Tag Archives: food

Domestic cultivation

Amateur vegetable growing has a long history dating back to the beginning of agriculture. A substantial business in itself, one major online UK seed supplier we carry has over 1,200 cultivar seeds, plants and potato tubers. They report that vegetable seeds outsell flower seeds. Plants are usually divided into the following categories:

  • Root vegetables (carrot, parsnip, beetroot, turnip)
  • Leafy green vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprout, kale, spinach, cauliflower)
  • Alliums (onion, leek, garlic, shallot)
  • Potatoes
  • Legumes (peas and beans)
  • Pumpkin family (cucumber, courgette, marrow, squash, pumpkin, gourd)
  • Tomatoes
  • Salad crops (lettuce, radish, rocket, celery, cress, bean sprouts)
  • Other vegetables (pepper, sweet potato, corn, artichoke, asparagus, mushroom)

Although each type of plants has its own cultivation needs, the overall requirements for a vast majority of vegetable plants are:

  • deep, rich soil with a neutral or slightly alkaline composition
  • plenty of sunshine
  • plenty of water
  • regular feeding
  • regular weeding
  • protection against pests such as slugs, aphids and caterpillars.

The amount of literature and other media on the subject that advise deep digging, annual top dressing with manure or home-made compost, and crop rotation is substantial. We’ll also offer our expertise in the following areas:

  • raised beds
  • successional sowing
  • garden design
  • allotments
  • raising plants for competition
  • comparative evaluation of different varieties
  • organic gardening
  • Increasingly, small plants (plug plants) are offered for sale in spring and summer.

Botanic fruit and culinary fruit


In the culinary sense of these words, a fruit is usually any sweet or sour-tasting plant product, especially those associated with seeds; a vegetable is any savory or less sweet plant product; and a nut is any hard, oily, and shelled plant product.

These culinary vegetables that are botanically considered fruit include cucurbits (i.e. squash, pumpkin, and cucumber), tomatoes, peas, beans, corn, eggplant, and sweet peppers. In addition, some spices, such as allspice and chilies, are fruits, botanically speaking. In contrast, rhubarb is often referred to as a fruit, because it is used to make sweet desserts such as pies, though only the petiole (leaf stalk) of the rhubarb plant is edible. Edible gymnosperm seeds are often given fruit names, e.g., pine nuts, ginkgo nuts.

Many common terms for seeds and fruit do not correspond to the botanical classifications. In botany, seeds are ripened ovules; fruits are the ripened ovaries or carpels that contain the seeds and a nut is a type of fruit and not a seed.