I was a huge fan of BBC2’s The Big Allotment Challenge, which ran for two series before the station decided not to commission a third. Such a shame, but it is great that some of the contestants featured in both series have gone on to do great things in veg and horticulture.
Last year’s winner, Rob Smith, was a great proponent of heritage vegetables during each round. He was already a seed guardian, saving rare seeds for future generations. Since winning the show he has secured a veg and flowers range with Dobies of Devon. Now he is running a trial of some new/old varieties of heritage veg seeds, with the possibility of introducing them onto the market. I am delighted to be one of the guinea pigs who will try to grow these seeds at home and on my plot and see how they fare.
As part of the trial, I’m not allowed to know the varieties I’m growing, I just have to try my hardest to nurture them into life and get a decent crop. Rob is enlisting gardeners from all over the country to trial his seeds, so the different soil types and temperatures could produce different results. I’ve never grown anything before without knowing what it looks like, so this is quite exciting.
Here is what I’ve chosen to grow for the trial:
3 tomatoes – known for the trial purposes as A, B and C. A & B are indeterminate or cordon varieties and therefore need support with a cane or string. C is determinate, or bush variety.
2 chillies – A & B. A is mild while B is hotter.
A pumpkin, courgette (bush variety) and a climbing French bean which Rob says is green, productive and stringless.
The tomatoes and chillies will join some other named varieties I’m growing of these great veg fruit.
I will post updates at each stage of growth, and hopefully be able to report what they look like and how well they do. Wish me luck!
8 thoughts on “Trial: Rob’s Heritage Veg”
Will be watching to see how they do – I have pumpkin A, chilli B and tomato C over here. Am itching to find out what they are…
Really like the new website too.
Yes I’m trying hard not to do some Googling!
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I would find that rather exciting, not knowing what you’re going to get.
Does he need any more trial gardeners, I live in Northumberland right near the Scottish border
Oh maybe, you could ask him if you’re on Twitter? @robsallotment
I always end up planting way too many tomatoes, but the idea of unknown varieties is exciting. I look forward to hearing about how they do.
I have just started blogging: http://www.goodfoodlife.co.uk and would welcome any guidance you might offer!
Ha I always do too many too! It sends Him Indoors crazy. I will take a look at your blog, sounds great!