Real Men Sow

New Varieties I’m Trying in 2014

In my January round up, I talked about finally sorting out my seed orders, and the different squash varieties I’m trying this year.

I’m growing Uchiki Kuri and Turk’s Turban (pictured above,  image from Thompson & Morgan) squashes for the first time, which I’m rather looking forward to. Turk’s Turban are a longstanding ambition, after I saw them in a cookery book and couldn’t believe how stunning they looked.

A packet of Uchiki Kuri squash seeds are winging their way here as well, after plenty of recommendations in response to my 5 Great Squashes to Try post.

I’m giving a few other new varieties of different veg a go too, for reasons ranging to size and just liking the God darn name.

I’m trying dwarfier pea varieties in the garden raised beds this year. I’m doing this as peas need to be picked at their freshest, so hopefully being able to wander down the garden every evening will help me keep on top of the harvesting.

Earlies will be Kelvedon Wonder, and my maincrop is Onward. Both grow to about 50cm, so will be manageable in a raised beds. I’m going to grow them up bits of branch from cutting back garden trees. This is a traditional way of growing peas, and one that looks particularly nice on the plot.

On the mangetout front, I’ve been well and truly spoilt by my Twitter mare, Lateral Mac, who sent me some Otter Farm Norli to try. Again, they’re a low growing variety, and perfect for a kitchen garden.

I’m sticking with my new found beet favourite, Cylindra. I grew this tubular variety last year, and love the uniform shape. It’s really nice to slice and cook with, and I also found the roots don’t got as woody as the spherical beets.

Jamie from Life in the Thrift Lane sent me some Hannibal leeks in a seed swap, after I asked for some leek alternatives to my usual favourite, Musselburgh. Musselburgh are long but thin, and I’m after something altogether meatier this year. Hannibal are said to give thick shafts so they sound just the job. And the name is awesome too.

I’m using up last year’s batch of the ever reliable Moneymakers (medium) and Gardeners Delight (cherry), but trying a beefsteak called Marmande. I’ve never tried big old beefsteaks before, and several other growers have suggested Marmande as a good place to start.

The toms will be in the garden as I can easily water them there.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli
After enjoying PSB in January, I set about investigating why it was so early this year. Extra early variety Rudolph seems to hold the answer, being ready to harvest as early as November. I’m going to try staged sowings of Rudolph to see how much of the winter I can eat PSB.

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  1. Alan @ It's Not Work, It's Gardening!February 6, 2014 at 12:30 amReply

    Trying new varieties is much of the fun for me. I like the idea of “dependable” varieties, but with weather so unpredictable, is there anything really “dependable” anymore?

  2. Jamie_WDFebruary 6, 2014 at 1:03 pmReply

    I look forward to hearing how you do with the Hannibal Leeks. Not sure whether to sow my Wizard Beans soon or to save them for overwintering at the end of the season.

    Choices, choices!

    Thanks for the swap :)

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meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope. However, over a decade later, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

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