Daily Archives: March 11, 2012

What to Grow?

When it comes to deciding what to grow, it’s very tempting to go for unusual things. I want varieties that I can’t get in the supermarket, or at least things  that will amaze and astound people, especially when I’m holding a fabulous dinner party. However, reality must be acknowledged and I’m well aware that I’m a bit of a ‘newbie’ at this. The unusual things are often more expensive and more challenging to grow. That, and my dinner parties are more frantic than fabulous really.

Generally, I’ve gone with modern varieties, but thrown in a few unusual things.  For example, I’m planning on growing ‘Resista-fly’ carrots, along side some ‘Purple Haze’ carrots. I figure we could use some challenge, after all, what’s life without challenge?

Our fruit area is mainly made up of things that were already on the allotment.  So we have raspberries, gooseberries, red & black currants, rhubarb and now strawberries. We planted the strawberries a few of weeks ago, there was a bit of snow on the ground, but the soil wasn’t frozen. I did manage to nab a couple of fleece tunnels out of the clearence bin at the Wandsworth B&Q. When the weather warmed up I left them uncovered, but have been on Red Alert for frost warnings since.

Baby strawberries, all cosy and warm in their fleece tunnel.

We’ve been fairly strict in making sure we grow things that we will actually eat, try to avoid gluts of things if possible. That being said, once I had a run through the seed catalogue, it had lots and lots of post it notes. We have 240 m², I now realise we need about 240 acres. So there was a quick discussion and some heavy editing occurred. So we’re growing two varieties of potatoes, not four. Two types of carrots, but only one onion. I have kept all four tomatoes varieties. Amazingly, all four of us want to grow sprouts.

We’re using a three year crop rotation on 18 beds, so 6 beds per ‘year’. In trying to balance out root veg, fruiting veg and brassicas, I’ve found we need to really embrace the brassicas. No colon cancer in this house, but we may need to spend next winter with the windows open…

Just a few Post-Its