New varieties for a new year!

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Bean
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New varieties for a new year!

Postby Bean » Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:35 am

Having less mouths to feed these days, so less emphasis on using my 'regular' varieties for assured volume, I thought I'd try something new. Instead of tall cordon tomato plants and ground level courgettes, I'm growing a 'microcherry tomato' variety and a climbing courgette (Tromboncino d'Albenga), 'Farmers Long' aubergine, chickpeas instead of mangetouts, and Huauzontle (never heard of it!).
I have a 15' polytunnel and a bit of room outside. Anyone tried these varieties?
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Re: New varieties for a new year!

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:20 pm

I've not tried any of these but the Huazontle sounds a useful plant- fast growing, best planted late summer and like broccoli with a hint of runner bean flavour. Where do you get your seeds?
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Re: New varieties for a new year!

Postby Bean » Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:10 pm

Oops. Got distracted by life!!
I use Chilterns mostly, have been buying from them for years.
Can't wait to get sowing (I'm sewing while I'm waiting!). Yesterday the council cut down a huge tree just outside our garden hedge, I'll get lots more light into my polytunnel now. It was about 40 years old, lovely tree, but had split and started to rot. Sad to see a mature tree go, but I won't miss having to wash the black soot ( from aphids ?) off the top of the tunnel!
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Re: New varieties for a new year!

Postby Tony Hague » Thu Jan 21, 2016 1:56 pm

I've tried Tromboncino courgettes - parheps not the exact one, but I got mine first from Suffolk herbs then Seeds of Italy. Forget courgette as the watery green thing, these are a bit more squash like. The best thing I found to do with them was κολοκυθάκια τηγανητά, or Greek fried courgettes. My preferred recipe uses a beer batter. Mmmm. The bit of extra firmness of the Tromboncino helps avoid sogginess.
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Bean
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Re: New varieties for a new year!

Postby Bean » Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:25 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I love courgettes, but then I'm a vegetarian so have limited options,(according to my NON vegetarian husband!) The last batch last year I chopped small and tossed them in lemon Juice and chopped chili, then I fried them in a really hot pan, yum.
I'll let you know how I get on.
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Re: New varieties for a new year!

Postby Westi » Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:26 pm

Hi Bean!

I've grown chickpeas successfully outside down here in the South. They were lovely, particularly raw & I didn't get enough to dry anyway as the mice adored them too. Grow loads though if you want a decent crop. You only get 2 peas to a pod. I used a bag of chickpeas from the health food shop, so probably cheaper than a pack from a seed manufacturer. I'm trying again this year & hope to develop better mouse proofing. (Unfortunately the Adder has moved further down as she would have helped for sure)!

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Re: New varieties for a new year!

Postby Bean » Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:28 pm

Oh I'm going to try them in the tunnel. Thanks for the tip to grow loads, I will. I bought the seed from Chilterns, never thought that the ones from the shops would work, DUUH !! I'm growing Cobra beans outside, never grown them either, but the whole tunnel pea and bean space, which used to grow wall to wall mangetout for the family, will grow chickpeas. Gosh I hope I like them!! :)
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Re: New varieties for a new year!

Postby Diane » Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:45 pm

I'm trying this - Agrettt roscano from Chiltern Seeds.

"Difficult to find in the shops, this is the new Italian delicacy you simply have to try. Known as 'Roscano' or 'Barba di Frate' (Monk's Beard) in Italy (or plain old 'Saltwort' in English), its fleshy needle-shaped leaves are traditionally served with olive oil and lemon. With a flavour described as a chivey samphire - with a mildly salty, mineral tang, also similar to that of a succulent spinach, it's the new must-have ingredient. Steam lightly for the best colour and to retain its bite. It's also great to add an interesting crunch to salads, or stir fry or stir into pasta. 2ft (60cm)

Price: £2.25"
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Re: New varieties for a new year!

Postby Westi » Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:14 pm

Diane saw this on Seeds of Italy site, but they were saying limited supplies, order early etc so didn't even order as thought they would be gone. Looks like not that limited then so thank you for your timely post.

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Re: New varieties for a new year!

Postby Bean » Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:55 am

Diane wrote:I'm trying this - Agrettt roscano from Chiltern Seeds.


Oh I'd love to know how you get on with this. I was very tempted to buy it, sounds fab, but then I looked at what else I was getting and how much room I have to grow everything and decided it was just one plot too many!!
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Re: New varieties for a new year!

Postby alan refail » Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:23 pm

Devil's advocate alert :!: :!: :!: :!: :!:


Barba di frate, agretti, salsola soda, roscano, okahijiki is firmly on my "grow once but never again" crops. What the seed catalogues usually omit to tell you is that it is a halophyte, a salt tolerant plant. If grown away from salt-marshes, in a normal garden situation it tends to go woody very quickly.

I grew it once, about 12 years ago, when I was still in my grow-everything-once phase. When it was young it was very acceptable, but within a matter of days it was like eating tasteless twigs, with a similar consistency.

I think the best plan is to sow little and often and eat when green and tender. Charles Dowding (Salad Leaves for all Seasons) says: "After 6-8 weeks you should be able to pinch off shoots about 2-3 cm long. If plants are kept well watered they will then keep producing more of the tender shoot for up to two months. Eventually the stems become tougher as flowering commences."
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Re: New varieties for a new year!

Postby Bean » Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:36 pm

Oh my goodness, thanks for that!!
I have such a small space to grow everything in that it sounds like it would be too much work and not productive enough for me.
Can't wait to hear how it performs this year, maybe the variety has been improved!!??
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Re: New varieties for a new year!

Postby Westi » Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:50 pm

I read in an article or on the website of Sarah Raven that she throws dishwasher salt on her asparagus bed. Wonder if you could improve the volume & taste if you did the same to this?

I hope she is right about the asparagus as I sprinkled some salt under the compost on mine - but did bottle it a bit with the amount.

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Re: New varieties for a new year!

Postby robo » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:11 pm

Westi, asparagus is grown in ainsdale about twelve miles from where I live , it is grown behind the sandhills right near the beach the prevailing winds are westerly blowing right in off the sea it is a wild place but there are acres of it seems to love salt and Sandy soil
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Re: New varieties for a new year!

Postby alan refail » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:36 pm

robo wrote:Westi, asparagus is grown in ainsdale about twelve miles from where I live , it is grown behind the sandhills right near the beach the prevailing winds are westerly blowing right in off the sea it is a wild place but there are acres of it seems to love salt and Sandy soil


An interesting article here from the Southport Visiter

http://www.southportvisiter.co.uk/incom ... us-9428860

asparagus.jpg
asparagus.jpg (17.14 KiB) Viewed 2608 times
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Cred air o bob deg a glywi, a thi a gei rywfaint bach o wir (hen ddihareb Gymraeg)
Believe one tenth of what you hear, and you will get some little truth (old Welsh proverb)

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