The sky is the limit when it comes to new things to try in the garden. It is easy to get stuck in a rut and grow the same varieties of the same veggies every year: and there are benefits to doing this, they have proved to be good garden performers, the flavour is just right for you, you know the size, spread and yield and just where to grow them but where is the fun if everything stays the same, where is the challenge and where is the discovery of a new favourite?
Take lettuce as one example. Why not choose a different lettuce: it could be a different type, a different colour or just because the name is appeals to you. If you find it hard to choose then roll some dice and take a chance…
What about a different way of growing? Lettuces in rows across your beds look neat and are easy to weed but you could be using your lettuces as an edible edge, you could be mixing several types together for a random row or plant them out in patchwork blocks. If you have children you could try designing and growing lettuce patterns or pictures together: one year we had a lettuce monster that started out as a winding snake before having onion and chive ‘spikes’ added later.
What about trying other things – if you have only grown lettuce for your salads have you tried celtuce, mizuna, purslane or texel greens?
You can try new things with old favourites too – pea tips in salads, sprout & turnip tops as greens, mini veg (great for small spaces and impatient gardeners alike) & edible flowers are all there to explore & discover
Grow bold colours: the range of reds and purples is expanding every year. The word out there is that eating different colours is healthy for you; we say if it tastes good and looks good then it’s good to grow!
And if the sky is the limit why not think tall… Beans are brilliant climbers but have you grown sunflowers recently? What about a pumpkin or squash – they take up less space grown up supports and you get a different perspective on the fruits. What about a climbing courgette – NEW this January is Black Forest, you could be among the first to grow this fabulous variety. And Tall Telephone (pea) is just begging for a place in your garden!
If height is not suited to your plot you could always grow long – Armenian yard Long cucumbers, Naples Long squash, Tromborcino Albenga courgette & Red Noodle Yard Long beans all have to be seen to be believed (yes I know this is also tall but come on, yard long beans… amazing).
This month our Funky Veg definitely ticks the box for trying new and different varieties but if you take a wander through our web shop you will discover nearly 100 choices that are new to our range this year and this is why I am still excited by gardening and growing to eat.