With limited space to grow in my back garden beds, I’ve had to make some decisions about what to grow.
In the past, I’ve used a prioritisation matrix (I know, I know…) to help choose which veg to grow. Some of the criteria, like the cost in shops, were generic, but others were personal to me. Not all veg are equal to my palate. Tomatoes rock my tastebuds, but turnips… well, turn me off.
And some veg, I just need a break from. We’ve all got those problematic ones that leave you scratching your head because you can never quite perfect them. I’ve got one or two of those, and in 2015, the year of saving money and reliability (the first update on that coming at the end of this month…), those troublemakers are out.
So here are 5 vegetables I’m not growing in 2015.
Normally, I set aside some space for both early salad carrots and a summer maincrop, as well as sometimes growing them in containers.
However, we’re not really much of a carrot family. We don’t roast much, and if we do grow carrots they normally end up grated in salads. So, taking my own advice of growing what you eat, the carrot seeds are staying in their packets this year.
Carrots are also dead cheap in the shops. At 57p a kilo, I’ll give the space over to a crop that yields a higher value.
Another cheapy veg is the good old onion. You can pick up an onion for little over 20p in some supermarkets which given the space they take up, doesn’t bode well for my spreadsheet.
Onions aren’t completely out, as I’ve got some overwintering sets that are now starting to bulk up. Winter is a good time to put onions in, as there isn’t much else in the beds, but come Summer I like to give the space over to a more glamorous veg. Sorry onions!
Oh parsnips, you tricky customers. Year after year is a battle to get the perfect parsnip. My soil at my old allotment was stony, so this caused split or stumpy roots.
I had high hopes last year, with my new raised beds and nice, stone-free soil. Alas, my parsnips were still mainly nubbins and good only for soup.
Parsnips, we don’t eat many of you, you’re cheap in the shops and I need a break from your stumpy disappointment. Maybe next year.
I like the odd cauliflower, and as a challenge, I think a good cauliflower is one of the most satisfying vegetables to grow. They’re very tricky though and require a lot of love and attention. I’ve achieved some success with caulis, so much like ticking off an accomplishment on a bucket list, I’m happy to move on to the next one.
Every allotment holder and GYOer grows peas, right? They’re a plot staple. Where would we be without the good old garden pea?
Recently my pea growing mojo has waned. Back in January, I was thinking about not bothering with them at all.
When I discovered mangetout, everything changed. For anyone who doesn’t know, mangetout is a type of pea, but they’re the little flat pea pods, which you eat whole before the peas swell.
The other difference I’ve found is that the yield is much better, especially if you consider the space taken up.
Mangetout is incredibly productive, and I like to grow the vines up wigwams. Not only is this productive, but it also makes for an attractive feature in a bed.