Wed. May 18th, 2022

RHS Award of Garden Merit Vegetables

Closeup of Swiss Chard ‘Bright Lights’ from Thompson & Morgan

Choose AGM winning vegetables for sturdy performance
Image: Swiss Chard ‘Bright Lights’ from Thompson & Morgan

Royal Horticultural Society ‘Award of Garden Merit’ winning vegetable plants have earned a seal of approval for reliability. If you’re looking for tried and tested fruit and veg to grow at home, this certification points you towards the very best varieties to grow. There are currently 7,500 plants with an AGM, including ornamental and edible plants. New awards are made each year, and current award holders are reviewed regularly to make sure they’re still up to scratch. To help you narrow the list, here are some of our customers’ favourite AGM varieties to get you off to a flying start.

Popular AGM winning root vegetables

Freshly harvested Beetroot 'Pablo' from Thompson & Morgan

Add Beetroot ‘Pablo’ to summer salads for delicious crunch!

Here are our favourite AGM winning root vegetables that can’t be beaten for colour, flavour and quality:

  • Beetroot ‘Pablo’ stores well through winter, producing dark red roots which are best picked when small. Start from seeds by directly sowing outdoors.
  • Parsnip ‘Gladiator’ has good canker resistance and smooth, blemish free white roots. Sow seeds directly outdoors in April or May.
  • Carrot ‘Adelaide’ is one of the earliest maturing varieties. Sow seeds in November outdoors under a cloche or in the polytunnel for harvests as early as February.
  • Turnip Atlantic is the perfect root for container growing. Eat the green tops steamed and the roots when they’re still small for maximum sweetness. Sow these Kew selected seeds directly into your grow space.
  • Celeriac ‘Monarch’ has a lovely creamy celery flavour with smoother roots than other varieties. Sow direct outdoors between February and April for a crop in late autumn.

Popular AGM winning pea and beans

Green Climbing bean ‘Cobra’ from Thompson & Morgan

‘Cobra’ produces beautiful mauve-coloured flowers

Use the following list to pick AGM winning pea and bean seeds and plants to grow:

  • Broad bean ‘De Monica’ is the earliest maturing spring sown broad bean variety. Sow your seeds outdoors in February for a crop as early as May.
  • Climbing bean ‘Cobra’ produces a heavy yield of thick crunchy pods perfect for steaming. Start with our special peat-free garden ready plants.
  • Dwarf French bean ‘Nomad’ shows great resistance to bean mosaic virus and anthracnose which is helpful for organic gardeners. Sow this directly into patio containers in April for a late summer crop.
  • Runner bean ‘St George’ is a British bred bean with great yields. Use this for its ornamental bi-coloured flowers that look fabulous rising out of a garden bed.
  • Pea ‘Hurst Green Shaft’ has stood the test of time as a well known favourite podding pea for exhibiting, and growing for freezing. Sow seeds directly outdoors between March and May.

Popular AGM winning pumpkin, squash and courgettes

Orange Squash 'Harrier' F1 Hybrid (Winter) from Thompson & Morgan

With an open growing habit, Squash ‘Harrier’ allows the sun to ripen the fruits naturally

These AGM winning squashes and courgettes will give you prolific and tasty crops through summer and autumn:

  • Marrow ‘Tiger Cross’ F1 Hybrid has superb flavour, lovely striped fruit and good resistance to cucumber mosaic virus. Sow under cover in April for harvests through summer into autumn.
  • Squash ‘Harrier’ F1 hybrid is a British bred butternut squash with fewer leaves and sweet, early maturing fruit that can weigh up to 800g. The fruit, harvested 95 days after sowing, stores very well.
  • Squash ‘Crown Prince’ F1 Hybrid is an improved hybrid with very attractive large slate grey fruit and excellent flavour. Order jumbo peat free plug plants, harden off for 10 days and plant out.
  • Courgette ‘El Greco’ has an especially open habit making picking easier. The fruit are prolific through the summer with no trace of bitterness. Sow under cover in March for planting out May/June.
  • Courgette ‘Parador’ produces striking, yellow courgettes with a superb flavour and texture. Get a head start by ordering plug plants, and harvest all summer long.

