow it!.
Garlic is a really healthy vegetable, and is popular in Mediterranean and Asian cooking, so it’s hardly surprising it has become popular to grow at home or down the allotment. Garlic is simple to grow and you’ll get plenty of fat, juicy garlic bulbs, if you grow in a sunny site. Don’t be tempted to plant garlic cloves from the supermarket though, buy from a garden centre or mail order supplier.
Cauliflowers are pricey to buy in the supermarkets so if you can grow your own, it’s really worthwhile. They take up quite a bit of space, need rich, deep soil and need plenty of watering, especially in summer, but they can be grown all year round.
In traditional medicine, leeks have been used to treat a variety of ailments, including sore throats, gout and kidney stones. Because they contain Potassium - one leek contains the equivalent of an eighth of an adults daily needs of the mineral - leeks encourage the efficient functioning of the kidneys and are an effective diuretic. A useful source of folate too, one cooked leek will contain one third of an adult's recommended daily need.