I love growing veg and really enjoy trialling different varieties.
We tend to stick with trusted favouries once they tick all the boxes:
Grow well and abundantly during our growing season.
Harvest times are flexible, they don’t have to be harvested all at once if planted at once – eg. with the carrots above, so far we have been picking these carrots planted on the same day over the space of two weeks.
Cold hardy varieties that are frost tolerant.
Low growing, these varieties tend to get less wind damage and are more resilient. Tall varieties get knocked around too much in the wind and take a long time to hit their growing peak.
Baby veg and small growing varieties work well here, they take less time to ripen and therefore don’t take up valuable growing space for longer periods of time like big varieties do.
With the erratic growing weather it is all about growing what grows well in a short period of time. Nothing worse than spending so much time nurturing a crop and at the last minute it is decimated by burning hot winds, damaging rain or brutal frosts.
Favourite veg to grow:
Carrots: Any variety. The bunch above is the result of having half empty carrot seed packets in my pocket and throwing them all in together.
Potatoes: Dutch Creams.
Sugar snap peas.
Borlotti beans. Less about using them, more about the pretty colours.
Beetroot. I tend to favour the slow bolting varieties that have delicious tender leaves. Not as fond of white beetroot for pickling. We grow Chioggia from time to time for salads but tend to stick with the deep red coloured beetroot varieties that stain your hands, don’t go mushy when preserved and look gorgeous in the jar.
Zucchini. Costa Romansque and Costata Romanesco are the two favourites, for us they don’t quickly grow out to whopping big zucchinis if we miss harvesting them for a week. These firm fleshed varieties work best for freezing and our zucchini pickle and relish recipes. Over the years I’ve tried growing everything from the yellow varieties to Rondo de Nice for pickling and relish but not as happy with the results.
Garlic. Hard neck varieties. The soft neck varieties rot faster in the ground here at Fairy Wren Cottage.
Leafy greens. Grown to pick when the leaves are small. eg. Walking Stick Cabbage. Kale.
Broadbeans. Coles Dwarf, grown for the leafy tips.
Brocolli and Cauliflower leaves go into soups, stews, slow bakes and stir fries.
Pumpkins. Golden Nugget. Blue hubbard. Any small to medium varieties that don’t take as long to grow as the larger varieties.
Peas. Especially for the tips.
I’m sure I’ve forgotten some, only because I haven’t thought of them while writing this.
We favour the old traditional open pollinated non-hybrid varieties, they are hardy and easy to grow. Plus you can save the seed yourself – they haven’t been chemically treated or genetically engineered. There is a reason why the traditional varieties are still available, they grow well and are a reliable food source.
Easy, doable tips that will help you grow more veg, the brilliant community made free ebook is HERE.
I’ve also created this free ebook. Tips and tricks to make small batches of preserves.
You can download it HERE
Lil and Michael made fourteen jars of Zucchini relish on the weekend, using our home grown zucchinis. It was really lovely to hear them working and chatting away together in the kitchen.
Until next time,
March 28, 2023