My plan for the weekend, weather permitting, is to clean down the greenhouse and let the chickens in there to scratch over the soil for me. It’s got me thinking about what I want to plant this year, and I’ve narrowed it down to three plants:
- Padron Peppers – these grow so easily, and I get an absolutely brilliant crop from them each season. They grow quite tall, to about 1-1.5m but other than a bamboo stake support, they don’t seem to need much attention. I water them, occasionally remember to give them a liquid feed, and harvest handfuls of Padron peppers on a regular basis from late summer to mid autumn. I love them. Cooked the classic way, fried in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt, they are simply delicious. I’ve learnt that the bigger they get, the hotter they get, so it is better to harvest them when they’re still on the small/medium side!
- Golden Sunrise Tomato – I’m a total convert. I love these yellow tomatoes, and I think they are a little more tasty than Gardeners Delight. They’re cherry-sized, and very good to pop in the mouth while you’re in the greenhouse pinching out side shoots. They look great chopped up for bruschetta or sliced with mozarella, Caprese salad style. I like that they’re not boring old red!
- Aubergine – this is my wild card. I have yet to grow a successful aubergine. I think it’s mainly to do with temperature, and trying to get the conditions right. I’m determined to give it another go, and the plants are quite small and shrubby, perhaps only 30cm tall, so they don’t take up a lot of space and can be grown in amongst the padrons and tomatoes. If I pop lots of marigolds and tagetes in the greenhouse too they should help with pollination and aphid control. Fingers crossed!