Veg Seeds -Too Much Choice??

I started to wade through the minefield of gratefully received Seed Catalogues placed carefully with a 'Not to be opened yet' sign under the Xmas Tree. and I am spoilt for choice. If you could choose 1 variety of Veg and 1 Companion Plant to grow this year what would it be? What is your guaranteed 'fallback' (Mine is The Sutton Broad Bean and Scarlet Emperor Runner) -Do you like all these varieties now available or are you a stickler for the old originals? I would love to know.


  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 13,231
    I always grow the self pollinating runner beans,  Firestorm, but I by them from eBay, 99p for 45 seeds.  I’ve used these for years, all germinate, no failures, Wouldn’t buy from expensive catalogues. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 4,515
    Back when I were a lad (1960's) I had seed catalogues from Carter's Seeds and Dobies Seeds. There would be pages and pages of just cabbages then pages and pages of onions. The number of varieties was staggering.
    There are many names I still see in catalogues -Leek Muselborough (sp?) and cabbage Wininsalt (?) have been around since then, as have one of my fave toms.
    If I had only 2 allowed, it would be a Shirley tomato (technically not allowed) or Nero di Toscana kale (if toms not allowed) and White Lady runner beans
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 13,227
    I love plant porn. I sit with a highlighter ringing varieties I would like. Then reality sets in and I have to whittle it down to fit the garden.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • biofreakbiofreak Posts: 689
    Yes Kelvedon Wonder beat all others hands down for me, although Douce de Provence comes a hard second with really early dwarf pea crops so great to kick off under fleece in Raised Beds. Am I alone in thinking that some veg are exactly the same but just re-named? I find this with flowers -Tulips & Dahlias particularly -same colour/style new Name? What new varieties of veg  are yu going to try this year plus which Heritage ones have stood the test of time for you? -In particular potatoes?
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 1,762
    The choice is bewildering, but every time I try a new variety I more often than not end up going back to the old favorite the year after. Impossible to choose just one, I’ve got it down to three stalwarts - Charlotte new potato, broad bean Aquadulce (picked young and small, mostly eaten raw before they make it to the pot, but if they do, fried with a little onion and jamon) and the Organic Gardening Catalogue’s Spicy Salad Mix. I really do want to grow Asparagus again and I would choose Gardener’s Delight toms as the companion plant because last time I grew that combination I had the best crop of both. Oh dear, thats five in total  :)
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 1,829
    Oh yes I go through the same ritual every year. I go through my seed tins & list what I really need. Then I hit the catalogues and end up listing loads & loads. Then I add up the prices, & go through the lists deleting at least half - mad isn't it :/  
    Aquadulce cludia BB, cobra French beans, Shirley toms, Charlotte or Foremost for spuds, not really heritage but nealy as old as me.
    AB Still learning

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 13,227
    I always have Cobra french beans. Reliable in most normal summers. Bit thin on the ground last year.  I like Swift F1 for sweet corn, I usually put two packets in.  I am not keen on Cleome. I have grown them twice, never really performed for me. I do like to have some cosmos, big and blousy.  My friend had some  of my compost out of the bottom of the tardis for her new garden. It is south facing, and all these Nicotiana came up. I can't rememberhow many years ago I last grew them, so the seeds must have been in the bottom of the compost heap for a few years. As she said, if we had planned it, we couldn't have had a better selection of colours. Along with some random Verbena bonariensis, and some old Bishops children dahlias, it was a riot of colour and perfume.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • biofreakbiofreak Posts: 689
    Great choices many thanks. Ate some super toms last week, have saved some seed no idea what variety as bought loose in French Market. May now come true but worth the effort if they do. Will buy in fresh runner beans this year as own seed not so good now after taking it from own seed pods for the 3rd year.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 16,291
    Too early to choose just one variety of anything.

    Still working out what we can grow here as the climate is warmer and drier than our last garden.  Sweetcorn is definitely off the list as it needs too much water and still fails but beetroot and broccoli do surprisingly well tho grown from plus so no particular variety.

    Crown Prince pumpkins are the favourite so far in the squash family.   I grew leeks in amongst the toms as companion plants.   Didn't get any pests on the toms - grew far too many toms so will have a much reduced selection this year but we like the big marmande types - 4 colours, yellow pear and San Marzano.  

    Tried direct sowing broad and green beans last year but none popped.  No idea why.  Loathe runner beans.

    We'll be building an asparagus bed this year and an artichoke bed too cos OH "weeded" the last lot.  Might even get started on the fruit cage.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 569
    Well when I've had very little space I've always gone with a tomato plant and runner beans or peas so two of the above.
    I'm growing on more space than most of you but the way I decide what to grow is thus.

    Write down (WITHOUT LOOKING at a catalogue) all the vegetables you want to grow, think on space and other requirements.
    Use the internet versions of the catalogues to browse only those vegetables and then pick the variety/s that suit what you want. For example last year I grew kelvedon wonder and meteor peas, I'm not overly keen on the tight pods that kelvedon wonder produces, and I fancy growing tall peas so this year I'm sticking with Meteor (short early) and trying Alderman (tall later).
    Sometimes it gets horribly complicated, I was putting in my order with Mole seeds and I want two types of sweetcorn, one earlier than the other. Now sweetcorn has some rules, you have to grow like types with like so I could have two supersweets or two sugar enhanced or even two popcorn types but not a mix (apparently I have actually never tried) That was an annoying 20minutes online trying to figure out what varieties were what.

    Now of course I do always get a bit distracted, I allow myself to grow one or two odd things each year, last year I had watermelons a landrace melon and Physalis. the melons might get grown again if I have greenhouse space free (HA HA HA) but the physalis never, we don't like the taste. So this year I have celutice and Chinese cabbage as extras.

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