I have always grown vegetables and would hate to stop doing it, but I had to rethink it lately to make less work. Firstly why grow those that you can easily buy. Like onions, maincrop potatoes, cabbages etc. You need to concentrate on those that taste so much better straight from the garden. New potatoes with skin you can just push off and broad beans that you can pick before they get large and leathery and you can afford to have large bowls of them. Snap peas are great straight from the vine. The french beans both climbing and dwarf and runner beans are easily available but are so productive it seems a shame not to grow them. Like courgettes, where three plants bought from the garden centre will supply all you need. If you are very cheffy you may like to stuff the flowers.
Once upon a time you had to take sweetcorn straight from the plant to the pan to retain the sweetness, nowadays the new varieties remain sweet for at least a week, so you may as well buy them.
For winter, leeks are a great standby as are the kales. Both of these can be bought from the garden centre in strips. You really do not need 200 kale seeds. The black kale is very fashionable and easy to buy. You rarely see any other squash than butternut in the shops, but a great one to grow if you have room is Crown Prince. If you cut them with 4 in of stem they will last till Easter.
Another way to go is to grow permanent crops. How about an asparagus bed, easy and productive if you give it good drainage. This also applies to globe artichokes. Expensive to buy, but easy to grow and decorative in the garden.
A row or two of the autumn fruiting raspberries like Autumn Bliss and Joan J will give you your pudding.
It still seems that I am growing a lot of vegetables but just pick those you know you love to eat.
To see sheets of bluebells, visit Bavins at the end of April.
Mon 2 April Crawley gardens, Winchester 2-5.30.
Sun 8 April Bramdean House, Bramdean 2-4.
Sat 28 & Sun 29 April, Bavins, Old Odiham Road, Alton 11 – 4
[Please note that this message is not posted on behalf of Bentworth Parish Council and does not necessarily reflect the Parish Council’s policy]