Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Planting, Sowing And Growing 2017

After giving up my allotment at the end of 2015 I decided that I'd cut right back on what I grow. Last year, the only things I grew myself were potatoes, tomatoes and cucumbers (apart from the fruit which I harvest each year). I decided on two potato varieties, two tomato varieties and one variety of cucumber. This year I'm stripping it back even further.

Even when I had the allotment, I still grew my potatoes in containers. They come out nice and clean and without any damage at all. I usually have many containers of potatoes on the go, this year I wasn't going to grow any at all but I know I'd miss that first new potato taste so I've decided to just grow a few.


I've gone for my favourites, Anyas, and a variety I grew a number of years ago, Sharpes Express. There's only ten tubers in total so they've been divided between four containers, just enough to give us a good taste at the beginning of harvest time.

Maskotka are my tomatoes of choice these days, they're a cherry variety and grow as a bush so there's no work involved in pinching out the side shoots or tying in as the plant grows, though I find they still need a little support.


I've decided that this will be the only variety I grow this year and I'm only going to grow maybe two or three plants. There's only me in the family who eats tomatoes, and I know there'll be enough on a couple of plants to give some to my mum and dad too.

The potatoes were put in to their containers on Sunday and the tomato seeds were sown on the same day, it's time to watch for growth now.

So that's it for this year, there'll be very little growing going on here but it should free up my time for other things. I wonder if I'll manage to stick to what I've decided or whether anything else will sneak in.

44 comments:

  1. Good luck with your potatoes and tomatoes, I would love to grow some veg but i don't think I've got the time to give them the attention they need. I tried tomatoes last year and i'm afraid they were a bit of a fail! I'm not very good at remembering to water :-(

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    1. The reason I've cut down so much is down to time constraints. Hmmm, watering is a major factor in growing your own. I use self-watering containers for my tomato plants, they have a reservoir in the bottom of the pot so you don't have to water the plants quite as often as usual.

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  2. I'll look forward to an update on how they grow. We are all set to sew some seeds ourselves at the end of the week. I just need to create a cat barrier! X

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    1. Animals can be such pests when trying to grow veggies in the garden. Archie's really good now but he used to pinch tomatoes off the plants when he was a puppy and eat them, he wasn't bothered whether they were ripe or not. We get quite a few cats in the front garden but since we've had Archie they stay away from the back.

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  3. I know what you mean about the first taste of homegrown potatoes, they really do taste so good. We never do well with tomatoes, maybe we should try that variety too xx

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    1. I think it's that first taste which is the very best of the season so even growing just a few containers worth is definitely worth it. Maskotka tomatoes are my absolute favourites now and they produce so much fruit that you don't need many plants.

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  4. When space is limited it's hard to know what to grow, many things are cheap in the shops when your glut comes, plus we have loads coming into work. I am growing a cut flower garden this year, I do love cut flowers at the weekends.

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    1. I think you really need to grow things you enjoy eating and things which taste nicer when picked fresh. I don't think either potatoes or tomatoes which are bought ever taste as good as home grown. I look forward to hearing how your cut flower garden does for you, it was something I was going to do at the allotment but I never got round to it.

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  5. It's good to see that you're still keeping your hand in so to speak. I really must try Maskotka tomatoes, perhaps next year. Happy growing. Flighty xx

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    1. Not much growing going on this year due to lack of time but it's good to be growing something, I've just gone for my favourites. I can definitely recommend Maskotka tomatoes, you really must give them a go.

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  6. Those sound like good potato picks. It would be nice if we could grow potatoes in pots but our summers get much too hot so I doubt they would do well. And summer just wouldn't be the same without the taste of a fresh from the vine tomato.

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    1. I've gone for potatoes I could buy in small quantities, I'm really pleased I managed to get Anyas though, they're my absolute favourite. I agree about tomatoes, it would take a lot for me to go a summer without growing at least a couple of plants.

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  7. We grow our potatoes in tubs and so far they're doing well. We're having trouble with the tomatoes though as we usually do.

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    1. Glad to hear that your potatoes are doing well. A shame about the tomatoes but they might come good at the end, I've had years where I've been surprised by them after a tricky start.

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  8. We've planted some potatoes in tubs for the first time in a while this year.

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    1. I hope they do well for you. They might just give you an earlier harvest than those on the plot.

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  9. I hope it is a great year of growing for you. If I had to describe you I would definitely include potato and tomato growing so I am glad for you that you can do some of that this year.

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    1. Growing so little this year I should be able to devote a little extra care and attention to them so I do hope they do well.

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  10. We hope to plant a few potatoes in bags this year too. Not yet, though. We always reckon we're a month behind Monty Don and he planted his last week so 3 weeks until we need to do ours.

