Usually at this time of year I have neat drawings of my plans for the vegetable patch and I’ve spent much of Winter (I know it is still technically Winter, but I gone into denial and have decided Spring has arrived) dreaming of what I’d like to grow and ordering seeds. Not so this year, I’ve been quite busy with the shop and the kids and I slightly lost my gardening mojo so I’m making a few changes. I plan to grow less of each thing and a winder variety, although it’ll mostly be firm favourites that I know we enjoy. I’m quite careful not to overplant after the early days but even last year we had a glut of a few things and they didn’t get eaten in their prime, I felt sad watching them decline after all the hard work but had little time to deal with them.
Another decision is to plant all ground growing and root vegetables in pots.
Quite simply a cat (not even ours, she is too plump and lazy to bother jumping over the rabbit proof fence, see above) has been using the raised beds as it’s loo and despite having them all netted now, I’d prefer to grow roots etc in ‘clean’ soil. I also see it as an opportunity to change the way I grow and make things more interesting.
So, I’ve started this years crops from seeds, a little later than last year but I hope to move everything straight into the freshly cleaned greenhouse once they germinate in order to try and avoid lanky plants.
As always I’m kicking off with the tomatoes, peppers and aubergines. These have been sown in small pots indoors with only 2 seeds per pot (using John Innes seed compost) then covered in plastic. Tomatoes have always germinated well for me and also transplant quite easily and I find it difficult to throw seedlings so I end up with a massive crop, I’ve downgraded this year and so far have planted:
Sungold x 2
Brandywine x 3
San Marzone x 2
Tigerella x 3
Ildi x 2
These are all firm favourites and the only addition is ‘Ildi‘ which simply looked fun. It’s has ‘mini, sweet, yellow, pear-shaped fruits (that) hang like bunches of grapes, with an incredible 80 fruits per truss!’, I like this idea and it’s part of my continuing plan to get the boys eating raw tomatoes, they are so good a nibbling other things direct from the garden, I’d love to add tomatoes to the list.
Also now germinating are:
Violetta di Firenze x 2
Turkish Orange x 1
Aubergine Slim Jim x 1
Mini Red Skin x 3
Worldbeater x 3
Last year we had a glut of peppers, we were away for 2 weeks of August and came back to find them all ripe and ready and it was hard to keep up with the eating, even though the boys love raw red pepper, so this year I’ve drastically reduced the amount.
Finally, went to B&Q yesterday where I was surprised by the amount of young plants ready to buy along with planting kits. I let the boys choose one each (the packaging made it a more attractive offer than something from my own seed collection), C chose a hanging basket with mint and strawberry seeds and F chose a parsley pot. They are rather more interested in the dangerous looking double sided rake/trowel I allowed them to have, oh well, boys will be boys 🙂