Wednesday, 28 May 2014

This Year's Vegetable Varieties - Part 1 In The Greenhouse

Obsessed with Seeds..

Long before I had a vegetable garden or greenhouse I was really interested in different vegetable varieties and used to peruse seed catalogues longingly in the same way my husband studied car brochures full of fancy cars we were never going to own. 
Even though we still don't have a fancy car, we do have a vegetable garden and greenhouse. This means I now study seed catalogues with a whole new degree of enthusiasm - a level of excitement usually reserved for a Prada catalogue.
Over the last few months I have had many DMCs (deep, meaningful conversations) with Tony - the real source of all the work, knowledge and skill relating to the garden mostly discussing what we are going to grow this year. 

The seeds came from : Franchi (Italy), Thompson & Morgan, Tomatofest (USA), Victoriana Nursery and Sarah Raven 

My Vegetable Varieties for 2014

The list is similar to last year with additions, adjustments and the odd thing such as butternut and pattypan squash we’ve decided not to bother with  - more of that later but for now here's what we're growing in the greenhouse this year.

In The Greenhouse:
The biggest change has been this year’s tomato choices. I discovered a brilliant US website called Tomatofest. They had a HUGE choice. I chose several varieties that are entirely new to me based on flavour (obviously) but also making sure I had different colours and sizes and some that were better for sauces.

Those marked with * came from the US supplier Tomatofest, The Costoluto Fiorentina came from Franchi seeds in Italy, Black Cherry from Victoriana Nursery and the remaining ones from Thompson and Morgan.

April. The tomato plants have just gone in to the beds or planters on the floor (which are  a new addition this year).

The Greenhouse today ( a month later). Despite the cold weather everything is doing well.

End of April, mixed tomato plants go into beds in the greenhouse.

Today, L to R: Black Russian, Black cherry, Caro Rich also in this bed (not seen) Tigerella and Costoluto Fiorentina

This Year's Tomato Varieties:

Aunt Ruby’s German Green - a green beefsteak tomato with apparently excellent flavour (we will see…)

Lime Green Salad - a medium sized, chartreuse coloured tomato
Sungold - an excellent, sweet, orange-yellow cherry tomato - we grew it last year. 

* Ildi - a yellow grape tomato - came as an extra with the other seeds I ordered, looks good though.
Caro Rich a medium sized, orange tomato with ten times more beta carotene in it than other tomatoes - very interesting

Caro Rich grown from seed  now transplanted into  in the vegetable garden. Those in the greenhouse  will crop earlier

Tigerella a delicious large red and orange/green  striped tomato. We grew this last year too.

Matt’s wild Cherry - Very small, red, cherry tomatoes. I’ve read mixed reviews of them but worth a try if for no other reason than my husband is called Matt!

* Spoon even smaller red tomatoes, the size of a pea. The novelty appealed to me, the website claims they're sweet and tart (but annoying to pick).

The tomatoes stay tiny - about the size of a pea. These are in the greenhouse but there are some outside too.

Costuluto Fiorentina the original, red, Italian beefsteak tomato. I'm trying this in place of last year’s slightly disappointing 'Brandywine'.

Black Russian we grew these last year - a warm chocolatey colour - pretty, with excellent flavour.

Black Cherry similar to Black Russian but cherry sized with very good flavour

Like last year we’ll squeeze what we can into the greenhouse (about 15 plants) and the rest have been planted outside this week. 

Also in the Greenhouse:


Socrates’ a prolific,small cucumber sweet and delicious. Absolutely fantastic. Last year they were one of my favourite things that we grew.

End of April, The cucumber plants are in planters on the greenhouse bench, they'll be trained up wires 

A month later, I counted 18 cucumbers on this plant so far.
The first cucumber of the year, curiously way ahead of any of the others !

Chillies - not sure what sort ! We grew some from seeds we were given at Wahaca (the Mexican restaurant), plus a hot chilli mix

Herbs - Newly grown from seed in the greenhouse this year - Greek Basil, Chervil and Coriander. Everything else has overwintered ourside.

Chervil, one of my very favourite herbs.
A tray of Greek Basil. It  forms a ball and looks a bit like a Box hedge

Before being planted outside 



More Squash

Yet more Squash

Next time: The varieties we are growing in the vegetable garden.

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