Tuesday, January 05, 2010



It's cold as buggery today, frostier than a snowman's privates. Either it will make my newly planted garlic really break into cloves or it will kill it off...
Anyway to warm myself up I was pleased to see a newsletter from Alan Romans in my inbox. I have found their seeds excellent value for money, last year I got some lovely climbing beans off them (Cobra) and it is much cheaper than what you get in the stores here. And no they haven't paid me to say that :-)
So I have been making a little list, planning this year's seed buys. Of course I still have some leftovers from last year but I do like to try some new things and I also want to replant some of the things from 2009 that worked well. The UK seeds seem well suited to this region's cooler maritime climate.
So I will be buying:
some flowers and herbs, as my little herb bed is now looking great and I want to extend it to beds next to the shed.
Black Beauty Aubergines - last year I had aubergines from lidl which started off well but then got destroyed by storms so I ended up buying plants. Still I will try this variety to see.
Beans: Cobra (2nd time), Borlottis (can't wait to try them!) and Tendergreen bush French.
Cylindra beets, beetroot was a big flop last year but I am hoping that the manure will give me a better crop this year, I love my homegrown beetroot.
Cauliflower - never tried before, but the neigbours manage to grow them so I will give it a try too.
Courgettes: I still have yellow Parador seeds which are very reliable but now I will also try Black Beauty and Defender varieties. 2009 gave a very poor crop, let's hope this year they work better, new location and plenty of organic matter.
Corn - Lark which worked well in 2008.
Peas - I found their Early Onward to be good, but on the whole peas were a flop last year so let's hope these give a better crop. I love peas, the best reason for having a garden.
Peppers - last year these were a terrific success so I am going to be bold and try sweet peppers, a European variety called Robertina that is supposed to like cooler conditions...
Pumpkins. I am a sucker for pumpkin, I still have Qld Blue seeds from Australia which gave me some beautiful fruit last year (which I am still eating!) so This year I want to try Butternuts (Ponca variety) and some little ones they have called Hooligan. You have to grow them just for the name, don't you?
Finally the tomatoes. A great crop in 2009. A good variety of flavours, except the cherry tomatoes didn't grow well. So I will have a go at some Gardener's delight for that. More Totem, a great small salad tomato, good cropper. Also this year trying Yellow Brandywine, a big yellow beefsteak. and a smaller salad tom they have called Pannovy. I always also do a bit of Marmande, which don't always work out! I am in two minds about the Italian plum varieties, last year they were diseased... which puts me off somewhat.
So I will be at the keyboard tonight, credit card at the ready and hopefully I will have my lovely little seed package in a couple of weeks.

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I love reading about your lottie. almost, but not quite, makes me plant some veg ... so keep on with the updates. Make sure your beetroot grow this year. Best veg ever x
Ah well, you could plant something and pretend that you are not really planting veg, like just a cherry tomato, or an aubergine plant, or a nice big pot of rocket or salad greens, that you can just pick off as you go along! sigh it would be nice if I have the best veg ever this year, I am going to try to spend a bit more productive time down there for a start, 2009 was not my best effort. But I am starting to work out what i like to eat and like to grow and what works well in the soil. They said after 3 years you really get up speed and they were right.
And three cheers for beetroot!
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