The one thing I love most about winter, above all others, is that when we get to January, after the festivities of Christmas and New Year are over, is that it is now okay to start thinking about the garden again. Spring doesn’t seem so far away, and my mind starts racing with ideas of new, exciting things to grow.
With over 40 new vegetable seed varieties in the Suttons seed range for 2018, there unfortunately isn’t enough room to grow all of them. So we have whittled it down to our favourite 15 that are well worth a spot in the veg patch this year.
An excellent heritage variety, this attractive large beefsteak tomato is a great all-rounder in the kitchen. It has an easily removeable core, making it the perfect choice for stuffing with mince or other treats, but it is equally tasty in summer salads. And the scarlet skins striped with yellow looks great on the plate!
Beans are one those things that when you find one you like, you tend to stick with it. But sometimes it’s worth trying something new. Not only will you get a bountiful harvest of tasty, succulent beans, but the unusual crimson flowers will make this an attractive addition to a border or for growing in a large container.
A self-fertile, white-flowered variety producing masses of shorter stringless pods that are great for cooking whole rather than cut up. The result of 15 years of British breeding to carefully combine the best characteristics of French beans and runner beans, this outstanding variety will crop heavily even when the weather is poor or if there aren’t a lot of pollinators about.
Trying to get kids to eat cabbage can be like trying to run uphill in roller skates – it’s probably not going to happen and someone could end up getting seriously hurt! This modern hybrid version of a popular Victorian vegetable has sweet, juicy flesh that is perfect for juicing that it might just possibly help kids to eat their greens.
More productive than regular spinach, this is a versatile salad must-have. Perfect as baby leaves or as a mature vegetable for salads, stir fry and steaming. The attractive red leaves have a mild mustard tang and they are highly nutritious and full of iron.
Exclusive to Suttons this is a vigorous, easy-to-grow, quick-maturing Leek. Developed to produce large succulent stems to give you more white flesh to cook with. Can also be used when young as salad leeks, which we think are preferable to spring onions!
Herbs are an easy to grow must have for almost every garden. This unique cascading variety of basil has attractive dark purple foliage and is ideal for hanging baskets or other containers. Edible and ornamental, when planted as part of a herb garden it will add a stunning contrast against the green of the other herbs.
Even sweeter than a butternut squash, this wonderful heritage variety tastes just like a sweet potato but is so much easier to grow! Superb baked in the oven, there’s no need to peel as even the skin can be eaten. Like a lot of squashes, the fruit stores for months, but you’ll be able to tell when they are ripe as the attractive green stripes fade to orange as they mature, giving a clear indication of which to eat first.
These stunning beans look as though they have been painted to give them their distinctive black and white markings, but we can assure you they have not. If you only have a small space, then these are a great addition and can be used fresh as tasty green beans or dried to make an attractive addition to winter dishes.
Certain to jazz up the vegetable patch with its frizzled white leaves that make it look more like a beautiful flower, this showy kale would look equally at home in a mixed flower bed. As tasty as it is ornamental, the green and white leaves are great to use in salads or lightly steamed.
If you have ever had problems growing brassicas because of Club Root disease, then this broccoli needs to be near the top of your list for things to grow this year. Producing a main head which, once cut, is followed by tasty side shoots. It is resistant to Club Root and mildew, which is a real plus as both diseases are becoming harder to eradicate.
With its peppery tang this radish is perfect for mixing into salads. The oval shaped roots are a cross between a round and longer types. Easy to grow and fast cropping, it is ideal for growing in-between other veg, so you’ll always have something going on in the veg patch.
The dual purpose of this heritage runner bean makes this an exciting prospect. The young beans are great to use fresh as runner beans. Left a little longer they can be dries and used as butter beans to be used in soups and casseroles.
These cute little beaked fruits are a little different from your usual chilli peppers. This bright red skinned variety is much harder than its yellow skinned cousin. The mild heat and extremely fruity, aromatic flavour are ideal for sources or for livening up a salad. It’s also the perfect pepper to pickle!
We love a tomato that offers something a little different. With a unique smoky flavour, this cherry tomato definitely delivers. The dark rosy-red fruits are produced in large numbers, so you won’t go short. High in antioxidants they pack a nutritional punch and with fewer seeds than many other varieties, they are a delight to eat.