Vegetable Growing Resources – 3rd June 2015
We are in the peak period for sowing our vegetables and setting out new plants. The soil is warming up, though possibly a little later than last year, and all danger of frost should be over. It seems a good time to list a few basic resources.
If you are keen to grow seeds from scratch you will probably need a sunny window, a warm patch of garden or a greenhouse. I seem to manage most seeds on a sunny windowsill until they are large enough to put outside on a table in a sunny part of the garden. Then they go off to the allotment.
I source my seeds from several places:
1 vegetableseeds.net are incredibly cheap
2 The Oganic Gardening Catalogue. It’s good to know that seeds have been grown organically and that some corner of the world isn’t sprayed
3 Gardenalia on London Rd. Our wonderful local treasure chest of all things for the garden
4 If all else fails, in a garden centre or one of the mainstream online catalogues.
So why don’t I just buy the whole lot from one source? There are a couple of reasons, the first being that I am quite fussy about varieties. There doesn’t seem much point in growing your own if they aren’t good to eat and don’t grow well. In addition it feels good to buy organic and to shop locally. I have listed below a few of my favourite varieties. Of course there are lots of others and you might like to suggest a few favourites which I could put in a future article.
If you haven’t a greenhouse, but you want to give protection to some plants, cloches are an excellent option. I have made mine from plastic water piping and polytunnel plastic sheeting and they work well. They are cheap, simple to make, move very easily from raised bed to raised bed and give an excellent microclimate. I usually suggest that the weather outside them is southern England but inside it is central France. They allow me to extend the growing season in autumn and spring, grow tender plants like cucumbers and peppers in the summer, and to grow quite a lot right through the winter. I will write more about cloches in future.
Some favourite seed varieties, as promised:
- Lettuce – Little Gem
- Tomatoes – Gardeners’ Delight and Super Marmande
- Peas – Hurst Greenshaft and Norli
- Beans – Fasold (a particularly brilliant climbing french bean) and Slenderette
- Broad Bean – Aquadulce
- Beetroot – Boltardy and Detroit Globe
- Carrot – Early Nantes and Autumn King
- Parsley – Italian Giant
This is a starter list. I will add more and I’d be interested to hear what you have succeeded with and enjoy eating.
One last thing…
I gave up growing vegetables in my garden when I was offered an allotment. There were so many slugs and snails in my rather overgrown garden that vegetables didn’t stand much chance. On the very open allotments, where there are fewer slugs and snails and less cats to discourage the birds, I find that these pests are much less of a problem. My garden is now full of fruit, most of which, the exception being strawberries, are far less susceptible. More information on fruit will be in my next article.
If any of you would like to pay a visit to my allotment on Claremont Rd please get in touch so that we can arrange a time. You can contact me here.
” ANYONE WHO BELIEVES IN INDEFINITE GROWTH ON A PHYSICALLY FINITE PLANET IS EITHER MAD OR AN ECONOMIST” – David Attenborough.