Home My garden Sowing seeds late: they’ll catch up!

Sowing seeds late: they’ll catch up!

Cherry tomato Rosella awarded AGM status by the RHS
Cherry tomato Rosella

Blog: Finally, the propagator is on…

With my world being turned upside down this year after my mam’s death, I’m trying to get back on track with my gardening year. For one thing, the rituals of the seasons are very comforting and getting out there and doing something normal is so good for your mental health and stress levels.

After coping reasonably well, this has been a difficult few days. Six weeks after her death, the numbness seems to be wearing off and the simplest of things are upsetting me, most of all the overwhelming task of clearing out the house with a timescale – beware equity release, folks.

Once again, gardening has come to the rescue – out with the heat mats. Sown in the last week were:

My tomato and tomatillo varieties for 2020
My tomato and tomatillo varieties for 2020

Tomato choices

Tomato Cherry Apero: Rich red, slightly elongated fruits with great taste. They are long-lasting on the strong and fast growing plants and have excellent disease resistance, www.chilternseeds.co.uk.

Tomato Rosella: My favourite tomato, a cherry I always return to, with deep pink cherry fruits and a sweet, fruity flavour with a good balance of acidity, www.chilternseeds.co.uk.

Tomatillo Purpleino: This can be grown like, but much more easily than, an outdoor tomato – faster-growing, cold tolerant and more productive. They have purple-blotched yellow flowers followed by golf-ball-sized, sticky, purplish fruits enclosed by a papery husk. The ripe fruits can be eaten raw, in salads, or used in pies and jams, 75cm, www.chilternseeds.co.uk.

Chilli Trinidad Moruga Scorpion: See more on this hottie here.

Tomatoes, tomatillos, chillies, passion fruit and Nicotiana
Tomatoes, tomatillos, chillies, passion fruit and Nicotiana

Rare and unusual chillies

Chilli Palivec: A new variety from the Czech Republic, a long ‘goats horn’ style chilli, which starts out pale green and ripens to a dark red. Very productive, with a good flavour. Height 60cm x 30cm. It’s a medium-hot chilli and the heat is mostly concentrated in the seeds, allowing you to control it easily, www.realseeds.co.uk.

Pepper Dedo de Mocha Sweet Aji: A hot pepper without the heat, from expert Jeff Nekola. Aji is a different species, Capsicum baccatum. One of the largest Ajis with shiny, deep red fruit. Without the heat, the subtle, smoky undertones of the Aji flavour come out. Grow in a polytunnel or greenhouse and it can be overwintered. If plants get stressed, they can produce heat near the seeds. The name translates roughly as ‘Amputated Fingers’, www.realseeds.co.uk.

Passion Flower Mix: leftovers from last year.

Nicotiana Only the Lonely: An old variety for a partially shaded position, with towering candelabras, hung with very fragrant, long-narrow-tubed flowers all summer. Can survive winter in some areas and a self-seeder, 1.5m, www.chilternseeds.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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