The best vegetables to grow in a greenhouse, according to Hartley Botanic

Learn what the best vegetables to grow in a greenhouse are and you'll be well stocked in nutritious home-grown produce all year round

An example of the best vegetables to grow in a greenhouse showing fresh beetroot on a slate background
(Image credit: Future Plc and Laura Edwards)

Luxury greenhouse manufacturer Hartley Botanic have identified the most nutritionally-dense and best vegetables to grow in a greenhouse.

The trend for growing your own has always been an important addition to many of our gardens, but during the months of lockdown it has taken a definite upsurge. More time spent at home and in our gardens means more time to tend to our crops. 

Wooden crates holding carrots and tomatoes grown in a greenhouse behind a chilli plant and a punnet of strawberries

(Image credit: Hartley Botanics and Jonathan Ward)

EAT FRESH

Studies have shown that the longer that veg is left once it's been picked, the more nutritional value is lost. With a range of greenhouse ideas, growing your own has never been simpler and it means that you can eat veg the very same day it's picked, guaranteeing the maximum possible nutrients and taste.

An example of the best vegetables to grow in a greenhouse showing a basket of home-grown vegetables and eggs

(Image credit: Future Plc and Polly Eltes)

THE BEST VEGETABLES TO GROW IN A GREENHOUSE

Growing your own is a good choice for our planet. An advantage being that you know exactly how far your vegetables have travelled, therefore you're not contributing to any air pollution.

There's no need for packaging with home grown veg, which keeps unnecessary waste down. You can also have control over what pesticides (or lack thereof) are used.

A large greenhouse surrounded by shrubbery and flowers

(Image credit: Hartley Botanic/Eric Roth Photography)

1. GROW WATERCRESS

It's hard to believe this salad staple was once considered a weed. It's packed with vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting and aids healthy bones. It is also a great source of vitamin C and contains antioxidants, which is thought to lower the risk of chronic diseases and cancer.

It's one of the best foods to grow in a greenhouse because it can be grown all year round, though it experiences a slow growth period during deep midwinter. It's an excellent choice for pots, and Hartley Botanic experts recommend standing them in shallow saucers of water, which you top up regularly to help keep them continually moist.

You can grow them well from seed, or alternatively you can take cuttings from shop-bough varieties by inserting into wet compost or water and then planting in place when roots start to form.

An example of the best vegetables to grow in a greenhouse showing a close-up shot of watercress

(Image credit: Future Plc and Allan Pollok-Morris)

2. GROW SWISS CHARD

There is no surprise that Swiss chard is one of the best vegetables to grow in a greenhouse. As well as vitamin K, chard is high in antioxidants, including beta-carotene and flavonoids. It also contains plenty of fibre.

When planning a greenhouse, find a sunny spot for Swiss chard and sow your seeds in moisture retentive, free draining soil in trays around 2.5cm deep. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged and at a minimum temperature of 10C. Young leaves are less tough, so don't wait too long to harvest.

Swiss Chard on a wooden surface

(Image credit: Rob Cardillo Photography/Future PLC)

3. GROW BEETROOT GREENS

The sometimes-forgotten leaves of beetroot plants are in fact incredibly good for you.

They are bursting with vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, which is a natural immunity booster, vitamin A for healthy skin and eyes and vitamin K. They are also rich in copper, manganese, iron, calcium and they are a good source of fibre.

Fresh beetroot on a slate background

(Image credit: Future Plc and Laura Edwards)

4. GROW SPINACH

A close-up shot of spinach leaves

(Image credit: Future Plc and Chris Snook)

Spinach is well known for its nutritional qualities and has always been regarded as a plant with remarkable abilities to restore energy, increase vitality and improve the quality of the blood.

There are sound reasons why spinach would produce such results, primarily the fact that it is rich in iron. Spinach is also an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and folate as well as being a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron and vitamin B2.

Teresa Conway
Teresa Conway

I've been Gardens Editor at Homes & Gardens, Country Homes & Interiors and Living Etc magazine since 2020 and have had the pleasure to develop working relationships with some of the country's top garden designers such as Charlotte Rowe, Butter Wakefield and have been exposed to an array of rich garden content and expertise. 2020 saw an increased appetite for quality gardening inspiration and expertise in both print magazines and digital and what I am most passionate about when it comes to gardening are the positive effects it has on our mental health to grow and care for plants. Keeping our patches alive with greenery is great for the environment too and help provide food and shelter for wildlife. Finally, I find it to be such a wonderful opportunity to tap into our creative sides and I believe that garden design has as much as a place in our love of the home as interiors.