Here’s Secret Seed Society’s recommendation of the 10 best vegetables for you and your children to grow from seed. We’ve chosen them for their variety in colour, flavour, shape and seasonality. This selection of vegetable seeds will teach your children about how a seed germinates, the conditions seeds need to grow into healthy plants, which parts of plants we can eat and how to harvest them. You can meet all of these vegetables in our Story & Seed Packs.
1) CHRISSIE CRESS
You can’t beat cress for a first time growing and eating experience.
Sow: Any time of the year, on tissue, cotton wool or compost on a windowsill
Growing: Make sure the seeds are kept moist.
Harvest: 1 week after sowing
Eat: Be ready to share this new mind-blowing flavour experience with your children, homegrown cress is hot and peppery and can be a bit of a shock. Our favourite is to mix it in an egg or cheese sandwich.
Learn more about and order a Chrissie Cress Story & Seed Pack
2) MINGO MUNGBEAN
Sow: Any time of the year in a jam jar
Growing: Soak the beans for 12 hours then rinse morning and night, draining well.
Harvest: The bean sprouts will be ready to eat in 5 days.
Eat: Crunchy bean sprouts can be added to salads or tossed into stir fries. You can sprout other beans and seeds like chick peas and lentils learn more
Learn more about and order a MINGO MUNGBEAN STORY & SEED PACK
3) BRUNO BROADBEAN
Sow: Late Autumn or Feb/March, you can start them in news-paper pots then plant them in the ground.
Grow: Blackflies love the tender top leaves, when there are some flowers on the stem nip out the top, before they infest.
Harvest: Large pods, 10 weeks later
Eat: Top leaves are eaten like greens, small pods can be eaten whole or pop the beans raw from the pods. Also delicious in fritters, or as a paste on toast.
Meet Bruno Broadbean in his Cafe in Mingo Mungbean’s story & seed pack
4) PC PEA POD
Sow: In a seed tray in Spring or direct in ground in May and June
Growing: Peas need twigs to grow up, clinging to them with their tendrils.
Harvest: Mange-tout peas are great for kids as they eat the whole pod often straight from the plant. Round peas need to be left until the pods swell and then popped from the pods.
Eat: Salads, stir fries, boiled with a sprig of mint….so many ways.
Will PC Pea Pod catch Seed City Thief find out in Rio Rocket’s storybook
5) BABS BEETROOT
Sow: From Spring through to Summer, sow every couple of weeks so you have a supply of tiny beetroots fresh from the garden.
Growing: Sow direct in the ground well spread out.
Harvest: About 60-90 days later you should find a golf ball sized root.
Eat: Wash the root and leaves, cook in boiling water. Tiny beets take 10mins, older woodier beets 30mins at least. They’ll stain everything pinky purple so be warned. Delicious in a salad with roasted nuts.
BABS BEETROOT is on an adventure with Rio Rocket
6) CARLA CARROT
Sow: April, May in sandy soil. They are going to around 10 weeks to be ready.
Growing: Plant near onions and chives or in raised pots to prevent carrot fly.
Harvest: After about 10 weeks you should be able to pull a small carrot from the ground.
Eat: Endlessly useful, carrot sticks for picnics, lunches and snacks, grated to add sweetness and colour to salads and soups.
BUY CARLA CARROT STORY & SEED PACK
7) RUDI RADISH
Sow: 1cm deep direct in ground in rows. From April-May then August-September.
Growing: Keep moist
Harvest: Pull when small and crisp
Eat: Normally not cooked but ideal for dips and snacks.
BUY RUDI RADI STORY & SEED PACK
8) RIO ROCKET
Sow: Under a cloche or on a windowsill from February onwards, direct in the garden from mid-March-May then July-September
Growing: If you have a greenhouse you can get a great crop throughout the Winter, if not grow it on your windowsill for a few leaves that will add a fresh garnish to Winter dishes.
Harvest:The ultimate cut and come again crop, pinch off the leaves and more appear. When it goes to seed eat the flowers.
Eat: Salads, sprinkle over pizzas or chop into a paste for pasta.
BUY RIO ROCKET STORY & SEED PACK
9) SANGHITA SPRING ONION
Sow: Straight into ground. Best in a row as looks like grass to start with.
Grow: Keep well watered and keep sowing every month.
Harvest: Thin rows by pulling the tiny onions and leave the rest to grow bigger.
Eat: Raw or cooked onions add a tongue tingling taste to salads, stir fries or chop and stir into potatoes or other root vegetables for added zing.
Sanghita Spring Onion plays the tambourine with Rudi Radish.
10) DESIREE POTATO
Sow: Potatoes are not grown from seed but from an old potato (seed potato).
Grow: Plant 3-4 seed potatoes in 30cm of compost in an old compost bag that is rolled down and has drainage holes pierced in it. When green shoots appear at the top add more compost to the top unrolling the bag up to 60cm
Harvest: Wait until the bag top is covered with leaves and perhaps a flower. Tip up the bag and search the compost for new potatoes. See who gets the biggest and the smallest.
Eat: Boiled, mashed, fried, roasted, always cooked. Try this ‘Potato Pizza’ recipe.
Desiree plays the spoons with Rudi Radish