I have spent the last few weeks pondering which vegetables to plant this year whilst not wasting any time, effort or money on crops that we won’t see through to harvest if we manage to sell our house in the coming months.
Rather than spend the next few weeks repeatedly changing my mind, I decided to just go ahead and order a small selection of vegetable seeds for this year but I tried to focus on those which are ideally early planting and thus early harvesting. I will just have to accept that in the event we are lucky enough to sell fairly quickly that means some crops may be left for the new owners.
However all is not lost as I have a cunning plan to use various containers for some of the slower growing or longer term crops so that we can (in theory at least) take those with us.
Most of these will be started off under cover anyway – assuming I ever buy the replacement glass needed for the cold frame – but some may be planted out directly under cloches in the raised veg beds.
This year I have again gone for first early potatoes (Swift this time) which if the website is to be believed could be ready for harvest “in as little as 7 weeks from planting” – I have my doubts about this but I’ll be interested to see how it turns out.
The Thompson and Morgan potato growing guide has some great information, particularly the planting and spacing guide but also about the various problems when growing potatoes.
A variety called “Early Onward” which is (allegedly) a “heavy cropper, maturing some 10 days earlier than Onward“. I think that these are destined for one of the veg beds that are now covered with cloches but there’s still no guarantee that the weather will warm up quickly enough to suit my impatience!
The guide to pea growing on the Thompson and Morgan website is a handy reference but doesn’t specifically mention this variety so I’ll just make it up as I go along!
This will be my first attempt at beetroot but it was a special request so it’s worth a try. This is a variety called Boltardy which ”is the perfect variety for early sowing“. This will most likely be planted up in a number of medium sized pots/troughs so that I can handle succession sowing to get a decent crop over a longer period while still keeping it slightly portable.
A rather interesting looking variety called Purple Haze which can apparently be sown “under frames or cloches in February as soil starts to warm” and unsurprisingly this is a nice shade of purple! Apparently the taste is excellent but I may need to eat them with my eyes closed – after all I’ve always known carrots to be an orange colour!
Finally I decided to take the plunge and try some rhubarb so I ordered a double pack with 1 crown of Stockbridge Arrow and 1 crown of Champagne. This is definitely one for a large (3ft?) tub which has nothing growing in it right now and I’m hoping that my calculations are good enough so I can fit both crowns in there with no adverse effects
There is a handy rhubarb growing guide on the Thompson and Morgan website which I found very useful and I’ll be going back over that when the delivery arrives
There are also still some seeds left from last year – particularly the Nantes carrots and Apollo leeks – so assuming I can find any spare space they may get planted at some point. Unfortunately they aren’t as exciting as the new stuff I’ve just ordered so they’ll probably get forgotten but I’d hate to waste the space!
I can now spend the next week or two watching for the delivery man with my parcels… and waiting for warmer weather of course!