The best of next season’s grow-your-own seeds
If the weather’s getting you down, remember gardening’s always about looking ahead – in this case, to next year’s vegetable crops.
I’ve been delving into the latest catalogues to find the best new seed varieties for grow-your-own fans.
The emphasis is mainly on compact varieties, although there is a Beginner’s Collection from Real Seeds that is too good to miss.
Broccoli All Season Collection
This mix offers seven months of easy pickings from November-May with three British-bred purple sprouting broccoli varieties – Red Admiral F1, Mendocino and Burbank, £3.99, www.thompson-morgan.co.uk.
The first plant to be grown from seed, harvested and eaten in space.
A red romaine variety with a sweet crunch – harvest late May-late October. Receive a free packet when you spend over £10 on seeds before December 24, 2018, £2.99, www.suttons.co.uk.
Tomato Ruby Falls
The plants produce dense columns of compact plants, perfect for a smaller greenhouse. Large, cherry-sized fruit which are deep red in colour, with green striping which fades as the fruit ripens. The fruit has a sweet, rich flavour. Height 150-200cm (59-79″); spread 30-40cm (12-16″), £3, Rob Smith Heritage Veg Range, www.dobies.co.uk.
Creamy-yellow fruits with green tips as though they have been dipped in paint. 1½ft (45cm,) £2.45, www.chilternseeds.co.uk.
Sweet pepper Beauty Bell F1
An early-fruiting pepper with large, thick-walled, square-shaped fruits. They start off green, turn fiery red and are high yielding, suitable for growing in a greenhouse or in a sheltered position outside, £2.25, www.plant-world-seeds.com.
Cucumber Mini Munch
A mostly female-flowering variety which sets well to produce multiple fruits per node, to give large crops of snack-sized cucumbers over a long harvest season, £3.95, www.mr-fothergills.co.uk.
Aubergine Clara F1 (Organic)
A fast-growing, early variety for reliable crops of attractive, glossy white fruit. Can be grown in a greenhouse or on a sunny, sheltered patio, £2.15, www.johnsons-seeds.com.
Small white Munchkin type with sweet tasting pale flesh. Fruits weigh up to 500g and are produced in good numbers on powdery mildew resistant, compact semi-bush plants, £2.59, www.dtbrownseeds.co.uk.
The “Beginner Gardener” Seed Collection
A selection of vegetables that are ideal for the first-time vegetable grower. Contains Flashy Butter Oak lettuce, Giant Red carrot, Golden beetroot, Verde di Italia courgette, Stupice tomato, Cupidon bean, Havel pea, Liesde Hangdown broad bean and Fordhook giant chard, £21.50, www.realseeds.co.uk.