Seed ordering time again

It's that time of year again: browsing the seed catalogues; checking my planned growing list and ordering the new seeds. I like settling down on a cold, dark January night with a glass of wine to plan for spring and the coming growing season. It's that feeling of hope and promise that the cold and dark days do come to an end.

A selection of seed catalogues I use 

These are seeds I had to sow last year, that never got used due to moving.
They should still be viable this year due to correct storage
Here is last years blog about seed buying, planning and growing. This year I have ordered quite a lot of vegetable seeds as my youngest has shown an interest in having his own veg plot. This is to be encouraged, especially as he is thirteen and needs to be outside more! After chatting to him about what veg he wants to grow we came up with a list combining his choices and mine. He also wants to grow potatoes so I ordered a mixed collection from Thompson and Morgan which will be interesting, fun and give us different types of potatoes to use in the kitchen. I have always encouraged my boys to help and be involved in the gardens we have had and this has had various results over the years. Now they are all teenagers or in their 20's its become a rare event.

Jamie raking up leaves a few years ago

Daniel helping move soil at the in between garden here

I have also ordered some perennial plant seeds. It's a cheap and easy way of producing new plants and I can exchange or sell the extra plants I don't need. This year I used Chiltern Seeds, Thompson and Morgan and Seeds of Italy and I have ordered only heritage seed varieties. I feel it is important to keep these old varieties going: they are part of our gardening heritage and all too often are superseded by new improved varieties and lost. The new varieties produce too much at the same time, more than we can use or store at the moment (tiny useless freezer in the rented hoose: drives me mad), anyhoo, the older varieties produce crops at a steady rate that we can manage. Also a lot of heritage varieties are more interesting, colourful and have fabulous names.

There is a square of empty ground at the west end of the patio, covered in weeds, that we hope to use for the vegetables.We need to dig it over and see what the soil is like once the snow, rain, sleet, etc stops. The ground is about eight feet square, a small area, but with a bit of thought we can squeeze a lot in. We have chosen to grow:

Bean, french 'Purple Teepee'
Bean, runner 'Painted Lady'
Beetroot 'Chioggia'
Broccoli 'Early Purple Sprouting'
Cabbage, winter 'Red Drumhead'
Carrot 'James Scarlet Intermediate'
Kale 'Dwarf Green Curled'
Lettuce 'All the year round'
Lettuce 'Cocarde'
Onion 'Ailsa Craig'

I have also ordered some less hardy vegetables to grow in the greenhouse:

Courgette 'Costata Romanesco'
Onion, salad 'White Lisbon'
Pepper, sweet 'Topepo Rosso'
Squash mixed
Tomato 'Golden Sunrise'

Previous home grown harvest at Easter Mosshat

All grown from seed at Easter Mosshat

The potato collection includes the varieties:

Potato 'Abbot' (first early) -                      Heavy yields of short, oval tubers with firm and waxy
                                                                      white flesh can be lifted as early as May.
Potato 'Lady Christl' (first early) -           Smooth oval, pale yellow skinned tubers with creamy 
                                                                      flesh that remains firm on cooking.
Potato 'Jazzy' (second early) -                   Enormous yields.
Potato 'Desiree' (early maincrop) -           This well-loved maincrop potato has particularly good 
                                                                       drought resistance.
Potato 'Pink Fir Apple' (late maincrop) - Long, knobbly, pink skinned tubers with butter yellow, 
                                                                       waxy flesh, and a distinctive nutty flavour.
Potato 'S├írpo Mira' (late maincrop) -       Huge yields of tasty, floury potatoes. A real all-rounder 
                                                                       for all culinary uses.

There is nothing better than growing our own food. It's healthier, cheaper and gives us a feeling of achievement.