Popular AGM winning hot chilli peppers

Multicoloured Chilli Pepper 'Basket of Fire' F1 from Thompson & Morgan

With a good tolerance for cooler weather, ‘Basket of Fire’ will continue to fruit outside autumn

Find a good range of flavour and heat in this selection of AGM winning chilli peppers and sweet peppers:

  • Chilli pepper ‘Basket of Fire’ is a compact, highly prolific variety with short, hot fruit. Plant this chilli in full sun in hanging baskets or patio containers for the best results.
  • Chilli pepper ‘Demon Red’ produces very hot fruits. Sow seeds under glass in February to allow a long ripening time for the fruit. Grow in the greenhouse or a sunny spot in the garden.
  • Chilli pepper ‘Hungarian Hot Wax’ bears large fruits that ripen from green to yellow to deep orange if left on the plant. The chillies have medium heat, and are tasty stuffed or barbecued.
  • Chilli pepper ‘Prairie Fire’ produces huge yields of tiny super hot fruits all summer long. Place this plant on the kitchen windowsill as an ornamental edible to enjoy the super colourful display.
  • Sweet pepper ‘Astor’ is a mellow sweet yellow pepper, perfect for slicing, stuffing and grilling. The brightly coloured fruits set early and can reach up to 25 cm long.

Popular AGM winning tomatoes

Red fruits of Tomato 'Premio' (Grafted) from Thompson & Morgan

Grow tomatoes alongside French marigolds to deter whitefly

The classic greenhouse summer treat, these are T&M customers’ favourite varieties:

  • Tomato ‘Premio’ is a cordon variety with superb resistance to blight, mosaic virus, verticillium and fusarium wilt. These salad size fruits are uniform in size and have great shelf life. Grow your grafted plants in the greenhouse or a sunny spot outside.
  • Tomato ‘Brandy Boy is an indeterminate beefsteak variety that produces fruit throughout the summer. The huge fruit are an unusual pink colour, with earlier yields than the heirloom favourite Brandywine.
  • Tomato ‘Rosella’ produces smokey pink cherry fruits that are almost seedless with high levels of acidity and sweetness. Start this variety from seed between February and April undercover.
  • Tomato ‘Sweet Aperitif’ can crop up to 500 super sweet cherry fruits per plant in one season. Start this prolific variety with a peat free plug. Support this cordon as it grows in the greenhouse.
  • Tomato ‘Olivade’ is a very tasty plum tomato. Start seeds indoors and grow on in a greenhouse, or move outside to a sunny spot. The fruit is ideal for making sauces.

Popular AGM winning brassicas

White Cauliflower 'Aalsmeer' (Spring) from Thompson & Morgan

Harvest Cauliflower ‘Aalsmeer’ in spring for high quality, creamy heads

Grow these brassicas for their nutritious leaves, tasty curds and lovely heads:

  • Brussels sprouts ‘Crispus’ is a clubroot resistant plant that produces sweet sprout buttons late in the year. This variety is British bred and vigorous.
  • Summer cabbage ‘Tantour’ is a great multi-purpose cabbage from British breeding. Harvest from June through to autumn. Allow the heart to develop or use the leaves as spring greens, raw or cooked.
  • Calabrese ‘Ironman’ has the longest cropping period of any calabrese. Sow these seeds successively for regular domed heads that crop from May to September.
  • Cauliflower ‘Aalsmeer’ shows outstanding winter hardiness. The creamy white curds ripen through April to a good size and weight.
  • Kohlrabi ‘Kolibri’ has deep purple roots with white flesh. These roots are packed full of vitamins. Sow the seeds under a cloche outdoors. This variety is nicely compact, so will do well in containers too.

