It’s time to start thinking about buying some seed. I spend weeks researching which vegetables and which varieties I will grow. Most of my decisions are made based on what I’m into eating at the moment. But I always leave room to try out new vegetables that I’ve never grown before.
Because my tiny plot is, well, so tiny. There are tons of fruit and vegetables that I’ve never grown before. Some because I just don’t like to eat them – Celery, Celeriac, Chicory – not really sure why they all begin with C…hmmm.
And some because I’ve not had the right equipment or the space. So with that in mind I’m homing in on some new veg that I’d like to have a go at.
That’s it for now. I’m sure I will think of more before the seed order goes in. I always do.
I am planning to grow sea kale as well.
oooh! can’t wait to find out how the borlotti beans turn out- this will only be my second growing season – and I only have 2 2.5by1.5 meter raised beds- so no room for those yet!
I am planning to add two more beds – probably 1.2 by 2 or 1.2 by 1.8- depending on the room but those beds (which will be lower as the current beds are 60cm tall and I had to use a ladder to pick corn this past year!) will be first dedicated to corn and peas- maybe next year the beans- so really look forward to hearing about those!
I’ve grown Borlotti beans for the past two seasons up here in Durham and they’ve done really well, although they need quite a a long growing season if you are going to harvest the dry beans …. so it pays to give them an early start.
I am going to try borlotti beans as well. My decision to grow them has been half based on the fact they look so pretty and half on a recipe called half the garden soup that I saw years ago on River Cottage. They looked so lovely, straight from the pod.
Can any one offer advice on drying them?
I’m just starting to look into my seed list. We got a large half plot last year but only working about 1/3 of it. If I can get some help I hope to clear some more this year as I want to grow lots of weaning (baby due Feb) as well as feed a 6 yr olds addiction to peas straight from the pod! I’m sticking to what we eat and what can store and freeze well. I think I need to leave the experimentation for another year!
I like to try something new each year too. This year I’m having a go at different kinds of squash.
I am going to expand my ‘tiny plot’ this year so am getting quite excited about what I am going to grow in the new space!
They do look very attractive. Decisions, decisions.
I have a brand new veg bed this year at home, first time I’ve had any space to grow at home (moved house in the last year). Its approx 2metres by 4 metres so not so big. I just cant decide what to start with at all!
As another one with a tiny plot, this is a valuable post. What “old” veg are you growing again this year? I’m trying to figure out how to get an actual garden harvest of some sort out of this small space, and could use any help you might give…
Try Lettuce, Radish, Spring Onions, New Zealand Spinach, Garlic, Shallots – they all take up next to no room at all. If you have a bit more room go for climbing veg like climbing French Beans, Cucumber, even a small pumpkin – they take up less room because they are growing upwards. Another tip is to grow a ‘catch’ crop inbetween the rows of slow growing veg. For example try a row of Radish inbetween your Garlic or Shallots. Or sometimes I plant Lettuce at the base of Cucumber or Beans.
I too have a tiny plot that I’m going to get started this year, so I’m following this blog avidly to see what to do when as I have no idea and all the information seems so daunting!
The borlotti beans do look pretty though. There is a brilliant recipe for borlotti bean minestrone in Gordon Ramsay’s Healthy Eating book if you want ways to use them up! Yum!
I grew borlottis last year and have used the dried beans in a couple of recipes already.
Leave the beans on the plant as long as possible, but once the pods are dry and crispy, it’ll be OK to remove them. If it’s getting a bit late in the autumn, pull the whole plant up and leave them somewhere dry for a week or two. If the pods are too young to crisp up properly, then they’ll be no good, but you should get a good crop overall. I left the picked beans in an open container for a while to let out any remaining moisture, but they’ve been in an airtight one since October and are still fine.
50g of dried beans is a goodly amount for one portion.
You can of course pick the borlottis earlier than that and just cook them – I’m sure you could freeze them after they’ve cooked. Wouldn’t you get a larger crop if you pick several times?
yes, sure, you can pick them earlier – I did that the first year. I guess it just depends on your choice – I had so many runners (which are nicer eaten fresh than any other beans, IMHO), so I left the borlottis to mature.
That’s a very interesting list of veggies! I have been growing something ever since I could stand, but have never even heard of the items on your list. I am very intrigued to see how well they perform in your garden.
I love the Borlotti Beans. Vegetables that are visually different than the usual norms add a nice touch to the garden. I’m sure you will have a blast trying these new additions to your garden, and thanks for sharing them! I look forward to seeing their progression.
Interesting list of veggies. The other thing to consider when growing in a small space is the use of height. The reason I say this, is because a variety of Borlotto such as the famous “Lamon”, are very tall, so you will get a greater yield than using the dwarf types.
For interesting Italian varities, I recommend looking at “Seeds of Italy” UK based, they supply to the likes of Jamie Oliver, James Martin etc. In case you have not heard of them. You can google them.
Im am planing on planting Borlotti Beans next season but I have not been able to find a Australian supplier. I look forward to seeing how you go with your new crops.
Italians love the Borlotti beans eaten fresh cooked with a little olive oil, peeled tomates, garlic and pasta. They really are much nicer eaten fresh and I usually throw some in the freezer raw to cook in winter or to add to minestrone vegetable soup. I buy the dried ones as they are very good rather than bother with drying my own as the plant tends to go moldy with the first autumn rain.
Probablynathan- my parents used to grow them in Melbourne. Try Diggers nursery online. they’ll have them
I am very interested in hearing and finding out how the seakale seeds turn out. We have been offering them for a few years now but I dont know of anyone that has reported back on how they are growing. I think you have chosen some wonderful produce to grow in your garden. I cant wait to find out how it all turns out. I hope you keep us updated. I only wish we could try some of it. The begetables you are talking about are hardly available to buy every day in the supermarket. I have tried growing the Borlotti beans last year and they turned out wonderfully. Infact, they were the best things I have ever grown and everyone in the family has commented on them.