October 2018 Meeting of the Ashdon Gardening Club
Mike Day talked about "Vegetables in a Small Garden"
Mike started by describing his criteria for the subject:
- small plant size
- value for money
- better fresh than from a shop
He then worked through the types of vegetables and which ones were best grown in a small garden.
Lettuce - baby leaf could be grown thickly in a 10 inch post and worked well on a cut and come again basis, as did any green leaf vegetable such as spinach or rocket. General compost was ideal.
Broad beans - the variety "Robin Hoood" did not need support whilst "Monica" was good for freezing.
Runner beans do not like hot weather but French beans fare quite well in such conditions. Dwarf runner beans do not crop as well as standrd varieties.
Brassicas - sweetheart cabbages such as "Dutchman" and "Regency" do well because they have a narrow leaf and are sweet. Also look for clubroot resistant varieties but pests are inevitable so members were advised to use mesh or a spray. Calabrese "Ironman" is very good in a small garden. "Beneforte super broccoli" is very good but is not available in seed form.
Onions - 17-24 mm sets are the best ones to opt for. Red onions do not keep very well so shallots are preferable since the keep better and cope with poor soil. They are available in sets and seed. "Longar" or "Neloine" varietes are recommended.
Leeks can be started in a tray with compost at a 1cm depth and then transplant into deeper soil but there can be rust and leek moth problems. Over from May onwards.
Beetroot is very easy to grow, particularly "Pablo" and "Subeto" varieties.
Mike Day then went through cucubits, recommending courgettes but not pumpkins or gourds, or winter squash; winter hardy kale, cherry tomatoes, kohlrabi and cleleriac were also good. Carrots could be grown 32 to a 10 inch pot which seems to be the optimum size for small garden container gardening.