What to grow
Here are eight vegetables that are particularly suitable for growing and eating at the mini size.
Baby-head broccoli and calabrese: Planted 20cm (8in) apart, calabrese produces small, tight spears. ‘Kabuki’ is especially suitable.
Baby beetroots: Try any good F1 hybrid, such as ‘Solo’. Being monogerm (one seedlings per seed), there should be no need to thin the seedling-clusters if you sow sparingly. However, still ensure there is 10cm (4in) between each beetroot seedling.
Dwarf kales: Kales, such as ‘Redbor’, make attractive little plants with an abundance of coloured leaves, which are ideal for stir frying. Plant about 30cm (1ft) apart.
Finger carrots: Round carrots (Paris-market types) can be used. But long carrots, including Amsterdam cultivars (such as ‘Amsterdam Forcing 3’) and F1-hybrid Nantes-types (such as ‘Nelson’), produce better-sized small carrots. Plant in rows 15cm (6in) apart and 2.5cm (1in) between plants.
Kohl rabi: Sow these at 8in (20cm) apart and gather the swollen stems when they are golf-ball size. Purple cultivars, such as ‘Kolibri’, look especially attractive.
Mini-cauliflowers: ‘Igloo’ is usually recommended, although most summer cauliflowers can be planted at 15cm (6in) spacing to give mini heads.
Radishes: All radishes are mini, but ‘Short Top Forcing’ is ideal for making small, easy-to-gather roots. Allow 15cm (6in) between rows and 2.5cm (1in) between plants.
Turnips: Sow these at 20cm (8in) apart: ‘Atlantic’ has small leaves and is particularly pretty.