Popular AGM salad

Red Radish 'French Breakfast 4 - Francis' from Thompson & Morgan

Sow Radish ‘Francis’ successionally from March throughout summer

There’s nothing like a fresh crunchy salad on a summer’s day! Sow and grow these quick croppers and enjoy AGM winning leafy bowls:

  • Celery ‘Tango’ shows very good resistance to bolting, sending up lovely apple green smooth stems with lovely flavour. They have a perfect ‘crunch’ and great wilt resistance in hot weather.
  • Swiss chard ‘Bright Lights’ sends up stems in vivid colours like red, yellow and pink. Make this your first choice chard to grow; the flavour is great and it shows very good winter hardiness too. Harvest throughout summer into autumn.
  • Cucumber ‘Carmen’ grafted has fantastic resistance to all known strains of powdery mildew, scab and leaf-spot. This variety forms long juicy fruits from June to september. The grafted plants show excellent vigour.
  • Lettuce ‘Salad Bowl’ is a lettuce that won’t bolt or form a head. Pick the delicious leaves as you need them; the same plants will crop from June until September.
  • Radish ‘French Breakfast 4 – Francis’ is an improved variety that matures 21 days from sowing. The roots are crunchy with excellent heat tolerance through the summer.

Popular AGM winning onions, leeks, shallots and garlic

Garlic 'Germidour' (Spring/Autumn Planting) from Thompson & Morgan

As a low maintenance variety, plant garlic ‘Germidour’ in containers or patio pots

These tasty alliums are great for plaiting and storing and can be used in a multitude of dishes:

  • Garlic ‘Germidour’ is a French-grown variety that’s well adapted to the UK’s climate. It’s well known and reliable and the bulbs have a delicious mild flavour. Suitable for spring or autumn planting.
  • Leek ‘Blauwgroene Winter – Bandit’ crops from November throughout the winter to March, showing superb cold tolerance. This variety shows good tolerance to bolting and bulks up quickly. Sow your seeds in March or April.
  • Onion ‘Red Baron’ bulbs have attractive red skins which makes this an eye-catching choice. Grow from sets to harvest in late summer. The flattish round bulbs have good storage potential.
  • Spring onion ‘Apache’ is a great choice for container growing and the red spring onions look and taste fantastic in salads. Sow this spring onion every few weeks throughout spring and summer for a continuous crop.
  • Shallot ‘Meloine’ is a heavy cropper that produces clumps of up to 8 delicious bulbs which store for several months after harvesting. Good mildew resistance too.

Popular AGM winning potatoes

Harvested Potato 'Foremost' from Thompson & Morgan

If plot space is limited, grow potato ‘Foremost’ in potato grow bags!

Potatoes are rewarding crop and relatively easy to grow. Plant seed potatoes in containers or dig into your allotment beds:

1st early

  • Potato ‘Foremost’ has been an established favourite for over 50 years. Round, white-fleshed tubers are firm and waxy. Get this variety into the ground in March for an early harvest in May.
  • Potato ‘Winston’ is a compact potato that does well in exposed or windy sites. An established favourite, ‘Winston’ grows quickly, bulking up to form fantastic multi-purpose spuds with flesh that stays firm during cooking. Great drought resistance and heat tolerance!

2nd early

  • Potato ‘Charlotte is a reliable customer favourite with a superb flavour eaten hot or cold. Harvest your spuds in July and August.
  • Potato ‘Jazzy’ is guaranteed to provide a crop of 35 potatoes per plant when grown in an 8 litre potato bag. This is a new and improved salad potato that tastes delicious boiled, mashed, roasted or steamed.

Maincrop

  • Potato ‘Sarpo Mira’ is the best variety for resistance to blight. The red skinned tubers are tasty too, performing well as a great all rounder. Shows good slug resistance.
  • Potato ‘Pink Fir Apple’ looks fun, with knobbly pink tinged tubers that are slightly longer and slimmer than usual spuds. It has a lovely nutty flavour, and works well boiled, mashed, chipped and steamed.

We hope our lists of AGM vegetable plants help you to narrow down your own choice of reliable and tasty veg to grow this year. Whether you’ve got an allotment, bed or container – we wish you a productive season.


Published at Tue, 01 Mar 2022 08:40:50 -0500

Leave a Reply