In this post I'm covering our choice of fruit seeds for growing next year on the plot. I'm using the botanical meaning of fruit and so this group of plants are anything where we eat the seed pod of the plant. To defy my own criteria I'm not including peas and beans. In fact most of this fruit in this list belong to the curcurbit family.
The first choice is the exception. It was really time to replenish our alpine strawberry stock last year. We have lots of worn out plants that need replacing. We had intended to grow more plants last year but the seeds didn't thrive in the horrible conditions and so this year is take two.
To get a reasonable harvest of alpine strawberries you do need lots of plants so we use them as border plants on various fruit beds on the plot. Usually they are fairly easily grown from seed - last year was the exception. I think that could have been down to the weather and the fact that we tended not to spend as much time in the greenhouse keeping an eye on things. The variety chosen to sow this year is Alexandria from Kings. As it doesn't produce runners it is more suited to growing as an edging plant.
Now for the curcurbits. The choice of cucumber took no thinking about. Last year we had a great crop despite the conditions and so will grow Burpless Tasty Green again. It's not fancy but it a reliable variety. We have also learned that it thrives on lots of moisture.
We've chosen three varieties of courgette from Kings. Zucchini (a green variety), Jemmer (yellow) and Tondo Chiaro di Nizza (a round fruited variety). We sowed a free packet of round courgette seeds last year, and found them to be great for stuffing and so we decided that we must have a round variety this year too.
Last year we had a winter squash famine - the seeds just refused to germinated which was a pity as we had developed a taste for pumpkin pie! Crown Prince has usually done well for us and so we will be sticking with this and adding another three varieties. Two varieties are through choice, firstly a spaghetti squash called Stripeti from Plants of Distinction and secondly, also from Plants of Distinction, we have chosen Futsu Black which isn't black at all. This one is supposed to have an hazelnut flavour. Another variety was one of those magazine freebies which we can't resist trying. It's Sweet Dumpling from Mr Fothergills. (We've lots of free seeds form this company as magazines seem to like then but - sorry Mr Fothergill - we have never actually ordered from them. Sweet Dumpling is supposed to produce fruits of a suitable size for individual servings. It could be a candidate for stuffing once the courgettes are finished.
The photo below is from 2011 - the last squash harvest.
Now a conundrum what IS the difference between a squash and a pumpkin? Can ANYONE explain it clearly or are they the same thing?