When I get plotting again,…

hopefully in mid-March weather permitting, the first vegetables that I’ll be planting or sowing will be broad beans and first early potatoes.

I’ve grown broad beans Witkiem Manita the past few years but I remembered, and reread, Caro’s post Broad Beans – Top of the Pods from September 2013 and decided to try Karmazyn this year for the first time.  One other advantage of this variety is that the plants only grow 2 feet/60cm high which is ideal for my exposed plot.  I’ll be sowing a short double row of about 10 beans, which I’ll repeat in mid-April then mid-May.

I only grow one row of first early potatoes, which have been Vales Emerald in recent years. The horticultural society isn’t selling them this year so I’ve chosen Red Duke of York which I’ve not previously grown, and get an impressive accolade from JBA Seed Potatoes.

The sweet peas didn’t do well last year lasting only a couple of weeks before frazzling in the summer heat so I was debating whether to grow any this year.  However as I won two packets of seeds from Chiltern Seeds during December I will be trying again.  There are far too many for me to use so if anyone would like some please say in your comment. They’ll be a potluck mix of several varieties which could include pink, orange, red, dark purple and white flowers. Depending on how many people would like some I may have to pick names out of the hat.

Have a good week!


About Flighty

...allotmenteer, armchair gardener, blogger and sofa flyer.
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40 Responses to When I get plotting again,…

  1. Mark Willis says:

    I can sense that you are itching to start growing things again. Aren’t we all?

  2. Jo says:

    I only grew broad beans a couple of years and then decided to stop, I much prefer the other varieties of beans. I shall be growing Arran Pilot again this year and I’m hoping to get some Anya from the garden centre as our allotment society don’t sell them. My sweet peas were the same last year, I ended up without any but I’ll be trying them again this year, I’ve already got my seed ready.

    • Flighty says:

      Jo that’s a sensible decision if you’re not keen on broad beans. I would have bought Arran Pilot but they weren’t on sale this either.
      Fingers crossed that our sweet peas do better this year. xx

  3. The thought of anything growing, seems like magic….

  4. Liz says:

    Fresh broad beans are a rarity in the States. At least I’ve had a hard time finding them and I only grow rhubarb, tomatoes, and herbs in my garden. So, I feel lucky to find packages of frozen broad beans in one of the local grocery shops. They are such a treat. Good luck with growing yours this year!

  5. We can recommend the Red Duke of York tatties. We grew them last year in sacks on the patio and they were delicious, good size too. Best of luck! AoF

  6. My sweet peas didn’t do too badly last year. I’ve got some in the greenhouse which I sowed back in September and will be sowing some more into root trainers this week. Worth persevering with, I love the fragrance. Good luck with yours!

  7. CJ says:

    Ah, it’s time to start thinking about seeds again isn’t it. I’m almost ready to get going. Just a few more weeks! CJ xx

  8. snowbird says:

    I grew Red Duke of York last year and had a marvellous harvest! I hope your’s do well, I know you enjoy your potatoes and they really are tasty. I would happily go into the catalogue for sweet pea seeds….a girl simply has to have them and I haven’t bought any yet.xxx

  9. elaine says:

    We still have quite a wait yet before we can get growing – I still haven’t decided on seeds yet, and the only thing I have bought so far are some Charlotte potatoes – I really must pull my finger out .

    • Flighty says:

      Elaine we have but it’ll be here soon enough. It’s time to decide what you want I think. Good for you, Charlottes are my favourite potato variety. Yes you must! xx

  10. Chloris says:

    Thanks for the recommendation for broad beans. I haven’ t heard of this variety but will give it a go.
    My favourite potato is Charlotte. My chef is very fussy about potatoes and always rejects floury ones or ones that collapse in the water before they are cooked inside. Do you think he would accept Vales Emerald? I haven’t heard of it before.

    • Flighty says:

      Chloris I think that the thanks should go to Caro.
      They’re mine too. I don’t blame him. I think that Vales Emerald are an excellent first early variety, and probably the best I’ve grown. xx

  11. I brought some ginger root over Christmas to use in my cooking. After just grating such a small amount of it, I hadn’t the heart to throw it way. It reminded me some much of an Iris root. I’ve put it in a pot to grow. I know it probably won’t grow outside, but I might keep it in the greenhouse during the summer and bring it in the house in the winter months. Well, that’s the plan, if it grows. Have a good week. Can’t wait to see your plot take shape, Flighty.

  12. menhir1 says:

    This comes across as happy planning. It is surprising how many potatoes you can harvest out of a row. xx

  13. Glo says:

    Already there are signs of Spring peeping up to see if the world is ready for it! It won’t be long before you can be planting away. In the meantime, I’m sure we’ll see a variety of winter weather ~ always enjoyable to anticipate Spring and all it entails.

  14. Caro says:

    Hi Flighty, thanks for linking up to my post about Karmazyn beans! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed; I grew them again last year as they’ve become firm favourites. I also froze some last year, purely to be able to eat home grown beans midwinter, and they froze/defrosted really well, keeping their bright green colour. My mum loves broad beans so I was really pleased to be able to take her this little winter treat. Thanks also for the recommendation about Vale Emerald potatoes – I’ll look out for those and give them a go. Caro xx
    PS. I’ve had my eye on those exact sweet pea seeds from Chiltern so I’d love to have a few of your spares! 🙂 x

    • Flighty says:

      Caro you’re welcome. They sound like a good variety, and it’s good to see that you’ve done well with them.
      Vales Emerald potatoes have probably been the best first earlies that I’ve grown, so well worth a try.
      I’ll email you about the sweet peas. xx

  15. Carrie says:

    We got our spuds (Sharp’s express) from a discount shop as they worked just as well as any we have ever bought from a ‘proper’ nursery.
    Can barely wait for the warmer weather to get cracking and to see everyone’s progress on their plots too.
    Well done for winning seeds! I’m never quite lucky enough, haha xxxx

  16. Now I no longer have an allotment I can only grow tomatoes. I fret and fret to sow the seeds. My time of year for self-restraint.

  17. I’m sticking with Charlotte potatoes this year, they always do well for me. Roll on spring! xx

  18. nikkipolani says:

    We’re all hoping for a good sweet pea crop this year! Things are a bit topsy turvy so I planted lots and hope at least a few will germinate and bloom before high summer. Good luck with those new-to-you potatoes. Looking forward to seeing how they compare to your Vales Emerald.

  19. datz says:

    I nursed broad beans through a crap spring here 2 years ago(Auvergne, France) but I had a very poor crop. They didn’t appreciate the late April snow we sometimes get here. Same with PSB which we love but it’s too hard to get it through our winters here up at 750 metres height! I’ll be growing Mona Lisa as an early and trying Sarpo as a main crop over my usual Desiree. It will be great to get back into the garden, it’s under a foot of snow today!

  20. Flighty says:

    Datz hello. That’s a shame but I’m not surprised given the snow in April. I grow Desiree as a main crop as the slugs usually leave them be. It will indeed, but with that much snow may be a while.

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