You say potato, I say tomato

by Mars
potato and tomato harvest

We’ve had a good haul of both tomatoes and potatoes this year. Last year, our tomatoes were a disaster. The summer was too cold and wet, and they developed blight and just never got going. So this year, we opted for two blight resistant varieties, Tomato ‘Romello’ F1 Hybrid and Tomato ‘Oh Happy Day’ F1 Hybrid.

Both varieties have been a tremendous success. Romello are small, outdoor cherry tomatoes and they are prolific. Quite honestly, we have not been able to keep up with them, and we’ve been having salads, adding them to tomato sauces and using them as toppings on our homemade pizzas.

Oh Happy Day have also been great, but they are taking a bit longer to ripen. If you’re new to growing tomatoes, I would strongly recommend both these varsities because they are supremely easy to grow and don’t require a lot of work to keep them healthy.

When it comes to growing your own veg, potatoes are the best crop to sow in a new vegetable garden. They help to clear the ground of weeds because during their cultivation they need plenty of hoeing and weed clearing. They also produce dense cover to inhibit weeds. Their extensive root system breaks up the soil, and they’re generally very easy to grow. They’re also easy to cure and store.

If the garden was previously grassland (which was the case for us), the potatoes may suffer from wireworm damage, so just be patient and be prepared to lose some potatoes for the first two years.

This year we grew Maris Piper potatoes again, which are our favourite because they can be used for mash, baking or chips. We protected our crop from slugs using Nemaslug and would strongly recommend using this nematode treatment if your garden suffers from slug damage. Slugs fancy potatoes.

As always, we have to give credit to Ecoworm’s range of fertilisers that keep our vegetables nourished and bountiful. If you’re looking for an organic fertiliser, you should definitely consider their excellent range and don’t forget to use the code MYHOMEFARM at checkout to get 20% off your purchase.

Here’s a round up and summary of the veg we’ve grown this year.

Swiss Chard ‘Celebration’ – a star performer which has been slow to bolt. We’ve consumed chard in vast quantities this year in stir fries, curries, soups and as a sautéed side veg. We finally pulled the summer crop and have reseeded our autumn and winter crop.
Kale ‘Nero di Toscana’ (National Trust) – my favourite kale for curries. Looking strong now and should see us through the winter. The caterpillars have been hard work to keep off it though.
Cabbage chinese ‘Natsuki’ – Quick to germinate and a fabulous variety to grow if you like stir fries.
Cauliflower ‘Veronica’ (Summer/Autumn) – very tasty, but we lost few to caterpillars this year.
Salad Leaves ‘Cut ‘n’ Come Again’- Kew Collection Seeds – Absolutely terrific. Quick and easy to grow, and slow to bolt. Winner.
Potato ‘Maris Piper’ – Bumper harvest from just a few seed potatoes.
Squash ‘Sunshine’ F1 Hybrid (Winter) – looking healthy and full of fruit.
Pumpkin Zombie F1 Hybrid – looking great and full of fruit. 
Cucumber ‘Mini Munch’ F1 Hybrid – Very good performer. Very tasty with a thick skin, and we’ve made our pickled gherkins.
Pea ‘Jumbo’ – Full of large, very sweet peas. 
Globe Artichoke ‘Green Globe Improved’ F1 Hybrid – Kew Pollination Collection – loads of fruit, but never got to a decent size. Let’s see what happens next year.
Tomato ‘Romello’ F1 Hybrid – Prolific. Loads of small, sweet cheery tomatoes. Definite winner.
Tomato ‘Oh Happy Day’ F1 Hybrid – Healthy plant, with lots of good sized tomatoes. Taking a long time to ripen though.
Cucamelon ‘Melothria’ – we’ve had our first cucamelons. They are a bit weird with thick skins and not sure if they were worth the effort.

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