Back to your roots 

Let’s be honest, no vegetable garden is complete without your roots. Mine is no exception to this rule.


Roots play a vital part for me when growing, both aesthetically and necessity. Nothing beats the excitement of not knowing what you’ve grown until you pull them. It’s a lottery without the risk.


After downscaling from a quarter plot, space has now become a valuable asset. Where I would normally grow a few varieties to try them out I now have to get my best bang for buck.


Based on this a few varieties have shone through. My goal this year is to get the best crop I can in the space I have available.


So let’s have a look at the varieties I have chosen:


Beetroot – Only one variety has ever been good to me here. Good old ‘Boltardy’ Beetroot. First sowing for me will be April direct. This beetroot has never bolted on my plot, even after a fortnight of dry spells with no watering. Space wise any beetroot can be grown very close together or spaced apart depending on how you like them. For me it’s small sweet beetroot no bigger than a golf ball. They can tolerate a bit of shade but for best performance full sun is required. And best of all the leaves are great to eat too. A perfect crop.


Carrots – Nante’s Out of the two types I tried, these were the only carrots I grew with good results. First sowing in April under cloches. Not so much a long carrot, Nantes’s have given a reliable crop of good size roots around 6” in size. They also have proven to be quite resistant to carrot root fly, much more so than my resistafly. I find these are best germinated when placed on soil surface and covered with a small dressing of seed compost. They have taken a few weeks to get going but have always cropped.


ParsnipsGladiator The only parsnip I have tried growing and I’m glad to say they all germinated. Sown in February, I simply place on soil surface and cover with a bit of leafy brash chippings. 100% germination rate and they are simply sow and forget. Parsnips do best when left to their own devices. Last year on an undug bed, one grew to a mere 1ft in length with no problems. A good variety for beginners.


Onions Turbo (Sets) A new one for me this year. In Previous years, onion harvest were very hit or miss often producing average to poor yields. This time around I’m starting them in spring. First sowing is mid-February followed by another sowing mid-March. After a little research, ‘Turbo’ stood out due to its heat treatment process which helps prevent bolting. I will be keen to test this out this year. Sown direct in February I’m hoping for a crop around July – August.

So as you can see not many varieties. This is my less is more approach. I will be sowing in succession to ensure I have enough supply for the upcoming season and will cover how I preserve my gluts in a future post.

As a personal note, I have focused more on getting the best performance so for me these varieties work. All links to the seeds have been placed there with no obligation to purchase from the suppliers and are not affiliated links. These are available from a vast majority of suppliers, so buy from who suites your needs.


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