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Veg and fruit stars from Dobies

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Carrot Oxenheart
Carrot Oxenheart from the Rob Smith Heritage Range. Picture; Dobies

Veg from seeds plus chilli plants

Cut your fruit and veg bills this summer by growing your own and Dobies has some cracking ideas for those with and without gardens.

From the firm’s spring catalogue comes the Good Life Range, come these three top veg choices – two which can be still grown from seed and chilli plants, ideal for a patio, sunny windowsill or under glass up north.

Carrot Oxenheart: From Rob Smiths’ excellent Heritage  Range. A snub-nosed, old French variety you certainly won’t see in the shops. It will grow well in containers or shallow soil, unlike most standard carrot varieties. Sweet and tender, Oxenheart is a quick grower and an excellent keeper. Code: 434119, price £2.50 per seed packet.

New Kale Redbor: If you’ve never tried kale or are new to veg growing, give it a try. It is so easy, with good winter hardiness and excellent tolerance to pests and diseases, and it’s a superfood. Try it Italian-style with pasta, olive oil, garlic and chilli – not ruined as a boiled Sunday lunch veg. It has the RHS Award of Garden Merit. Code: 439733, price £2.79 per seed packet.

Chilli Numex Twilight: An eye-catching variety and a prolific cropper. Ripens through a rainbow of colours, making it highly decorative. At 30,000-50,000 SHU (SHU measured in Scoville heat units), it’s about the same heat as Cayenne peppers or Tabasco. Code: 262165, price £3 for 10 potted plants – it’s too late to grow them from seed.


Patio fruit trees

The next three are ideal patio plants and ones to order for dispatch in September to fruit next year – gardening’s all about looking ahead. Each potted tree costs £21.99.

Plum Victoria: the classic plum variety to eat fresh or cook. Code 260265.

Sibleys Apricot: a Compact tree for a container or small space, with tasty fruits. Code: 260275.

Peach Avalon Pride: Self-fertile with pretty pink flowers. Bears large, deliciously juicy fruits. Code 260280.

For more information, visit www.dobies.co.uk.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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