The Novice Vegetable Grower

I never thought this would happen, but over Christmas one of the things I found myself doing a lot of was browsing vegetable catalogues. Ten years ago if you’d told my 22 year old self that that’s what I would be doing a decade hence I would have probably choked on my cauliflower. I even asked for Carol Klein’s book Grow Your Own Veg for Christmas from DJ and have been poring over it. True, DJ has a lot of vegetable books already but I wanted my own and something simple to follow, which it is. It’s pretty straight forward and quick to read, although she does wax lyrical in an almost Nigella Lawson way about onions, which rather tickled me! Each to their own. I’m more excited about the prospect of growing a pumpkin – if I turn out to have green fingers of course. I might not.

My dilemma as a novice grower has been choosing what on earth to grow when there are so many possibilities. After thumbing through all the catalogues I was briefly tempted to grow everything purple – purple kale, purple/black tomatoes, purple cauliflowers, red onions, red lettuces etc. just for fun, but I decided that this would be too ridiculous even for me. After all, I might actually turn purple and it’s a hard colour to wear. So instead I’ve plumped for the following: – potatoes (Ulster Chieftain in bags next to the plot as they take up lots of space), tomatoes (Legend), cucumbers (Boothby’s Blonde – a white cucumber), courgettes (Gladiator), romaine lettuce (to feed my pet lizards), kale, red onions (Red Baron), red peppers (Big Banana!), pumpkin (Jack of all Trades) and winter squash (Harlequin). I’ll have to see if it all fits in the bed, though.

Over Christmas I prepped the bed using home matured compost and soil left over from digging the foundation for a new garden feature – DJ’s greenhouse. But there’s not a lot else I can do yet as it’s too early to sow most things, although I may try to sow some romaine lettuce in pots in the greenhouse or indoors to see if they take. Have a great weekend, Piper xxx

Do you grow your own veg? What varieties/types of veg are you growing this year?

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5 Responses to The Novice Vegetable Grower

  1. Christine says:

    Well I shall try purple carrots this year for salads – http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/history.html – honest they were all purple once upon a time and orange is a late comer to the colour stakes. No idea what they are like but we shall try this year.

  2. Kerri says:

    we don\’t have a garden (well tiny patch of grass out the front of our flat but my landlord might object if I turn that into a veggie patch) but I did throw some tomato seeds in a grow bag a few years back. Well, by the end of summer I had tomatoes coming out of my ears and the plants were taller than the windowsill outside. It\’s quite sunny out the front and clearly suited the plants – I must admit I did nothing apart from water them. By the end of the summer there were so many tomatoes and the plants were so big, people were stopping to look at them as they walked past! lol! 🙂 might try that again this summer (fingers crossed we\’ll have one this year)

  3. piper says:

    Wow yes I was going to try some purple carrots too. No idea if I have green fingers yet though. I\’m good at killing things so we shall have to see. Impressive re the tomatoes Kerri – someone got in touch recently and said they grow potatoes in an old bin so there are obviously a few ways you can get around not having a garden. There are those tumbling toms that you can grow in a hanging basket too, aren\’t there?

  4. C says:

    We\’ve grown strawberries in grow-bags on the balcony of our flat for the last few years, and they\’ve done really well on the whole. Last year wasn\’t so good because of all the rain, but hte year before they sprouted so much we potted on cuttings and gave them away! We also had tomato and courgette plants in pots last year, but they didn\’t take so well because it was so wet.

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