Monday, 29 April 2013

Growing Our Own

This time last year we were in a bit of a tizzy as we had just had Lulu and every minute was taken up with our new bundle. We just about managed to throw a few seed potatoes and onion sets into our veg patch and not a lot else. Whilst family life is still our central focus we have managed to spend a bit more time in the garden already this year and started to get Lulu used to horticultural life. This weekend we managed to get all of our veg sown, and miracle of miracles it happened the same weekend as Monty sowed his on Gardeners' World. (1). So here's what we are looking forward to from our modest veg patch this year...

Lulu shows she's willing to muck in and help
Lulu shows she's willing to muck in and help


  1. Potatoes: Last year we grew "Maris Peer" potatoes for the first time and we really loved their waxy texture and nutty taste. Perfect for boiling. So this year we stuck with what we love and gone with that again.
  2. Onions: Nothing out of the ordinary here. "Sturon" as our white onion, Red Barons for our erm, red onion (!) and "Golden Gourmet" shallots. 
  3. Salad Leaves. Just a general packet of "Cut n Come Again". We have left space for sowing another row in a few weeks too for some extra summer salads.
  4. Wild Rocket. A lovely addition to the above in our salads, over pizzas, stirred into pastas etc.
  5. Radish "French Breakfast". Think we'll leave the French to have these for breakfast but we will certainly enjoy them in salads. And they grow so quick! We have left space for succession planting on these too.
  6. Spinach "Bordeaux". We'll use this in both salads and cooked.
  7. Sweetcorn "Sweet F1". We have never successfully grown sweetcorn before so this will be an interesting experiment for us.
  8. Squash "Sunburst F1". Another first for us so watch this space.
  9. Turnip "Purple Top Milan". We lovely the sweetness of baby turnips.
  10. Beetroot "Boltardy". A staple in the Burt household. Great for both cooking and pickling (2) 
  11. Leek "Musselburgh". We love leeks for both soups and general cooking.
  12. Spring Onion "White Lisbon". Another great addition to salads. 
  13. Parsnip "Palace F1". Another newbie for us. We we were running out of space so we have planted a few seeds in a pot to see what will come of it. 
  14. Pea "Ambassador". A firm favourite and although we will get limited crops as they have just been planted into a couple of troughs we will enjoy what we do get.
Our newly sown veg beds.

In addition to this weekend's work, we have cherry tomato seedlings on our kitchen counter, gooseberry (3.) and raspberry plants (4.) already in place in the raised beds and some courgette and black kale plants being nurtured for us at a friend's house. There's also goodies tucked into the borders such as chives, fennel and rhubarb. So, hopefully in a few months our garden will be heaving with the weight of tasty fruit and veg. Wonderful! Just need to go sort out our herbs now. (5.)

Thanks for reading.

All at Vialii 


If you need advice on planting veg or are interested in incorporating a "Grow Your Own" area into your garden please get in touch.


1. Only really because Monty, like the rest of country, was delayed by the awful Spring weather rather than us being organised but we will take it anyway! It will NEVER happen again!

2. Add a few of the shallots into the jar and a few peppercorns when pickling.

3. The gooseberry bush was a gift from our lovely neighbour who was getting rid of it.

4. We are hoping to get a decent crop of raspberries as Lulu LOVES them and is eating us out of house and home!

5.Our existing herbs are looking old and tired, a bit like the pots they live in. So our plan is to build some new pots from old pallets we have at our yard. Watch this space for a future blog on this subject...