My 2017 kitchen garden grow list

Golightly Gardens 2017

I’m a massive fan of growing your own fruit, vegetables and herbs. It’s fresh, delicious and, if you’re reasonably savvy, it’s usually cheaper than buying them. There are no nearby allotments where we live, so I’ve turned some of our little back garden and windowsills over to home grown organic produce and it’s been quite a successful project considering how small the growing space is.

Originally I wrote about it on a separate site but have decided that it makes more sense to move it over here for the 2017 growing season, especially since it’s about living well on a budget. The entire annual budget for the garden is £60, which has to cover everything from seeds to compost to slug pellets, and so far I’ve spent £9.95. Here’s what I’m planning on growing this year.

Grow list for 2017

A lot of the seeds I have are left over from previous growing seasons, or collected last autumn from mature plants, but I bought two new varieties of seeds in fresh last month. Sometimes it’s good to have a change from the usual suspects, and the seed companies sometimes come up with innovations that are ideal for particular growing conditions.

There was a special offer at Thompson & Morgan, and I picked up two new packets of seeds:

  • Balconi Yellow tomatoes
  • Summer Ball pumpkin F1 hybrid

These are both supposed to be good for small spaces as they’re compact plants that grow well in containers. I like to grow more than one type of tomato for variety, so I’m trying Balconi Yellow because they’re marketed as easy-care bushy plants with a decent yield.

The Summer Ball pumpkins are the first of their kind in the UK in that you can cut the fruits when they’re small and use them as courgettes, and then allow a few to grow on into summer pumpkins. The last couple of growing seasons haven’t been good for pumpkins on this plot, so I like the idea of at least being able to get a few courgettes out of them even if there aren’t that many pumpkins to be had.

Permanent / pre-exisisting plants

  • Alpine strawberry plants
  • Apache chilli plant – overwintered from last year
  • Bay bush
  • Cambridge Favourite strawberry plants
  • Dwarf green curled kale
  • Garlic chives
  • Ishikura bunching onions
  • Polka raspberry plants
  • Red Champagne rhubarb
  • Shimonita stir fry onions
  • White Silver 2 leaf beet
  • Stella cherry tree
  • Thyme plants

Herb seeds

  • Celery leaf
  • Chervil
  • Chives (only have six seeds)
  • Coriander
  • Curly parsley
  • Dill
  • Garlic chives (second sowing)
  • Flat leaf parsley
  • Oregano
  • Sweet Genovese basil
  • Thyme (second sowing)

Companion plants

  • French marigolds
  • Nasturtiums
  • Thai basil

Salad seeds

  • Amaze red lettuce
  • American land cress
  • Avance endive
  • Catalonga chicory
  • Curled cress
  • French Breakfast 3 radish
  • Lilia red salad onion
  • Mixed salad leaves (for summer and winter)
  • Oriental Pizzo mustard leaf
  • Red and green salad bowl
  • Rocket
  • Salad burnet
  • Saxa 2 radish
  • Tom Thumb lettuce
  • Verte de Cambrai corn salad
  • Waido mizuna
  • White Lisbon spring onion
  • Winter lettuces (Arctic King, Winter Density)
  • Winter radishes (China Rose, Black Long)

Tomato, peppers etc

  • Balconi yellow cherry tomato
  • Gartenperle red cherry tomato
  • Hungarian Hot Wax peppers
  • Romello baby plum tomato (only two seeds left)
  • Tigerella stripy tomato
  • Verde tomatillo

Brassicas & roots

  • Atlas carrots
  • Bright Lights chard
  • Brokali Apollo tenderstem broccoli
  • Choy Sum
  • Perpetual Spinach leaf beet
  • Purple Top Milan turnip
  • Seven Hills brussels sprouts
  • Spring Greens cabbage
  • Superschmelz kohl rabi
  • Trumpet spinach
  • White Silver 2 leaf beet

Cucurbit plants

  • Cucamelon (saved seed, might not germinate)
  • Defender courgette (only 2 seeds)
  • Konsa cucumber
  • Marketmore cucumber
  • Summer Ball courgette / pumpkin
  • Tromboncino courgette
  • Zephyr summer squash

Legume family

  • Cobra climbing French bean
  • Sugar Bon sugarsnap peas
  • Tendercrop dwarf French bean

That’s plenty for a small garden! I’ll be staggering the sowings over the growing season, so they won’t all be growing at the same time.

Are you growing any of your own fruit, veggies or herbs this year? What’s on your grow list?


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  1. Dear Penny,

    Yeap, just started my gardening last week…Lots of stuffs to do,
    Love, Pat

  2. I’ve been going back and forth about this for the last few weeks, but I’ve decided to stick with herbs (maybe) and flowers this year. I really didn’t take care of the garden last year so it was a waste of the time I did spend and a waste of resources, it just made me feel bad about my failure. Maybe next year I’ll be back to it, for now I’ll just enjoy what everyone else is doing.

  3. Hi Pat – it’s a busy time of year in the garden, isn’t it? Let me know if you’re growing anything interesting!

    Hello TD – herbs are easy to take care of and they save a lot of money (so expensive to buy), so if I only had a limited amount of time then I’d stick to herbs, and maybe a few fancy salad leaves.

    Penny x

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