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    1. Some people do tend to rush to plant things and they don't do well, better to be on the safe side and wait a while until the better weather arrives.

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  11. We planted some of our potatoes last week. We recently took on a second allotment plot so have increased our space quite a bit. We don't have as much space as we did at the old site, but we're enjoying the challenge of sorting out yet another plot.

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    1. Your gluttons for punishment. Seriously though, why not. If you've got the time and energy to look after another plot it will give you extra space to grow a wider variety of fruit and veg. I miss all the fresh veg we used to grow on our allotment but we just don't have the time at the moment to devote to veg growing. I definitely want to get back to it in the future though. In the meantime, my spuds and tomatoes will just have to do.

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  12. We have no vegetables planned this year, the garden is still a mess after our building work last winter. I have planted some dahlia tubers to cheer things up though. Good luck with your tomotoes and spuds xx

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    1. I'm sure you'll get the garden ship shape again soon, building work does tend to take its toll on the surrounding areas. In the meantime, enjoy your dahlias, the perfect plant to add lots of colour.

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  13. You can't beat home grown ... even herbs on a window sill are good!
    Looking forward to seeing and reading how your potatoes and tomatoes grow.

    All the best Jan

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    1. I agree. I miss all the veggies we used to grow at the allotment, the taste of bought veg just doesn't compare. Hopefully, we'll get back to growing more again in time.

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  14. I find once you are down to only the two of you, it's not necessary to grow lots, unless you have family close to give away to or do lots of preserving & freezing. I also find (like you), that I enjoy some things more than K, so some of it then goes to waste & I don't like that idea. Hope the growing goes well & we get updates on the progress. Take care.

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    1. That's true, we don't need as much veg these days now that there's only the two of us at home for most of the time. I do still enjoy growing plenty though as I love to share with friends and family and they're always grateful for anything we pass on.

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  15. It´s nice to have your own grown, but I agree with time restraints it can´t all be done. I have loads of herb seeds to put down, all will be in pots, I use washing up water (if it´s cleanish) and even resort to filling water bottles up from the shower/baths, every little help out here. xcx

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    1. Growing your own does take time, even a few things in the garden need looking after. We try to recycle water too, every little helps.

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  16. We have a much smaller area than we had at the smallholding so decided just to go for things that are not cheap to buy or don't take up much room. so no carrots or onions or caulis or cabbage

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    1. I think that's a sensible plan. The one thing I couldn't do without are tomatoes, home grown are so much tastier than shop bought.

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  17. I haven't sown or planted anything yet..in fact I need to say bye now and get my seed potatoes ordered...yikes!

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    1. Still plenty of time yet, no panic.

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  18. I have cut back on what I grow too, as you say, it all becomes very time consuming. I always grow potatoes though.I'm sure a few more may just sneak in though!!!xxx

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    1. I love that first potato taste of the year, it can't be beaten.

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  19. We tried growing potatoes in those green sacks a few years ago, Jo. Did as instructed, but the one thing we hadn't realized was that once the leaves were showing they needed LOTS OF LIGHT. Silly us left them on the little terrace at the back of our garden, in the shade of the walnut tree and, of course, the result was no potatoes! How stupid can we be not to be able to grow spuds? We've not tried again, but I am tempted!
    I like fresh produce but we have a small garden, overshadowed by a large walnut tree and therefore if we grew produce we'd have to forego flowers and I won't do that, I love to see flowers and Waitrose and Lidl is my garden. However, we do grow some runner beans in a pot and, provided the snails don't do for them, enjoy having fresh runner beans.
    Margaret P
    www.margaretpowling.com

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    1. The great thing with gardening is that you can always try things again if they didn't work the first time. Space can be an issue for many people so it's a case of working out what your priorities are, as you've done. I think most people enjoy seeing flowers in their garden above veggies, though the one thing I couldn't do without are tomatoes. I rarely eat shop bought tomatoes as they just don't compare to home grown.

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  20. Glad to see you have Albert Bartlett potatoes - they have a big potato business in my home town of Airdrie!

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    1. They're a big name in the potato world. Anyas are my absolute favourite potatoes.

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  21. I'm willing to bet something else will catch your eye and you'll want to give it a go.
    Let us know how the first crop taste when the time comes!
    Lisa x

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    1. You're probably right. Lots of things catch my eye as I'm walking around a garden centre and it's very hard to resist.

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  22. What will you do with those first new potatoes? Plain? With butter? With a few fresh herbs??? Jx

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    1. I love new potatoes boiled with a little mint and then smothered in butter. Mmmm, my mouth's watering at the thought.

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