Vegetable Planting Lists 2013…

I nearly wrote 2012 in the title, I keep forgetting we are in a new year.

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So, it’s that time again, when I pull out the slightly dusty seed boxes and have a look at what’s in there.  In the olden days, the boxes wouldn’t be dusty, as I’d have spent the colder months obsessing about what I’m going to grow, but my early enthusiasm for the garden has waned over the years, partly as my sewing has taken over and also as I try to get  grip on the house.

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Spurred by recent sewing (spring flower brooches) I feel inspired, and this year, I really want a pretty garden again, and I know it’s not that hard.  There are a few rules I need to set myself though, use up all my existing seed and remember that we will be away at crucial points so I HAVE to consider how the seedlings and plants will survive if not watered daily.  Also, the usual rule of only plant what we will eat applies, I hate to see precious hours of work end up in the compost heap because I lost the energy to deal with the excess.

Here’s what we have so far, and I’m not saying I will plant all these, just that I have the seeds should I choose to:

Tomatoes

Sungold

Brandywine

San Marzone

Tigerella

Ildi

Aubergine

Money Maker F1

Aubergine Slim Jim 

Sweet Pepper

Topepo Rosso

Jumbo Sweet F1 Hybrid

Worldbeater

Chilli

Hot Stuff x 3

Long Red Slim Cayenne

Artichoke

Violette di Chioggia

Cape Gooseberry

Giant

Spinach

Bordeaux

Cucumbers

Cucino F1 Hybrid

Tiffany

Burpless Tasty Green

Radish

French Breakfast

Sparkler

Cherry Bell

Swiss Chard

Bright Lights

White Silver 

Beetroot

Pablo

Sweetcorn

Sweet Nugget

Lapwing

Spring Onions

Welsh Red Stem

North Holland Blood Red

Kai Lan

Pak Choi

Mei Qing Choi

Tatsoi

Rubi

Melon

Edonis

Beans

Barlotti

Broad Beans (Crimson Red)

Broccoli

Red Arrow

Rudolph

Turnip

Snowball

Carrots

Yellowstone

Rainbow Hybrid

Purple Haze

Healthmaster

Sugarsnax

Squash

Crown Prince

Sweet Dumpling

Gem/Rolet

Queensland Blue

Turks Turban

Hooligan

Kale

Cavolo Nero

Ok, I think that’s enough for now.  I also have a ton of salad leaves, more herbs that I’d know what to do with plus some successional peas, but I think they warrant a post of their own.

There are glaring omissions, such as french beans etc but my aim for this year is to use up existing seeds.  I’ve also decided to change some of my planting methods, I’m going to go back to having tomatoes, cucumber, chillies, aubergines and melons in the greenhouse.  I’ve also ordered a big trough, so I can plant the potatoes (and later salad leaves) away from the vegetable patch in an attempt to avoid early killing from blight.  It’ll probably go on the drive, where we get tons of sun and also where the outside taps are so I can lessen my dragging water around should we get another hose pipe ban.  I’ll add a second trough if it works and looks nice.

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Oh and I planted out the shallots the other day, I put them in much closer together than normal and with their tips sticking out.  Look at my kneeler….do you think we might have mice problem 😉

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On a slightly separate note, I bought this organic vegetable box with my Ocado order last week.  I liked it, we were forced to eat things we wouldn’t normally, for instance cabbage.  It’s not that I don’t like cabbage but I’d just normally opt for kale, ideally from the garden.  I can imagine the summer boxes are a little more exciting.

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Best get out there, it’s frosty but the sky is looking promising for a bright, sunny day and one of my first jobs is to tackle the greenhouse…..oh dear!

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Still here…

Yet another blog break there, but if you read my other (sewing) blog you’ll know we had a bit of a family tragedy, which has been all-consuming and hasn’t left much time or energy, or, to be honest, interest in anything else.  Still, life does go on and I am determined to keep looking forward and so here I am, back blogging.

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Like most of the UK, our poor garden has been hiding under a blanket of snow (ok, so I wrote this a week or so ago and haven’t published it yet, there’s no snow right now), I didn’t cloche any of my remaining crops and the kale, chard, carrots, salad and over-wintering broad beans are not looking happy, that is the ones that haven’t turned to slime.  Still, my potatoes have arrived in record early time (Thompson & Morgan, in my experience, usually send them out late) so I have a very reserved 20 ‘Charlotte’ variety ‘chitting‘ in the kitchen.  I’ve opted for a lot less this year as we are now getting blight quite early and badly, I’m going to plant them in a completely different part of the garden and the tomatoes are going back into the green house, I do hope this helps.

The potatoes were delivered along with some shallots ‘Longor’, which will be planted when the ground has thawed slightly.  I had hoped to experiment with planting some of my own, from last year, but we’ve eaten most of them and the remaining ones aren’t looking very happy.

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I am most excited to see what comes up from my Autumn planting, in the side border (see this post for the list) but I couldn’t resist some extra flowers:

Ranunculus ‘Purple Heart’

Anemone coronaria ‘Bordeaux’

…yet more in purple/black!  They were both bought from the Crocus sale (whose images I have used above, which I know is naughty).  I might add these to the raised bed that, at the moment, has all my spring cutting flowers in, or maybe I’ll put them in a pot…I’m not sure yet.  I’ve killed every ranunculus that I’ve plated so far and some of the more tender anemone, so if I plant them in the raised beds they’ll be easier to cloche in cooler weather.  It’ll be interesting to see how they grow differently from Autumn planted bulbs of the same.

DSC_0056Finally, I hope to eat the last of the squash on coming weeks, I struggle after a while, to find new ways to cook them; I’m thinking baking is the way to go.  They are still in great condition, it always amazes me how long they last for once brought inside.

I hear we are in for another cool snap, I hope it doesn’t last as I’m keen to get outdoors and tidy up a little, I do love seeing all this little shoots emerge when you clear away the dead leaves.