Veg growing season extends

Allotments, kitchen gardens and veg patches in the UK now start their growing season earlier and finish much later . Even crops that are traditionally grown under cover can find themselves outside in the fresh air.Far more tomatoes crop reliably outdoors and melons too are coming out of the glasshouse.

Seed catalogues already provide kitchen gardeners with a lengthening range of tomato cultivars such as ‘Tornado’, ‘Roma VF’ and ‘Marmande’, and melons such as ‘Ogen’, ‘Sweetheart’ and ‘Galia’ to tempt them, plus there are are lots of chilis,sweet peppers, aubergines to choose from.

British plant breeders are selecting specifically for the warming UK conditions, and trialling cultivars sourced from milder climates to see how they perform in UK gardens. This gives an ever-expanding choice of a range of unusal crops. Who would have believed a few years ago that UK gardeners could grow sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) .

Vegetable suppliers

Seeds of Italy has more than 500 Mediterranean vegetables, many of them heirloom or regional cultivars new to the UK, and also supply fruit trees.
Thompson & Morgan has new aubergines and new blight-resistant potatoes – ‘Sarpo Axona’ and ‘Sarpo Mira’. The company also offers cuttings or ‘slips’ of three cultivars of sweet potato, and many ‘heritage’ tomatoes and chillies.
Tozer Seeds breeds specifically for UK conditions, and trial cultivars from the Mediterranean. They offer an increasingly large range of sweet corn, and have seen a huge increase in the popularity of their ever-widening range of chili peppers. Their new butternut squashes ‘Hunter’ and ‘Harrier’ were bred to ripen fully in UK conditions.



Adapting veg plots to less water

The main priority is to retain winter and summer rainfall. Achieving a high organic matter content in garden soil is vital to help reduce evaporation .Conserving soil water, mulching, using garden compost, green composted waste, chipped bark or woven plastic landscape fabric, are also essential.

Using collected rainwater and even recycled household or ‘grey’ water has to become the norm. Rainwater can be stored, but grey water is best used immediately – see the water pages on this blog for more information

This post was written by:

- who has written 872 posts on My Climate Change Garden.

I am not an experienced gardener - more of an enthusiastic amateur who learns by trial and error and who is keen to "manage" the effects of shifting weather patterns on my garden. Writing this blog is my passion and it has evolved over 12 years to inspire engagement with climate change outside our back doors, in our personal gardens and green spaces. My mission is to fertilise and expand this platform to grow a community of global gardeners communicating about the effects of climate change on our plants and exploring how each individual can make small changes in our lives to become more sustainable. The future of our gardens and #OurPlanet is in our hands - please plant your own seeds for our collective sustainable future.

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